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Brenton Ross Matthews
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Joined: Sat Oct 27th, 2007
Location: Harrogate South Australia, Australia
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Hello Dr deb

 Lucre ,my bay gelding damaged his wither last Sunday afternoon in the paddock. Was worked with others in a group ride ,hosed down and returned to his paddock with Chyna ,my grey mare but  some how knocked his wither down before tea. Was 16.3hh but now 16.2 hh.

  On vet advice was given Bute, then today had accupunture [not sur about that] then more bute. Vet said their will be no problems when swelling and pain goes.

  What is your opinion with wither problems.

  Wish I knew what happened as he is so quiet and relaxed all the time !!

  Hope to see you next year back here even with our EI problems. Will speak to Leonie about staying here and possibly using my facilities if they suit .

  all the best,

  Brenton
PS I had to re-register as I have a new email address and was having problems logging on

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Last edited on Sat Oct 27th, 2007 10:49 am by Brenton Ross Matthews

Joe
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What is the nature of the damage?

J

Pauline Moore
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Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Crows Nest, Australia
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Hello Brenton - With any sort of injury that may have resulted from a fall or other traumatic injury to a bony area, then I would be wanting to have the horse checked out by an experienced veterinary chiropractor to ensure there is no unseen damage to other areas of the spine or thorax - the sooner this is done the better, it is not necessary to wait for the swelling at the withers to disappear.  Melbourne is home to one of the world's best vetchiro postgrad courses and we are lucky to have access to these highly trained practitioners all around Australia.  A locality list can be found at http://www.chirovet.com.au

Good luck with Lucre - Pauline

 

DrDeb
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Brenton, thanks for writing in. Very sorry to hear about Lucre's injury -- what a good fellow he is. One has to wonder what kind of goofy mischief he got himself into there. The commonest causes of this injury are the horse trying to walk under a fence rail or the divider in a trailer or a log, or a blow to the top of the withers, i.e. as from another horse rearing up and then coming down on top of the withers with a hoof.

A "knocked down wither" means that the tops of the vertebrae have been fractured and displaced downward. They can also be more or less crushed. The top inch of a horse's withers height is composed only partly of bone -- the layers from the top down are skin, connective tissue, tendon fibers from nearby muscles, bursae, ligament, and bone. What this means in practical terms is that if he's only an inch shorter than he was, there probably is little damage to the bones.

The swelling is coming from trauma to the bursae that pad the tops of the dorsal processes of the vertebrae. Lucre may also experience soreness and/or stiffness in the muscles along the upper sides of his neck and those that underlie the fore part of the saddle, as these muscles have tendons that root on the withers (i.e. splenius muscle of the neck, anterior longissimus dorsi).

Pauline's advice about seeing a qualified veterinary chiropractor is good. Acupuncture is also good. A good hard blow to the top of the withers can indeed put the horse's neck "out" and it is indeed best if you can have him treated sooner.

Beyond that, though, your vet is also correct -- this will heal in time with little or no long term negative effects. When he gets back in work, well, you can just regard that as your best excuse to practice some head-twirling -- your vet.chiro should be pleased to meet someone with the knowledge and skill to be able to release the buildup of tension in a horse's neck. It isn't always about training!

Best wishes, Brenton, and yes truly, I do hope this quarantine thing is all done with by next spring. I and everybody else; from what I hear, the situation has been devastating for all horse owners in Australia, not just those in the regions directly affected. -- Dr. Deb

Brenton Ross Matthews
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Joined: Sat Oct 27th, 2007
Location: Harrogate South Australia, Australia
Posts: 57
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Thank you Dr Deb and Pauline for the advice from both of you.

  Joe--there is no visible external damage--just swelling and a slightly lower wither.

  He is much brighter now and getting back to his playfull nature.He trotts occationally and even a canter ,and eating well again.

  Thanks again,

  Brenton

Sam
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Hi Brenton,

I hope your lovely horse recovers soon.  A squillion years ago before I knew anything about horses...we had a wonder horse who had damaged his spinal processes in the wither.  He jumped and galloped on the hunt field for many a year with no apparent ill effect, of course he would have been even better if we had known the benifits of Physiotherapeutic riding!! 

Good Luck

Sam

Brenton Ross Matthews
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Joined: Sat Oct 27th, 2007
Location: Harrogate South Australia, Australia
Posts: 57
Status:  Offline
Thanks Sam for the info--it is appreciated. Lucre even had a bit of a pigroot this morning when coming for a feed and I have stopped the bute too so he is happy.

  Thanks again,

  Brenton




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