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EQUINE LIGAMENTS

A ligament is a band of fibrous tissue that forms the belt and braces for connectivity between bones, cartilage and joints.  This combination helps the muscles to do their job of creating the mechanism for the horse to move in all directions.  Because ligaments bear such a heavy workload, they are very susceptible to injury and disease.  Ligaments cushion the joints whilst they perform their demanding jobs.

The ligaments in the forelimbs, particularly the supersensory ligament, are very vulnerable to injury. High-performance horses such as show jumpers and steeplechasers are most at risk of ligament damage. Injured ligaments sometimes become scarred and this would reduce their flexibility.   Care paid to the following areas will result in prolonging the careers of performance horses.

MAKE SURE THE FOLLOWING DANGER POINTS ARE NOT PRESENT IN YOUR HORSES LIFE

Fatigue
Uneven arena surface
Insufficient warm-up
Insufficient cool-down
Overtraining
Repetitive over-use
Slips
Falls
Careless Hoof Care
Improper trimming

LIGAMENT DAMAGE SYMPTOMS

Under performance
Awkward movement
Swelling & Inflammation around joints
Lameness
Joints exhibiting heat around them

TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS TO REMEDY LIGAMENT DAMAGE

Stable your horse to prevent further injury.                                           

Ensure your veterinarian is called to make a correct diagnosis.  Feeling the damaged area will be the first step in identifying ligament injury.  The diagnosis will then most likely be confirmed by using an ultra sound to confirm the findings.

Icing the affected area will reduce inflammation in the first 48 to 72 hours.

Other forms of treatment would include anti-inflammatories, hand-walking, hydro-therapy and in some cases, stem cell treatment.
 
The horse should be rested for some time with only very gentle exercise being allowed.

 

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