My horse flipped over backward and landed on her wither… Has any experienced this before? What to do?

Yesterday I was getting ready to groom my Mare i had her lead rope hanging on the metal tie in our barn. The owners of the facility decided to let there kids ride there motorcycles around the barn and my mare spooked (i dont blame her, they scared me half to death to!), She reared up on the cement pad in the barn breezeway, which caused her shoes to slide on the cement and she lost traction and flipped over backward landing right on her left shoulder/wither.

She got up and trotted out of the barn back to her stall. We went and got her thinking she was probably in severe pain. But she didnt act as if it was bothering her. There are no cuts, no abrasions, no hair missing, and there was no swelling. So i hosed the shoulder down with cold water for about 20 mins, put Liniment on it and gave her bute.

Today I went down to check on her and give her more bute and her shoulder is so swollen and there is sooo much heat. She walked to the barn fine, wasn’t favoring the shoulder or limping. You can even touch and put pressure on the spot and she doesn’t pin her ears or act in pain. I called the vet and explained what had happened they told me all they could do is xrays, and give her bute and a muscle relaxant. They told me even with xrays there is not much they can do until the swelling goes down, and that if she had broken or cracked something she would act in severe pain, or act out in pain.

So i spent 20 mins hosing the swollen lump with cold water, gave her bute and put liniment on the lump. What do i do now?

Has anyone ever had this happen to them before?

**There was nothing my husband nor myself could have done to prevent this and neither of us is at fault. Do not comment if you have no horse experience or are going to bash me for something that is not my fault, Im doing everything i can to make my mare comfortable and follow the vets instructions. **
well i went to the barn today to see how the bute worked, and the swelling had gone down quite a bit. She wasnt favoring her front leg or acting lame. She was wheezing a little bit but i imagine it just knocked the wind out of her really good and shes breathing shallow as to not put pressure on the swollen rib.

After a 20 min ice cold rinse, the heat went away alot and it stayed cooled after she dried. I double buted her today and hope tommorow to see more improvement.

thanks for your advice!

One Response to “My horse flipped over backward and landed on her wither… Has any experienced this before? What to do?”

  1. Julie Says:

    Most likely, the wither is broken. It happens a lot when horses flip over, especially when they land on a hard surface like cement.

    I would hose it, linnement, bute, until the vet can get a good look at it. Get the vet out immediately, even if they are only going to be able to do x-rays and not much else.

    Usually when the wither breaks, the horse need around six months to a year in order to fully heal, but once fully healed the horse usually goes back to pretty much normal. Only difference is, it makes it VERY hard to find a saddle that fits a horse with a healed wither fracture, so you will probably need to buy a new saddle for her. The withers also look a bit weird/ugly but it’s just aesthetic.

    I would also have a talk with the facility owner about controlling their children, possibly even find a new place to keep her if you can, a less hectic place.