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Discussion on Shoulder Sweeney

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Kathy Young
Member
Username: Kchariot

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 5, 2005 - 11:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O:

I wrote to you before about my horse "Kappy." Initially, a chiropractic vet thought she had fractured a vertebrae. I took her to another vet for further tests and she has a Sweeney shoulder.

I had acupuncture treatments started today. The vet examined her all over. I could see the atrophy on the shoulder, but I had not felt the atrophy under her arm pit. Is this normal, worse, or what does it mean?

I have read everything I can about Sweeney shoulder, but have not seen anything about the arm pit other than your article which mentions the axillary nerve.

This acupunture vet also said if the muscle doesn't respond after two or three treatments then the nerve damage is permanent.

Any help or advise is greatly appreciated!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 11784
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 6, 2005 - 8:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Right: it sounds like you may have damage to several nerves effecting several muscle bellies. This does not change our treatment recommendations or prognosis, we suggest you follow our guidelines with approval of your vet of course.

Since there is no indication for acupuncture for traumatic damage to a peripheral nerve I am not sure what your acupunturist bases the prognosis on: unless he/she spreads the treatment over 18 months, the length of time some sweenies have taken to recover.
DrO
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Kathy Young
Member
Username: Kchariot

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jan 6, 2005 - 9:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O.:

Thank you for the reply. I sure wish there was another acupuncturist in our area, but there isn't. The only reason I am trying this treatment is because, at this point, we have nothing to lose. I was pretty sure, based on what I have read about Sweeney, this vet could not know what the future holds.

It has been a very rough three months. The vet who diagnosed my girl has had good results treating Sweeney. He is optimistic, but he did tell me not all horses recover.

"Kappy" hasn't given up and we intend to do whatever we can to help her. She is only two and that in itself has made this a challenge. We can't really exercise her because she has never been in a round pen and she is a handful when taken out of her barn/pen. We recently gave her a little more room, outside, to move around in so we could really see her move. She still takes an occassional bad step.

I just didn't know if the atrophy under her arm would change the situation. I am relieved to know it doesn't. I do see some improvement to the muscle above the shoulder, although below the shoulder still looks pretty bad.

She would love to go out in the pasture, but until her movement improves we just can't take the chance. We plan to slowly increase her room as we see improvement.

I am going to start giving her some muscle building powder. The vet who diagnosed her said it can't hurt her.

Again thanks!

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