Maintaining Stallion In Healthy Condition, Free From Injury:
The beauty of the horse that has a gym body, runs with a thumping sound, finishing it off quicker than others, can be understood only be 2 people, one is the rider or the caretaker, and the other by the racing lover! In all the races, the horses are always under the sheer pressure to perform and outperform the last result. This leads to a lot of injuries on the stallions, that are actually strong in nature. Their biological limits are pushed to the maximum extension putting huge pressure on the main parts, the lower limbs bones, and tendons. But, can an impaired stallion take part in the race? No way!! So, how do as a caretaker, or the rider takes care of the stallion in such a way that the injury is too minimal or negligible? Read on below the types of injuries that a racehorse undergoes, and how you can take preventive measures?
Under the tissue injuries, which are mostly seen, we have the:
Tendons are those part which connects muscles to bones. The most commonly affected part is the Superficial Digital Flexor tendon (SDFT) and the rarest is the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon. A bowed tendon in horses means that the SDFT has occurred. Though these injuries aren’t huge, they can cause a major effect in the long run, if not treated properly.
Again, ligaments are numerous in number. here the forelimb gets affected and severity varies exactly on the location and the severity of the issue.
Bone fractures are not the common thing in horses, but again it can’t be ruled out completely. Condylar fracture is the most common type and can be treated with surgical means, helping the horse to return back to racing.
This affects the cannon bone that the animal has and is mostly due to the stress created due to running excessively. The high stress can cause the remodeling happening at the forefront legs and result in such a scenario.
As the name says, having an injury in the joint happens to most of the horses, but where it occurs and the intensity varies. The injury that occurs might be small in fragments, but the intensity might be huge.
There are many sesamoid bones in the horse, but the ones that are most susceptible to fractures are the ones at the ankles. Both the front and rear legs are affected and any minor injury to this bone is a fracture. These fractures treatment varies in degree of the affected area. The common cause of problems is fatigue. In horses the term, fatigue is caused refers to the gradual deterioration of joints, bones, and tendon that happens to an overload of excess weight.
Identification of injuries:
Most of the injuries initially are unnoticeable. They don’t show any signs of injury unless it’s severe and affects the movement. Most of the injury occurs at the hind limbs as the weight increases there. With more load and stress, it keeps adding to the pain and aggravating the injury. The lameness can range varying in the intensity and the horse may not exhibit the symptoms until it is huge. You can identify based on the activeness of the stallion, its way of behaving and practicing after the sessions, its general physical fitness classes can reveal if the horse is being injured. A closer examination for nerve blocks and hands-on examination can help in identifying, your vet will be able to do it.
How to treat these injuries:
Injuries that occur to bones, can be cured over time, even in big animals like horses. But the weight of such horses which is heavy in nature, with their bulky body, that bears on all the 4 limbs, not all the fractures can be repaired. The minimal injury will take about 6-8 weeks to heal, while a ligament tear might take up to a year to heal. The high hind injury is even worse, which takes longer to heal due to its sensitive placement. The higher range of treatment includes surgery, or joint replacement and so on, but any basic treatment will include these.
Cooling the body and the affected area: the veterinarian may prescribe some cold packs to the affected area to be used for 2-3 times in a day, to reduce the inflammation. Along with this, they might also include an anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the inflammation on the part.
Wraps around the affected area are proven useful. The doc may prescribe this too, based on the amount of injury; and prescribe rest for a few days. Rest is the best medicine that can be given to an injury. Re-injury to the same spot is very likely. Hence you need to completely finish the course of rehabilitation and rest along. Along with this, constantly reduce the weight and stress given to the horse should also be reduced. So, it’s better to think about preventing the injuries and keeping it as healthy as possible.
The stallions are by nature stronger animals. The biological structure of the horse needs to be done very religiously by the caretaker. This helps them in enabling to distribute weight over a period of time gradually. The rigorous training should be given in a mild way, such that the body gets adapted gradually, and you must follow closely. The bone has a very good potential to adapt to the change in the early years. When the young stallions come into the stud school, you need to let the body adapt to the training in a very close and gradual manner. The horse that adapts like this tactically is found to get injured mildly at the 20th week of training or later. But the horse that doesn’t get adapted gets hurt in the 8th week!! So, follow a pattern while training them, after a certain level of training give them enough rest for the bones and ligaments to repair by itself; the body mechanism is mesmerizing and will need no special treatment.