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  1. #1
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    To cut a long story short, horse came in from the field 2 weeks ago barely able to walk and turn on her hinds. Vet came out looked her over, took bloods ruled out all the usual suspects like tie up, laminitis, equine herpes etc. Vet suspects possible fractured pelvis so said little point doing major investigation such as xray, scintigraphy etc as it would be very hard to spot and the treatment outcome would be the same.

    My friend is a bit at her wits end, horse has been on box rest for two weeks (15.2, 5 year old) she has been having 12 ACP a day and bute ranging from two to four sachets depending on her pain level. The horse is still clearly lame and in discomfort on 4 bute.

    The vet seems to just keep this situation riding without a clear idea of whether the horse will come right or not. My friend is considering asking for a second opinion. She is worried because the horse is clearly in pain but the vet just seems to be dealing with the problem on a day by day basis and is hesitating about making a final decision.

    Has anyone on here been in a similar position or have any advice?

  2. #2
    Old nag Maesfen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    Time, give it time.
    ATM, the muscles will be inflamed and there's no point to wasting money on any treatment until that has subsided. Box rest with a high fibre diet is the only thing for it just now.
    We had a yearling filly here last year who had done this by splatting herself when trying to jump a gate and landing upside down. She had bute and box rest all summer although the bute was reduced quite quickly as she wasn't meant to be moving about so she was meant to feel it to a certain extent to stop her larking about, even in a small space like a box. She was better on shavings so straw didn't get tangled and trip her up.
    Her pelvis dropped on the bad side probably about four inches below the other side over the summer and the muscle sunk a lot but once she was able to be walked and then grazed it started improving again. As she was so young, she was still growing, she shot up from 15.1 to over 16 hands over the summer but she did go straight up, didn't fill out at all until a lot later, the proverbial beanstalk! A year later, she is sound and has regained her figure so is perfectly level now too.

    For what it's worth, her vet has said exactly what ours said last year, that it is only time will tell and you have to hope the bone knits together well; it's not something that can be hurried.
    Pat. Be a pauper - have a horse, preferably a British one

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  3. #3
    Just backed
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    My boy fractured his pelvis after falling down on concrete. Only time heals I'm afraid, he had no treatment at all apart from bute over the first couple of weeks. Then 5 months box rest...he coped well bless him. I have to say that to look at him at the time, and to feel lumps on him where there shouldn't be, I really didn't think he would ever return to normal. But he did completely..he has other problems now!!!

  4. #4
    Veteran
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    My friends ex racer broke hers but has bred a lovely foal since.She is now thinking of rebreaking her so there is a chance that with time things will change and improve.

  5. #5
    Old nag PapaFrita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    PF broke her pelvis as a yearling. She's fine now, although a bit wonky when viewed from the back. I've not had first hand experience (of the actual recovery), but I've heard that the prognosis is generally very good, which is probably why your friend's vet is plugging on.

    “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    My TB had a suspected broken pelvis about 3 years ago.
    He crashed into the corned of a trailer in the field (long story). It was horrific seeing him trying to get up & then trying to get him into a stable.
    Vet suspected fracture but as your friends situation without transporting him a long way it was impossible to confirm. So he was treated as a fracture. He was cross tied & given lots of bute & box rested. He wasn't allowed to lie down for the first week or so, and was kept cross tied. I believe he was box rested & then walked in hand for about 4 months from what i can remember. It sadly happened just after being turned out again from box rest & lameness.
    3 years on he is fine. He comes up at times slightly short on near hind (side of impact) but it is not a lameness more a stiffness. He can be worked through it. He gets lots of pessoa work & pole work to strengthen everything up.

    As others have said I am afraid its just an awful lot of rest which is required. Some horses cope better than others, if her horse is not coping then I would suggest she speaks to her vet asap to try & get something sorted. I wouldn't think turnout of any description is an option at this stage.

    ETA - during recovery a good physio was essential - she worked on him regularly to settle the muscles which were constantly in spasms - it is amazing how quickly they can recover!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    One thing I would say is that if you do decide to get an xray then ask your vet to refer you to a centre with a decent Xray machine. My vet at the time, (have since changed - wonder why) came out to xray my lovely WB geldings neck when we suspected wobblers and said his neck bones were fine. They were not as subsequent xrays at Liverpool Uni Hospital revealed severe damage and he was put down there and then as a severe wobblers case. Some portable xray machines are not able to penetrate lots of muscle areas to get to the bone structures lying underneath. I wish I had insisted on a referral earlier as my horse would not have suffered any longer. I do hope things work out for your friends mare.

  8. #8
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    I would have thought a scintigraphy would show up any fractures.

    As it shows any region of increased activity a fracture would show up as a hotspot.

    It may well be clearer than an x-ray in the pelvis which is not the easiest part to get good x-rays of.

    If her vet is not an equine specialist then I would want a second opinion just so I really knew what I was dealing with.

  9. #9
    Sport horse
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    Second opinion, then if it's a case of what would I do?? PTS I'm afraid. I wouldn't put MY horse through that long box rest and pain. HE wouldn't cope. Not saying others wouldn't but mine wouldn't. ((hugs))

  10. #10
    Schoolmaster
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    Default Re: Horse has possible broken pelvis - what would you do??

    Thank you all so much for your comments. She is going to ask for a second opinion on Monday and FWIW shares very similar views to minigal as her mare isn't an ideal patient.

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