A guidepost to bowed tendon horse treatment: How to treat and prevent them
Bowed tendons are one of the most common injuries in horses. They occur when the tendon, which attaches the muscle to the bone, is overstretched and tears. This can happen during exercise, when the horse is suddenly spooked, or if the horse trips and falls.
Symptoms of Bowed Tendon
The symptoms of bowed tendons in horses include:
* Swelling in the affected area
* Heat in the affected area
* Pain when the horse is moved or touched
If you suspect any of the above symptoms report to your veterinarian immediately. They will likely take x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and then begin treatment.
Bowed Tendon Causes
The most common cause of bowed tendons in horses is over-exertion. This can happen if the horse is worked too hard, too soon, or if they are not warmed up properly before exercise. Other causes include:
* Poor nutrition
* Lack of vitamins and minerals
* Weak muscles
* Joint problems
Treatment of Bowed Tendon Horses
If you suspect your horse has a bowed tendon, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Treatment will typically involve rest, ice, and compression. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
* Rest – this is absolutely essential for healing. The horse should be confined to a small pen or stall and given only light exercise, such as hand walking until the injury has healed.
* Ice – this can be applied several times a day to help reduce swelling.
* Compression bandages – these can also help reduce swelling.
* Pain relief medication – this may be necessary to keep your horse comfortable while they recover.
After the initial injury has healed, your veterinarian may recommend a course of physiotherapy to help strengthen the tendon and prevent further injury. This may include massage, hydrotherapy, and ultrasound therapy.
Prevention and Precautions
Prevention of bowed tendons is always better than cure. Some things you can do to help prevent this injury include:
* Make sure your horse is properly warmed up before exercise. A good warm-up will increase blood flow to the muscles and tendons, making them less likely to be injured.
* Make sure your horse is properly fed and provided with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet will help keep muscles and tendons strong.
* Avoid over-exerting your horse. If they are working hard, make sure to give them plenty of breaks.
* If your horse is prone to joint problems, talk to your veterinarian about supplements or medications that can help.
Preventing bowed tendons is key to keeping your horse healthy and sound. Some tips to prevent this injury include:
* Stretching the horse’s muscles before exercise
* Avoiding sudden changes in direction while exercising
* Gradually increasing the intensity of exercise
* Warming up and cooling down properly
* Keeping the horse’s legs clean and free of debris
* Inspecting the horse’s legs regularly for any signs of swelling or heat
If you suspect your horse has a bowed tendon, seek veterinary attention immediately. With proper treatment and prevention, most horses can make a full recovery and return to normal activity levels.
Bowed tendons are a common injury in horses, but with proper care and prevention, they can be avoided. If you suspect your horse has a bowed tendon, seek veterinary attention immediately and follow their recommended course of treatment. With proper care, your horse will make a full recovery and be back to its usual self in no time.