Damage or Injury to Equine Muscles
Equine Muscle damage, strain or injury is a very real prospect for all horses. Horses will use sound muscles to compensate for any damaged muscles so early diagnosis is vital to prevent further injury. In fact, where equine muscle damage is concerned, Prevention of equine muscle damage is the name of the game.
Many instances of equine muscle damage can be prevented by ensuring your equine friend is not overworked and that correct warm-up exercises are done before work.
Large equine muscles such as those in the back, hind legs and pelvis are usually most affected, the equine muscle damage being manifested as lacerations, cramps (see Azoturia), lameness and sprains. Equine muscle damage has been known to be caused by underlying diseases such as kidney or liver disease or even a neurological disorder.
Signs to look for with Equine Muscle Damage
Equine muscle damage signs will be wide-ranging. Damage would be indicated by signs of pain or discomfort if the muscles in question are touched, any form of stiffness, reluctance to move, a surface cut to the skin, swelling in any areas, lameness, hematoma, bruising, excessive head-tossing, tacking up problems such as saddle slipping or problems with the girth, short choppy uncoordinated strides, reluctance to do normal thins like backing up or being led, difficulty ascending or descending or any changes in your horse’s normal habits such as eating or sleeping.
Causes of Equine Muscle Damage
Equine muscle damage can be caused by
Over-exertion of your horse
Lack of warm-up routines
Colliding with a fence or post or falling during equine events
Damage from colliding with another horse
Diet irregularity in that the horse is getting too much protein compared to the amount of work required.
Treatment for Equine Muscle Damage.
A professional opinion is necessary to start the treatment for equine muscle damage. It would be good to be referred to an equine diagnostic centre where the extent of the muscle damage can be established. An examination will be made to evaluate damage to muscle mass, symmetry and pain before recommending appropriate treatment.
Do not push the horse beyond his capabilities
Check the horse’s feed – your equine food supplier will help to ascertain that the feed to energy expended ratios are correct and so minimise any muscle damage.
Ensure your horse gets plenty of rest – it could take some time for muscle damage to be repaired.
Capsaicin rubs and liniments or ointments will ease soreness caused by muscle damage.
Equine sports massage therapy and pulsed electromagnetic therapy is highly recommended