I have a mare that has also dealt with suspensory tendon injuries, repeatedly. Conformation is most likely the culprit as most of these injuries occurred in the pasture – only once did she lame-up during a ride and that was after a nine month retirement. However, here are a few of the options I have tried:
Sport boots (sometimes with compression socks) Professional’s Choice brand
EPF-5 under wraps or vet wrap – effective – but will blister if applied to a damp leg
Sore No More liniment for stiffness
Cosequin + MSM and HA supplement (I recommend)
Vet-wrapped tendons for extra support during rehab exercise – an easy precaution that really helps, cooler and cheaper than boots.
Surpass (no positive impact but vet recommended so I tried it)
Also – how long are your horse’s toes? Keeping the toes short will help that tendon heal. I’ve gone to a five-week farrier schedule.
Additionally – avoid tight circles and pivoting on the weak leg. Don’t sidepass. At the possibility of lameness, cease all activity and confine until the extent of the injury/lameness can be accessed. Cold water hose and poultice if you discover ANY heat in the tendon. If your vet approves, give 1 g bute and omeprazole if stomach issues are a possibility due to the NSAID. Heat and swelling are the enemy and can undo months of healing.
There is no formula for rehab because each horse and injury are individuals. But my rule is to walk only until the musculature returns somewhat – usually two months. And I don’t hesitate to back off at the first sign of pain. My mare is too stoic with a tremendous work ethic, so she tries to conceal pain. She is a perfect four-beat paso, and I can feel it when she is off long before I can see it.
As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but in the case of horses, it’s worth a half-ton of cure. I hope some or any part of our experiences can help. Be patient, and good luck.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...