Hamstrings 1 – Bo’s Injury

Hamstrings – Normal and Not Normal

March 2010


Bo over the stall door – we’re pretty sure he’s hurting behind.


This is Bo.  He is a wonderful chestnut Arab gelding – and my mare’s favorite male in the whole world.

His story starts last fall with an injury that happened when he slipped on a paved road  – more than once – and his hind feet slid way up under him.  There was no rider on at the time – he was being led at the walk.

The next morning when his owner saw him, he was in great distress, didn’t want to walk – obvious signs of injury to this concerned owner.  “Oh, he’s in trouble”, she said to herself.  Plans were cancelled, the trip was over, and he was loaded up in the trailer and brought home.  She called the vet within minutes of arriving.

Bo’s diagnosis was Possible muscle tie up.

A “tie up” is very, very, very severe muscle cramping.  The muscles have contracted and cannot release.  Beau didn’t want to walk.  He was in very obvious pain.

He wouldn’t be going to the next endurance ride, and he wouldn’t get to ride the 50 miles.  What a disappointment.  This horse was fit and ready.  Many of us have had injured horses – some worse than others.  It happens.

What now?

He was rested in his stall and outdoor paddock for the first several days, as I recall.  He didn’t want to move much at all.  Bless his heart.  After that phase, he was allowed to go out in the field with his long time companion, and come in each evening to his stall & paddock.

Almost three months rest, the guy got.  He was showing great strides in getting back to feeling good and romping around.  His muscle injuries appeared to be repairing/repaired.  His owner is diligent, focused on her animal’s health, and a fabulous horse keeper, by the way.  Truly, one of my favorites.  That’s why her home is where my horse is lucky enough to live.

Fast forward 3 months to March 2010… This is a full six months since his hamstring muscle injury was diagnosed last September.  Here is a thermal image of Beau’s right hind inner thigh area – 6 months after original injury.  He is currently in pain, the areas are hot to the touch, and he has been labeled a stinker in training sessions.  He’s being disagreeable, and fighting his rider.

I am so grateful to this technology and to the pioneering vets and scientists who have improved it.  Look at what we can see now.  He is resting again, and again, not going to the next endurance ride.  Now what?

Bo’s inner thigh muscles – not normal

See all three thermal images of Bo, and two other horses for comparison.  Thermography can show us normal and not normal images, and help the vet with another look at the horse.  This is a view of the physiological changes in the horse.

Why do we care about temperature?

We care about temperature because it shows us where there is inflammation.

Click here to see more hamstring images for comparison.

Topics on this page: horse injuries | lameness | infrared | infrared scan