Possible hip/pelvis fracture or partial dislocation

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von1068

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Hi All, I introduced myself yesterday, I'm from sunny Spain..... It's a long story!!
I have a 3 year old British Spotted pony 30" high, CTC Thunder Road who I bred. He's been a troublesome child to say the least!
At 10 days old he got Foal Sepsis and spent 13 days at the vet school at Murcia university. He managed to get every symptom going apart from meningitis! Joint ill, pneumonia, failing liver, failing kidneys, bloods all over the place, fever ....... yeah! However against the odds he made it and came home.
At 4 months old he got badly kicked into a gate by another of my mares. The next day he was down colicing but once he got up he immediately passed gas and droppings and was fine. However his stifle was locked but released fairly quickly. This was the reason he was down and stuck. Over the next 2 years we had an occasional on/off sticking of the stifle but it always unlocked and he appeared to be going through growth spurts at that time.
Fast forward to the middle of March this year ..... I found him in the field with his stifle locked, really locked and he was unable to release it. He hitched his other hip up and dangled the leg straight down, and hopped everywhere. The vet came and gave him bute and muscle relaxant and showed me how to manually release it. However every time it simply locked again and the medicine over 4 days did nothing for him. He was referred to the nearest specialist equine hospital for investigation and surgery. Bearing in mind in Spain we have had one of the strictest COVID lock downs we drove 750 kms to the hospital. X-rays showed inflammation in the ligament which was subsequently cut as nothing worked to prevent the subluxation.
He stayed 5 days and progressed well, starting to walk on the leg confidently. We drove again to fetch him (total 1500kms) and brought him home. He was put into a paddock with his donkey friend, having free access to a field shelter. 2 days later we took him off the pain relief and he went backwards. The vet came, took out the stitches and recommended a bit of hand walking as he was being lazy. We did this but within another 2 days he was back on 3 legs and hopping. I put him back on pain relief and he started to walk again.
We have spoken to the hospital and vet and have agreed something else is going on, possibly the primary cause being a traumatic injury which caused the stifle to lock. Having watched him for a week I believe it's either his hip or pelvis causing the pain. He is now on 24/7 box confinement with continuing pain relief. I am between a rock and a hard place as our business is closed due to COVID and probably won't start again until at least August so we are not earning any money. Government help isn't available to us. His stifle operation took all our savings. So at the moment further investigation is not possible.So we are treating as if it is a hip/pelvis injury with the box confinement.
For those of you who have dealt with this issue (I have seen a few people have) what were the stages and what else did you do? I know I have a long road ahead and will at best get a comfortable pasture pet with an odd gait! He deserves a chance which is all I can offer him. Just to add to his misery he was a late developer and is chryptorchid. Good job I had already decided to geld the poor mite!
 

Taz

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Good for you for everything you've done for him! He's very lucky to have you.
I think stall rest and pain meds is the best thing you could be doing for him right now. Even if you could get a diagnosis a fractured pelvis is treated that way. I have one who broke her pelvis and stifle before I got her ( I'm a bit of a sucker for rescues) as a two year old on the track. She was sold through auction in horrible condition. She's recovered well, a little lop sided behind but runs and has a great time as a pasture pet 8 years later. It's normally 2 months in the stall then start walking/quiet turn out. If the pain meds are making enough of a difference for him to get him walking on it that's a good sign. You might want to find him something for ulcers while he's on the meds. Not an acid reducer, one of the ones that coats and prevents with a probiotic and give it to him at a different time than the meds so there's no problem with absorption.
 

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