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Case Study - Radikal

SUBJECT: Hanoverian Stud colt Ė 2002.
Suffered severed Extensor tendon injury in the left hind leg. This was surgically re-attached with sutures by Dr. Peters in Idaho. He returned home after a period of time on stall rest.

The second injury occurred at home in Idaho 4 months later; he re-injured the same leg, pulling the tendon almost off the bone at the fetlock joint. He was taken to Pullman, and was once again operated on and put on stall rest.

A special shoe was added to prevent the foot from hyper-extension.

October 31st, 2004:
Radikal arrives at Witís End Farm. He was very agitated after months in a stall. The leg was weak, and he was not weight bearing for any length of time. Even a 10 minute walk made him tired and sore. The muscles in his left hindquarter were wasted and very weak, and in the right side, were stiff and very sore. He went on a herbal liver cleanse to help flush the antibiotics used in his recovery. I also put him on Equi-Si, a natural silica supplement to aid in bone density and connective tissue support. He also had MSM. Radikal was very sore in the muscles in his back, shoulders and hind end, because of compensation and lack of movement. I immediately begun massage daily and his movement improved quickly. The injured leg had heat in the hock joint after every walk. I added liniment to ease the pain and swelling. He had a special shoe on with a toe loop through which elastic was threaded, to help stop the pastern joint from buckling under and rupturing the extensor again. There was a large amount of scar tissue at the site.




November, 2004:
In mid Ė November, I consulted with the vet in Pullman and my local vet, Dr. Ray Wise, and we decided that the special shoe has become more of a hindrance than a help, Radikal was getting sore compensating for the shoe and the way it made him move. We decided to remove the shoe and replace it with a rubber donut to stop the hoof from buckling over. I continued to wrap the leg with a support bandage, cold and hot hosing and various use of liniments. He still got daily massages and hand walking. At the end of November 2004, we turned Radikal out into a limited 12 X 12 space. I continued the support bandage and he was much happier.


December, 2004:
In mid-December we turned him out in a full sized paddock, about 60 X 20 ft. He still had his leg wrapped, cold hosed and massaged. He was sore for the first couple of days, and as the weather permitted, I did not lock the doors at night, so he was on full 24 hour turnout. The heat and swelling came and went in all four legs at random, depending on which set of legs he was using the most. His back soreness decreased dramatically. He began to play with the horse next door, and seemed to really enjoy standing in the deep snow with it up to his hock.


January, 2005:
Radikal was able to have the support wrap removed. The scar tissue continuously changes shape and texture, and no doubt will continue to do this for some time. He can play and romp without coming up sore now, and we still continue massage, heat, cold and liniment on the leg. He is now on a herbal immune system rebuilder. His appetite is much better than when he came, I have upped his grain from 2 lbs. oats/barley mix to 4 lbs. His front and rear hooves on the right have grown off balance due to the injury and stall rest, however, this is being slowly corrected by good trimming, and my farrier is of the opinion that over time, the balance of the hoof will return to normal, as his body heals and he uses himself equally in all four quarters. Muscle development in the hind end and top line has dramatically improved, and his movement is much more balanced and strong. There is no sign of lameness.

Radikal left for 3 weeks to Dr. Samperís clinic in Langley to have semen collection done. I suggested that his hind legs be wrapped during the collection, to aid in the support of the tissues. He was turned out in a small grass area. When he returned, the leg had swollen a bit, but he was not lame, and he had developed filling at the back of the fetlock above the scar tissue, probably from being collected on a dummy, and having to stand on his two hind legs more than he was used to. He had also dropped some weight with all his activities. I started cold hosing again, and using liniment. He was sore over both hips, and we continued the massage. He showed no sign of lameness, and played in his paddock with no ill effects.

March 14th, 2005:
Radikal leaves Witís End Farms serviceably sound. I suggested limited turnout for the next year. I think breaking him to long line and ground drive would be good for his hind end strength, and eventually he may be able to be hacked on trails to keep him strong. The leg will continue to change and strengthen over the next few years. It is important to keep his feet trimmed, as the hooves show some distortion due to the injury, but now that his weight bearing is changing due to the therapy, the imbalance in the feet is slowly getting less. He can now bear his full weight on the injured leg, and is even resting the right hind, while supporting his entire weight on the left hind. I feel his prognosis for an AI stallion is good, given the seriousness of his original injuries. I suggest leaving the donut on for a few months yet, especially if he is in a larger turnout. It can also be left on if he is lunged lightly, or broken to drive, as a precaution. This leg still has much more healing left to go, and it will take another year. The fact that he is young and still growing is a good thing in his favor.


Radikal is back home in Idaho at Cocollala Creek Sport Horses, May 2005, The X-ray shows joint damage, but the horse is wearing a magnetic bandage most of the time and the swelling has diminished, he is sound and moving around. He is able to have semen collected.


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