EQ | 13 Jun 2019
Tendon injuries in horses and treatment
Tendons are collagenous tissues that connect muscle to the bone in mammals. They transmit force from muscle to bone, which makes movement possible. Tendon injuries in horses occur when they are overstrained, displaced, or other extrinsic injuries like lacerations.
Horse tendon injuries are often degenerative in nature. Once they happen, they are slow to heal due to their high collagen content and low cell numbers. They also very rarely heal completely, which means they will never fully recover their strength and elasticity. Most short tendons are rarely damaged. Long tendons, found in the back of the leg from the level of the knee, are more prone to injury from exercise or direct trauma.
Signs and symptoms of horse tendon injury
A damaged tendon often shows signs of inflammation, heat, and swelling. Minor fibre damage may show as a slight enlargement of the affected area. While minor damage may not cause lameness, severe damage can be very painful for the horse and affect the horse’s gait.
Treatment of horse tendon injuries
Equine cryotherapy proves an effective treatment to horse tendon injuries. It provides quick relief to the horse as well as dramatically lessening inflammation. The cold is a natural analgesic and numbs the area it touches quickly. The cold temperature also causes the blood vessels to constrict, lessening the inflammation of the affected area and speeding up the healing period.
Contact us to find out how cryotherapy can help your horse’s injuries.