REHABILITATION: The Team Approach with Patience
Most horse owners have received an injury or illness
rehabilitation protocol from their veterinarian at some point. After
veterinary diagnostics and treatment(s), most vets will send you
home with a fairly straightforward plan that includes confinement,
controlled exercise, cold hosing, etc. of course depending on the
nature of the illness or injury being addressed.
The rehabilitation of a horse from an injury or
illness can be a long, lonely, stressful and frustrating road!
Additionally, getting a thousand pound horse to cooperate in the
healing process is often challenging!
Some of these difficulties can be eased with a team
approach and a clear understanding of a general time line that the
horse can be expected to return to work.
Patience and diligence are key factors when dealing
with rehabilitation! Every horse and every injury is different. Soft
tissue structures in the lower limb have a limited blood supply and
healing is often dreadfully slow even with regenerative therapies
like PRP, IRAP or stem cells. Having a team that recognizes
compensatory issues need to be addressed along with the main injury
can also make a world of difference in the horse’s successful return
The veterinarian is ultimately the team leader and
other members of the rehabilitation team can include the farrier,
veterinarian chiropractor or acupuncturist, massage and craniosacral
therapists, equine dentist and trainer. It is often very difficult
for horses to settle into box stall rest and controlled exercise at
their training or home barn. You may find that a facility that
specializes in rehabilitation is the perfect place for your horse to
spend the initial weeks or months of recovery.
Ultimately, building a team of equine professionals
that will look at your horse and his injury as an individual can
mean a smoother and more successful recovery!
This tip was brought to you by Jenny Rukavina, owner of Acadia
Equine Rehabilitation (www.acadiaequinerehab.com)
and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE
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