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Discussion on Pelvic fracture

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Bess J
New Member
Username: cora

Post Number: 2
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008 - 11:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

my 10 yr old oldenburg mare fractured her pelvis about 6 weeks ago. My local vet was not able to quickly diagnose the problem due to lack of equipment, in that time the fracture worsened because she layed down twice which caused it to fracture more. I took her out of town for a bone scan two weeks ago and the fracture was discovered. The vet that scanned her advised that she be tied in her stall for 6-8 weeks to avoid her laying down and causing the fracture to worsen further. My local vet informs me that a horse should not be tied for more than 21 days at a time? BTW, the fracture is on the bottom of the pelvis and does not appear to involve a joint. I am seeking ANY advice on the issue of keeping her tied and anyone who has experienced this with their horse or knows of horse that has experienced this.
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KATHLEEN WHEAT
Member
Username: kathleen

Post Number: 765
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008 - 1:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bess,
We had a two year old mare who underwent stifle surgery that ended up going into the joint capsule and the sutures did not hold and we were left with a large open wound. Vet said she could not lay down until the wound had healed from the inside. We ran a very stiff rope (the kind that steer ropers use to rope steers) on the diagonal in her stall. We then put on a lunging halter (it had three rings on it) and hooked one end of the trailer tie to the top ring and the other end to the rope so that the trailer tie slid on the rope so she could walk. We put her hay at one end of the rope in a hay net and put her water on the other end to encourage her to walk. She could not lie down but she could get her head down just a little so her jaw was not up in the air. After she had healed a bit, we were able to hand walk her. We also designed a contraption using a neoprene neck sweat and carpenters suspenders and a harness saddle so she could be turned out for a little while and if she would lie down, the wound would stay clean. I realize that that is not an option for you, just wanted to let you know how we handled our problem. Hope you can use some of this information to help your horse.
Kathleen
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 3369
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008 - 4:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bess, how difficult for you and your mare. I've never had this situation, but wanted to wish you luck. I'll be watching to see what others suggest. I'm sure you will get through this, but it doesn't sound like fun. Best wishes.
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cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: zarr

Post Number: 920
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008 - 6:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bess, is it possible to give her something to learn against? A friend used several straw bales stacked together on either side of her gelding, he could lean and get some respite but could not lay down? Long time for a horse to go with out lying down. Can you provide leg rubs or just overall body massages that would help. Hope lots of good info comes your way. Cindy
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 253
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008 - 8:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Bess,

Welcome to HA. I'll be curious to hear Dr. O' response.

I had a mare with a different injury-- she tore her psoas-- but we also found that lying down seemed to send her backwards. After 7 months layup with zero improvement (you couldn't even touch her), I got desperate and made her a giant pony girdle that supported her entire pelvic area. It provided enough support and stabilization that she was able to lie down safely, and she healed in about 6 weeks of girdle time. It was a very strange contraption, and required quite a bit of maintenance to avoid sores, slipping etc.. I don't know if something like this would allow your mare more freedom, or be useful for her injury. Let's see what Dr. O says.

- Elizabeth
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19791
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jan 4, 2008 - 6:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Bess,
I do not have any experience with leaving a horse tied for six to eight weeks so they cannot lay down. I have heard of it being done but do not know how well a horse might do.

When we have wanted to avoid laying down for a prolonged period we have recommended commercially made slings and put it on the horse for 2 to 4 hours a day to give them time to rest. Usually the horse starts out not using the opportunity to rest but then with time learns to rest/sleep in the sling. The last sling we used was a Liftex that I do not think they make anymore. Closest would be the Anderson sling like UCDavis uses but there are less expensive alternatives. It is important you carefully look at the way it works I have used some slings that had a tendency to pitch the horse forward or backward.
DrO
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Chris
Member
Username: stevens

Post Number: 430
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, Jan 4, 2008 - 1:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I vaguely remember something in Horse and Rider years ago about a reiner that had broken his pelvis.

Here's a link to the story:

http://www.winfieldfarms.com/index.php?page_id=38

It doesn't look like they didn't do anything to support him.

Good Luck!
Chris
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19797
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jan 5, 2008 - 8:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

That is a great link and story Chris, but I am not sure that the lack of "need for tying / need for support" apply to this case. In their story the fracture was stable enough for the horse to get up and down when he needed. Which was fairly early in the healing process. Bess's horse has already demonstrated a problem with when it chooses to get up and down.
DrO
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Chris
Member
Username: stevens

Post Number: 431
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jan 5, 2008 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O.

Good points, as usual. I'm amazed that any horse can recover from such an injury.

Chris
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Bess J
New Member
Username: cora

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Saturday, Jan 5, 2008 - 6:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I want to express my apperciation to all who have responded to my email...Thank you. My horse seems to be "keeping it together" really well so far. We go for our first ultrasound with my local vet Monday, He now has the proper attachment for his machine, hopefully we can see some progress.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19801
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 6, 2008 - 8:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bess J, this is a very informative case to follow and will help many folks if you would keep us appraised here of treatment and progress. Many can learn from your experiences and we will provide what information we can but I expect we will be learning more from you. Is your horse on NSAID's to help with comfort?
DrO
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Carol DeAngelis
Member
Username: cometcar

Post Number: 12
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Jan 7, 2008 - 4:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Bess!
My Hanovarian gelding was seven when he cast himself in his stall and broke his hip/pelvis. We weren't aware that he had cast himself but since he had been known become cast in the past and had been ridden the day before and was sound, that was our deduction.
He was also scanned and then put on stall rest for six months. Never tied. I was never told that he should not lay down. He recovered fully, but it was a long road until he was totally sound.
He now wears a anti-cast roller when in his stall, and I also put anti-casting strips (made by HorseGuard) in his stall. Kind of like a belt AND suspenders, but I don't want to take any chances. Good luck!
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