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JC Dill
JC Dill, AFA Certified Farrier Equine expert
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 875
Experience:  Horse and pet owner for over 30 years, experienced caring for many different types of animals.
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How long can it take for a torn muscle in a

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How long can it take for a torn muscle in a horse's neck to mend? And will the torn muscle heal completely? My horse is a Paint mare, 7 years of age, and arrived with a torn muscle in her neck after I bought her. I had a chiro check her out who confirmed my mare has a torn muscle. Cheers Josephine
Hello Josephine,

I can help you with this, but first I need to know:

1) Did you have a pre-purchase vet exam?

2) Have you had a vet examine her since she arrived to confirm the diagnosis?

3) What are the symptoms that led you to calling in the chiropractor?

4) Is the chiropractor certified with any animal chiropractor organization?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to JC Dill's Post:


  1. I did have a pre-purchase vet exam and she passed with flying colours.
  2. I've not had a vet examine her as I opted to use the services of a chiro instead.
  3. The horse did not work well from the first ride after I got her. She carried her head like a camel and I could feel her left hip dropping at the walk and trot, and her canter on the off lead was very unbalanced. Since she worked well when I had my trial ride on her before I bought her, I knew she had a problem. After I bought her, I left her with the seller's daughter, who is supposed to be a professional horse trainer, for 6 weeks (because I had to sell my other horse before I could bring the new one to the stables). And to my total disbelief, I found out the trainer worked my mare too hard after a very long spell!
  4. The chiro (Fiona Lewis) is certified with an Australian chiro organisation (I don't have the details with me now but I do know she is fully qualified).

I had the chiro examine my mare two days after she arrived, and she's had two treatments. I decided to send her out to a paddock to recuperate as I can only keep a horse stabled all day where I am, and it was not feasible to just walk her off the lead till she mended.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Cheers Josephine

Hi Josephine,

Thanks for the detailed answers!

Unless the chiropractor was also a vet, I would have a vet examine the horse to confirm the diagnosis by the chiropractor. Chiropractors are very good at what they do, and there are many conditions that chiropractors know more about than vets (e.g. subluxations) but pulled muscles fall into the category that vets know more about than chiropractors.

This is a very unusual situation, and if this were my horse, I'd give strong consideration to taking the horse to the University of Sydney's University Veterinary Centre on the Camden campus, which is located atXXXXX Camden, NSW. See:

If she does have a pulled muscle, they will have the equipment necessary to determine how extensive the injury is, and then give you an estimate of how long it will take to heal, AND tell you what you need to do to help it heal correctly. Depending on what they find when they examine her they may recommend xrays, ultrasound, and perhaps even MRIs. Once you have a definitive diagnosis, it may be that R&R turned out in a paddock is just what she needs, but it may also be that she should have some physical therapy, or be fed not on the ground, or some other similar change made to accommodate her injury and help it heal correctly. Without a comprehensive workup and definitive diagnosis you are really just guessing about the nature of the injury and can't make any predictions about what the best care is, or how long it will take to heal.

I would also be sure to have a vet examine her if you have any thoughts about holding the seller and the seller's daughter responsible for the change in your mare's condition between the time you purchased her, and when they actually put the horse into your possession. The sooner you have this vet exam done, the better.

Good luck!

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