Friday, 16 April 2010

An anorak day...and one vet's view of box-rest

I had a very interesting time yesterday - a chance to hear Prof Jean-Marie Denoix - probably THE leading authority on the equine distal limb - discussing functional anatomy and the diagnosis and treatment of the myriad bone and soft tissue injuries that the limb and hoof are prone to.

He covered an enormous amount of ground - I was left feeling deeply grateful that he was lecturing in English, because while his English is excellent, teaching in a second language slowed him down fractionally, and the rest of us were almost able to keep up with his thought processes(!).

I am sure I will come back to what he said time and time again, but here is a lovely pearl of wisdom for today. He was talking about the rehabilitation of tendon lesions, and the fact that you need to rest the injury without resting the horse. Of course that is precisely what we try to do here - movement within comfort zones is an essential part of our rehabilitation programme.

A traditionalist asked him when he recommended box rest. He thought about it for a moment, and said he would of course immobilise a horse which had a fractured limb(!) but other than that, he preferred to keep horses moving. As he said: "French horses don't like being kept in boxes." ;-)

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