Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Gastrocnemius Rupture

Synonyms: Achilles Tendon Rupture

The gastrocnemius muscle attaches the upper limb to the point of the hock. If it is ruptured, a major part of the support of the limb is lost. The limb simply folds (the hock flexes) when the horse bears weight.

The injury associated with this diagnosis is usually a deep laceration above the point of the hock on the rear of the limb which cuts through the muscle. The muscle or tendon can also be ruptured from trauma without breaking the skin.

QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET

  • How do you think this injury occured?
  • How long before my horse can walk again, or go back to work, if ever?
  • Is this so bad that euthanasia should be considered?
  • PREVENTION

    Good husbandry and training to reduce the likelihood of severe injury.
    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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