View Full Version : positive flexion.....now what?

Aug. 5, 2009, 06:18 PM
This might be more appropriate under horse care but I really wanted to run it by you hunter folks. I have had a three year old filly out on trial for two weeks. I have had her for one year and she has had no injuries that I know of that caused her to be off in any way. I noticed a lump on her right hind pastern (on the inside, just above the coronary band, about the size of a quarter). At the time I noticed it there was absolutely no lameness associated with it...no blood...just kind of a little crusty over it. She has been riding sound for two weeks while on trial but today she flexed positively on it during the vetting and the vet recommended not buying her. He also said it would do no good to have it x-ray'd or ultrasounded as an injury probably wouldn't show up anyway. So my plan is to take her home, turn her out for six weeks and then have her rechecke'd (re-flexed) and see if anything shows up. This is a super nice filly (registered holsteiner) and I am just wondering what you all think. Is my plan reasonable? Is it normal for a vet not to follow up with x-ray's and ultrasounds for something like this? I am really shocked at this and don't really know how to react except be really disappointed.

Aug. 5, 2009, 06:33 PM
Don't be shocked. You sent a three year old out on trial for two weeks and they vetted at the end of it. People that have horses on trial tend to work them more than they regularly would. The horse is young and presumably not used to hard work. Chalk it up to a lesson learned, and give the horse some time off.
Positive flexions are not unusual. It is unusual for a buyer to stop at a flexion and not at least radiograph the area. It's pretty unusual for a vet to say they can't diagnose an injury. It's also unusual to send three year olds out on trial, for what it's worth.
Your horse is probably just fine, and if you are still concerned you can have a vet that *you* are familiar with come out and look at her.

Perfect Pony
Aug. 5, 2009, 07:16 PM
Take it from someone who had been there-done that with a horse I was told not to bother xraying (and who definitely needed to be xrayed), I would xray the horse whether or not the vet thought it was a good idea or not.

Swelling and a positive flexion would be enough for me to snap a picture. A couple hundred bucks is well worth not finding out way down the line when it's too late that there is a chip or fracture or something else that could have been treated.

Aug. 6, 2009, 11:53 AM
I agree with Perfect Pony, you need to bring her home, do X-Rays and ultrasound her. It could be nothing or it could be something. Also, you should probably keep her in stall before talking to your own vet and figuring out what is wrong, instead of turning out as it might make the injury worse (if she has one.)

Aug. 6, 2009, 01:56 PM
Bring your horse home. They're probably just trying to low-ball you.

I'm NOT a fan of horses going out on trial for precisely this reason. You have not had custody and care of the filly -- and as CBoylen pointed out, they've probably been working the snot out of her.

You didn't say to what degree the "positive" was... But, IME vets don't fail a horse based on a flexion alone -- unless it's literally falling down lame. A horse can flex positive for a MILLION different reasons. MOST of which are not indicative of a real lameness.

Seb :)

Aug. 7, 2009, 01:46 PM
Hmm...wouldn't use that vet.

I can't imagine any knowledgeable vet saying not to x-ray b/c probably nothing would show up anyway...based on what exactly?? And if he/she thought that it was nothing...why fail the horse?

Flexions are funny - they can most certainly give an indication of a problem but nothing's foolproof. I had a horse that flexed perfectly fine but had a grade 2 lameness and we've bought several horses that didn't pass a flexion and were never unsound a day in their lives. Like I said, flexions can be useful but they aren't the be all and end all. Try having someone hold up your leg for a minute then chase you off and see how well you can carry yourself ;)

Aug. 7, 2009, 02:30 PM
I can't imagine sending a horse out on trial unless I was 98% sure it was going to sell. Next time you send a horse out on trial, insist that the vet check be done in the first 3 business days.

I vet checked a filly last summer and she flexed positive. Our vet recommended x rays. I can't imagine not, unless he was positive it was something else.

Aug. 7, 2009, 02:35 PM
My Vet does not do flexion tests at all during an examination. He finds them totally useless and anyone can make a horse jog unsound if you do it incorrectly. They often times just confuse everyone. Take the radiographs and be sure. And I agree with the poster above. Don't assume everyone is quite as honest as you would like. If they still want the horse but offer a substantially lower price based on these flexion results only I would be VERY suspicous. Best you check yourself and be sure.