Tendon injuries are very common in horses. Whether they are a result of boisterous playing, a trip or slip or a sprain during training, tendon injuries can occur to horses of all types and ages. Whilst as horse owners and riders we can try to reduce the risk of tendon injuries, it’s important to know what to do when they occur. This blog article outlines what to do at the first sign of tendon injury in horses, as well as how to spot it.
First Sign of Tendon Injury in Horses
Tendon injuries usually cause inflammation. You can usually tell that inflammation is present because you will be able to feel the heat and swelling in the affected area. This is why it’s important to check your horse’s legs regularly and know what’s normal for your horse. Knowing what’s normal and what isn’t will help you to identify where there may be an issue. You will also be able to communicate better with your vet. This can help them to provide a diagnosis and treatment.
Horses suffering from tendon injuries may be lame, but the degree of lameness does not necessarily correlate with the extent or location of the injury. Horses can often have a tendon injury and not present as lame. Therefore, you should not presume that your horse is fine just because he or she is not lame.
Types of Tendon Injury in Horses
Tendon injuries vary in terms of their type, cause and severity. Tears can range from minor damage to total tendon rupture. Knocks can result in anything from mild bruising to severe damage. Furthermore, lacerations or punctures can also result in varying degrees of damage. It is also important to keep an eye out for infection, which can be life threatening.
What to do if You Suspect a Tendon Injury
If you suspect that your horse has sustained a tendon injury, call the vet. They will be able to offer professional advice in the first instance, followed by any diagnostic tests and treatment if required. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand that the degree, presence or absence of lameness is not always an accurate gauge of injury severity.
In the meantime, applying ice and compression to the affected area can help to minimise inflammation and pain. This is a good first step in aiding the horse’s recovery and keeping them comfortable whilst you wait for the vet. Your vet may also recommend icing several times a day during the course of your horse’s treatment for a tendon injury.
Cryochaps Boots for Tendon Injuries in Horses
Cryochaps compression ice boots for horses can be used after injury to the lower leg. We recommend that Cryochaps are applied to the leg for 10-15 minutes at a time. For knee-to-fetlock coverage, we have the Cryochaps K2F compression ice boots. For knees, hocks and other areas, we have the Cryochaps Absolute Wrap, a handy ice wrap for horses.
Remember: You should always seek professional advice in the event of an injury or suspected injury.