Equine Pelvic Fracture Prognosis

What’s the long-term prognosis for a horse diagnosed with a fractured pelvis?

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Equine Pelvic Fracture Prognosis
Keeping in touch with your veterinarian and having him or her regularly evaluate a horse with a pelvic injury can help ensure your mount remains sound and develops proper muscles to support her hind end. | Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse

Q: I have a 5-year-old mare that was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, based on symptoms, in December 2013. She was adjusted while sedated, was on stall confinement for several months, and cleared to leg up and run. She was good for few months, then fell in the trailer and fractured it again. She has now been off for 1½ years. Is it worth a shot to attempt to bring her back again? The vet treating her said he has good results with mares with similar injuries. —Wendy Yarbrough, via e-mail

A: Without seeing your mare or knowing how she is currently getting around, my answer is absolutely. Even in the most unfavorable type of pelvic fracture, which is one that involves the hip joint, more than 60% of horses in one study of pelvic fracture outcomes had a good long-term prognosis.

That said, it is slightly concerning that your mare fell and refractured her pelvis a second time. Proper conditioning to develop her hind-end muscles to support that pelvis will be very important. Additionally, with the history of that second fall, I would recommend keeping her on level ground with good footing and not asking for any tight turns or maneuvers, such as turning on the haunches, that may predispose her to overstressing her pelvis. Regularly touching base with your veterinarian and having your mare evaluated to make sure she is remaining sound, that her muscles are developing properly to support her hind end, and that the pelvis is not giving her any additional problems will also hopefully help keep you guys on track to a full recovery

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