An injury to a tendon is more serious than a suspensory ligament injury. Tendons take much longer to heal and the chance of recurrence is higher. However, when Minnie injured her tendon she was only barely and intermittently lame. There was more discomfort than actual pain and very little swelling. In contrast, the injury she sustained to the suspensory ligament caused a lameness so dramatic that I thought her leg was broken and it was obvious she was in a great deal of pain.
Minnie didn’t want to move and she chose to spend most of the time standing in her stable. I was giving her anti-inflammatory drugs as prescribed and hosing her leg several times a day with cold water, but after a week Minnie was still very lame, the ligament was still inflamed and swollen to twice its size.
I don’t like chemical drugs. Too often the side effects are as bad as the original complaint. When possible I prefer to give the body a chance to heal itself and the idea of keeping Minnie on a prolonged course of anti-inflammatories felt wrong. A friend of mine is a homoeopathic vet. I have had really good results with some remedies prescribed by her in the past, so I went to see her about Minnie. She gave me some remedies to try. I took Minnie off the anti-inflammatories, and started her on the homoeopathy, combined with a leg gel containing arnica and aloe vera.
Minnie is a great patient. I can do anything with her and I never need anyone to hold her, but getting her to the water-tank to hose her leg was impossible without the help of my husband and we nearly had to carry her. The morning after I gave her the first dose of the remedy she was not in the stable, but grazing in the paddock with Cassie. When she came up to me she was moving much more freely and she looked more like herself. I brought her up to the water-tank and knelt down in front of her to feel her leg. Her rigid stance and high head were gone. Her body felt loose and she dropped her head to nozzle my hair and face while I hosed her leg and licked my hands when I was finished.
Interestingly, Cassie had left Minnie in peace while she was lame, but now felt that it was time to re-assert her dominance by herding her around and Minnie had to move smartly to stay out of reach of Cassie’s teeth.
When Minnie had had 3 days of the remedy and didn’t seem to use the stable anymore, I decided to move them. Usually, I just lead Cassie and Minnie follows, but this time I asked my husband to give me a hand because I didn’t want any galloping. As if! No sooner had we released them or they both exploded. Cassie reared and shot off like a fire-ball, Minnie thought the rearing was a great idea, then she did a handstand and a couple of bucks before she shot off too. They galloped several times around the field, while I stood and watched and worried. I expected to find Minnie’s leg to be swollen like a balloon again later that day, but it wasn’t. This evening I went for a walk around the fields and Minnie and Cassie came with me. There is only a slight trace of unevenness in Minnie’s stride now. She is improving every day and that makes me feel better too.