Friday, 22 September 2017

How Muscles Repair

Muscle remodelling is in many ways more complex than bone, however, it is easier for muscles to return to their pre-injury state.  To find out more about the composition of muscles have a look at my previous blog. 

 
During the remodelling phase small fibres will push through the temporary repair (second stage of healing) and begin to recreate the original type of tissue - in this case muscle tissue.  Muscle fibres are made up of hundreds of myofibrils which are arranged in parallel.  It is important that during the remodelling phase the new myofibrils are the same ie: parallel, sometimes they will form in a random way and this will have a negative effect on the strength of the new formed muscle.



When the collagen forms into a scar during healing it is important that the scar is pliable and allows enough movement for the muscle tissue to return to its pre-injury state.  This means that the horse SHOULD NOT be immobilised during healing.

During remodelling of muscle tissue it is important to:

·         Promote the absorption of excess material from the site of injury (which causes inflammation)  
·         Prevent adhesions forming between muscle fibres
·         Prevent scarring
·         Maintain any undamaged tissue

Have a look at all my previous blogs about therapy to see how these could help in this phase of healing!

Did you see this week's video 'Mats and stuff....'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The mud has returned :(



It is much too early for all this mud ...



 ... but Tommy has enjoyed rolling in it! 
 



 


Have you seen yesterday's video 'Mats and stuff ...'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!

Jo

Monday, 18 September 2017

Greatest Horses - Doublet




Doublet was an event horse ridden by Princess Anne, they  represented Great Britain on a number of occasions.




Born in 1963, Doublet's sire was a Thoroughbred stallion from Argentina called Doubtless and his dam was Swaté, a polo pony.  He was bred by Queen Elizabeth II before being given to Princess Anne.  Doublet was trained by Alison Oliver who trained many of the royal horses.



In 1971 they won the Individual Gold Medal at the European Championships at Burghley, they competed at Badminton but were never placed.

In 1973 they were selected for the European team in Kiev, they sadly fell at the 2nd fence - as did many, it was huge. ....... the photo below shows Be Fair clearing it.  Both horse and rider were fine!!


Sadly, in 1974 Doublet  had to be put to sleep because he broke his leg whilst being ridden.


Did you see last week's video 'Autumn ... so it begins ...'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Friday, 15 September 2017

How Bones Repair


Last week I wrote about wounds healing.  The last stage of healing is remodelling, when bones are broken they too will remodel!  See my blog about bones from a couple of years ago to understand more about the composition of bone.



When bones break cleanly they are often able to return to their original shape if:

·         the opposing ends of the bone are in alignment
·         the blood supply is adequate
·         there is no infection
·         there is no extra stress on the injury

As with wound healing, a blood clot will form around the break,  polymorphs take away the bone fragments as well as any bacteria.  Osteoclasts will then dissolve the old bone cells and damaged tissue.


Next the cells of the periosteum (protective membrane around the bone) will replicate and change into chondroblasts and osteoblasts.  The fibroblasts in the granulation tissue (see last week's blog) also change into chondroblasts, these cells form hyaline cartilage.  The osteoblasts form new bone cells.  The initial bone cells which form are only temporary.  The hyaline cartilage and new bone  increase in size until they fill the gap (where the fracture is) thus forming a lump or 'fracture callus'.  The bone now has SOME strength but not much.

The next stage of healing is when the hyaline cartilage is converted to bone and the new bone cells are replaced by stronger, bone cells.  

Finally, the remodelling process takes place, when the bone cells are changed into compact bone - which is much stronger - and the 'fracture callus' is altered to closely resemble the bone before the break occurred!   

This can take several years.



As with humans, how long it takes and how well  a bone heals depends on where the break is, how old the horse is and many other factors.

Have you seen this week's video 'Autumn..so it begins' on my You Tube channel?  
 Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The end of summer ...



.. and enjoying the last rays of the summer sun :)








Have you seen yesterday's video 'Autumn ... so it begins'   on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.
Until next time!
Jo

Monday, 11 September 2017

Chesney PPID Update!

As those of you who read my blog or watch my video's regularly will know Chesney was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease or PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction) in June this year.  I wrote a blog about  PPID back in March!

Over the winter of 2015/16 Chesney had quite a few foot abscesses, I did not think a great deal about it because the vet said lots of horses were having similar problems because it was so wet that winter.  In the following spring, as Basil and Tommy lost their winter coats Chesney didn't totally lose his.  Although he moulted quite a bit, as usual, he still had a thicker coat than normal all through the summer months.  

 June 2016

This winter 2016/17 Chesney seemed to be making the bed in his stable wetter than usual and seemed to lose more weight than usual.  Again, in the spring he didn't lose all his coat and was left with a thick coat into June! 

Chesney was showing some of the possible signs of PPID:-

  •  Abnormal hair
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss
  • the abscesses were possibly a sign too, he may have been a bit more lethargic but it is difficult to tell with Chesney and his arthritis.


As we went into May he seemed to be losing muscle too.  However, luckily he did not have: -

  • Recurring laminitis
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased drinking
  • Ulcers in mouth
  • Poor performance
  • Reduced immune function - resulting in recurring skin, respiratory infections or foot abscesses, dental disease and increased susceptibility to worms
  • Pot bill and/or fat deposits along mane
  • Fat deposits over eye (where a depression is usually present)

After a suggestion from the vet I decided to have a blood test in June, this showed that Chesney's levels gave an indication that he might have early PPID.  We started him on a low level of treatment in the middle of June.

 June 2017

After a couple of weeks I thought there were less wet shavings to remove from Chesney's stable but I wasn't sure.

After 5 weeks he had a further test which showed that his levels had improved but the vet recommended increasing the dosage.  A week later (and before I increased the dose) Chesney started to lose his coat :)  The amount of wet shavings was definitely decreasing too.

Now, at the beginning of September Chesney looks great, he has been putting weight back on and filling out a bit too.  He has lost most (not all yet) of the long hair he had all summer.  He is due another blood test in a couple of weeks but the change in his appearance already is amazing!


Have you seen last week's video 'Follow me in September' on my You Tube channel?   

Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy. 

Until next time!
Jo

Friday, 8 September 2017

How Wounds Heal ....



As I mentioned in my Immune System blog the skin is the first line of defence against invasion from bacteria.  If the skin is broken it will repair itself!  I talked about the different types of wound in my Sick Nursing blog but whatever the injury the healing process will be the same.

There are 3 phases to healing:
·         Regeneration
·         Repair
·         Remodelling

The first 2 phases can occur in one of 2 ways.  The preferred method is called 'first intention' - this is when the edges of the wound are held together and will then quickly stick to each other.  The longer process of healing by 'second intention' is when the wound edges cannot be held together because the wound is too large and too much tissue has been lost.  In this situation the wound has to fill with new tissue before the skin can grow over the top.


The first stage of healing is bleeding - blood will leak from damaged blood vessels into the damaged area.   Platelets in the blood will begin to stick to the area and will activate the fibrin (or fibrinogen) which is found in the plasma of blood.  Together they form a seal over the wound.  As I mentioned in last week's blog inflammation follows as fluid and cells rush to the area.  The white blood cells (polymorphs) will either ingest any bacteria in the wound or will release a substance to liquefy the damaged tissue, which will then be absorbed.  

The second stage - which usually follows after about 30 minutes - is when the damaged area begins to shrink.  The polymorphs continue to work but new blood vessels and tissue cells will move in to replace the clot.  These cells will form a new layer of skin under the scab (clot).  In deeper wounds a similar process will be occurring further into the wound.  


This stage varies according to the tissue damaged :- the epidermis or lining of the gut  regenerates and repairs easily.  Larger wounds will have more tissue which needs replacing and so will take considerably longer to repair.

Cells called fibroblasts move to the area and multiply. As these fibroblasts multiply and produce collagen (which connects skin to underlying organs and also gives muscles etcetera their strength).  it results in strands of fibrin which tissue can be built upon - a bit like scaffolding on a building.  Epithelial cells multiply and use this scaffolding to 'fill' the wound.   Myofibroblasts  cleverly attach to the edges of the wound and contract which causes the wound to shrink in size!

Repair continues with establishing blood flow to the damaged area.  Capillaries which were damaged will produce endothelial cells, these will push their way into the wound and begin to multiply, these form a very basic circulatory system in the damaged area.  In parallel with this a system of lymphatic vessels grow which will 'mop up' any leaks and return them to the circulation system. 

So within a few days the blood clot ,which originally formed just after the wound occurred, will become granulation tissue.  

As the fibroblasts continue to produce connective tissue the number of blood vessels decrease and the white blood cells will disappear.  Nerve fibres will begin to grow back into the area.

The final phase of healing is remodelling, when the collagen realigns and the wound becomes more pliable.  This is when damaged tissue returns to its pre-injury state and when physiotherapy and other types of therapy can help.

Have you seen this week's video 'Follow me in September'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo