My vet has recommended surgery for my two year old who has a club foot. Trims have helped, but a recent study showed dramatic improvement for grown horses, so he believes the prognosis to be very good.
Does anyone have experience with the surgery for a 2 yr old and up? Did your insurance cover it? And/or did it cause any problems with the insurance coverage for that leg later?
Are we talking about check ligament surgery? Can you send me a link to the study about positive results with adult horses? I have a clubfooted 3 year old that I have only gotten a dismal prognosis for surgery, but if there is perhaps a new surgery available I would love to hear about it!
Don't count on insurance for this, for a couple of reasons. First, it would not cover surgery or treatment for related complications because it's a pre-existing condition. Also, most policy forms are written specifically excluding coverage for congenital/birth-defect conditions--club foot is usually specifically listed as an example of that.
If the claim adjuster correctly interprets the coverage wording, you'd find your policy would not cover any complications or care for club foot, whether or not you pursue surgery. That being said, many horses have slightly clubby conformation in a foot and go on to sucessful athletic careers with no significant problems.
As far as I know, insurance will NOT cover a conformation flaw, like a club foot.
My horse was over at the knee as a foal. The breeder had her knee cut (I do not know specifics), that did not work. She then had the ligament cut at the ankle and THAT worked. She now is a little clubby from the surgery, but never off, no special trims/shoeing etc. Though the farrier asks EVERY time if she is "always stocked up in that leg" (she's thicker there due to surgery...)
I had the check ligament cut on my 3 year old to correct his club foot, he is now 15. Doing this definitely improved the foot. He was never sore due to the ligament being cut and there is only a barely visible bump on the leg from the incision. I believe that doing this surgery contributed to his long-term soundness and I would do it again in a heartbeat.