Oddball Horse Injuries

Tiny has the horse equivalent of whiplash.  His neck is sprained.  We have no idea how this happened, since it’s difficult to imagine Tiny moving quickly enough to be able to generate whiplash.

All kidding aside, we think he might have cast himself overnight in his stall, with barely perceptible swelling in his rear hocks (Vet not worried).  It’s the neck that is a huge (literally) problem.  It’s not like you can whip out one of those soft collars to help him brace it.  Humans are stacked, and he’s linear, with 20 lbs of head on the end of the ow ow ow ow OW.

He’s in pain, even with the meds, and in abject misery because it hurts to eat.  Given the nature of my relationship with food, this makes me want to cry in solidarity.

He’s had Chiropractic, heat packing, Vet, expert owner care, and me: his own personal massage therapist.  Tiny is getting better, very slowly (this happened a couple of weeks ago), but not fast enough for those of us who can’t stand to see him in pain.

I could imagine this injury being caused by jumping or track flip-fall.

What happened that night?  In his rubber padded stall?

Has anyone seen this sort of injury before?  Do you know what caused the one you saw? My question of the day is: what other oddball horse injuries are out there?  Did you guys know a horse could get whiplash?

(Someone has to ask life’s difficult questions!)


8 thoughts on “Oddball Horse Injuries

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Thanks GHM and Kim,

      I should clarify that the Vet didn’t call it whiplash. I’m calling it whiplash because that’s how it seems to me when I work on him: remarkably like whiplash in a human. I’ll post Tiny updates as we go.

      The Vet said his neck was injured/sprained in an unusual way, and jokingly asked if Tiny got rear-ended. 😉

      I don’t want to put misinformation out there. Are there any vets out there who know the answer to that question? Can a horse get actual whiplash?

    2. Heather

      My horse spooked whilst I was standing holding her lead rein as she ate her dinner one night, she got such a fright that she ran off, then began shying at the lead rope, thereafter standing on it jerking it with such force it snapped, I found her cowering behind the stable block head down noticeably shaken, it was only when I went to get her that I noticed her neck was swelling and that it was tender for me to touch her, I called the vet who thinks she gave herself whip lash, vet gave her an anti inflammatory injection and some bute and iv had her on a calmer and devils claw since but it appears to be taking forever to get better and I actually wonder if it ever will, she is such a beautiful mare with a lovely sweet nature it so heartbreaking so I understand what your going through with your little one x

  1. enlightenedhorsemanship

    Oh my gosh. I have never heard of that. I am sorry he’s in pain. I had no idea a horse could get whiplash, especially without working up a head of steam first.
    My best gelding Buster broke a bone in his foot while on stall rest once. No way he could have done it. No signs of mischief, no outward signs of trauma. Totally ruined his career, my investment, etc., He is a nice horse, now doing limited trail riding in the White Mountains instead of eventing.
    I hope Tiny has better luck. Please keep us informed!

  2. Marissa

    Actually, I have heard of a horse doing this to himself before. A yearling at a breeding farm where I was working was sold and his new owner turned him out with a couple of grown up horses that he couldn’t keep up with. They ended up chasing him a little too hard and he slipped and fell, and sprained his neck. He came back to the breeding farm for recovery and we did much of the same treatment: moist heat packs, massage, etc. Unfortunately, after the inflamation went down and the muscle strain healed, a bone scan revealed that he had fractured some vertebrae near his wither. He was never sound enough to be ridden, but luckily he was very pretty and sweet and was adopted out as a pasture mate once he matured. Anyway, I really hope for Tiny’s sake that he has a much less serious injury. Hopefully, since it sounds like he did it to himself in his stall, there was less traumatic impact and he’ll be just fine. Getting cast certainly can cause some muscle damage, especially for such a big guy. I hope he feels better soon!

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Thanks…we know he’s not fractured (hallelujah) just sprained, and he is SO much better. I was too upset to write about it until I knew he was really okay.

      That is one lucky yearling with very responsible owners. Love the good ending stories.


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