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What to do? OTTB w/ knee chip...

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  • #21
    I have to jump in here...I spoke to the original poster at length about this mare on many occasions. We do not ever say "do not look a gift horse in the mouth"--ever!

    What I say is--totally up front--is that horses off the track rarely pass a vet for purchase, due mostly to the aches, pains and arthritic changes that are part of being a racehorse for years. Since the cost for a vet-for purchase can be pricey, and the adoption fees are very minimal, it does not always warrant the expense.

    My job is to provide all of the information that I can gather at the track--incl. xrays/ultrasounds, and an evaluation by the best vet that I can find, (and we have some very good ones who donate their time and efforts on our behalf.) I have complete records for every one of the 325 horses which we have taken into the program since we opened, and I am happy to go further, and supply trainer info, or race records, etc.

    We also will work out arrangements to take a horse back if we do not feel the horse is being cared for correctly, or if the adopter no longer feels the horse fits into their program.
    Turning For Home, Inc.
    Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


    • #22
      Originally posted by Barbara L. View Post
      We also will work out arrangements to take a horse back if we do not feel the horse is being cared for correctly, or if the adopter no longer feels the horse fits into their program.
      I would consider this option seriously.


      • #23
        Well, I'm of several minds about this.

        First, medically speaking, I and every vet I've ever dealt with agree that if the chip isn't bothering her, leave it the heck alone . Horses can have chips their entire lives that never manifest as anything, and perform well and at a high level. So don't go looking for a problem, or create one, unless it's necessary. It doesn't help you to remove it either, in terms of sales, because you still have to disclose it was there, which at best means someone will send their vet on a "find the other chips" hunting expedition with the x-ray machine.

        Secondly though, I have to agree that sales wise, the chip is probably a deal killer. If you knew you were keeping this horse for your own use, I'd say don't push the panic button yet, but if being able to sell it well is a must, then yes, I'd look in to returning the horse, as 90% of buyers won't touch one with a chip, and the other 9% that will, will do so for a severely lowered price.

        I feel for you, I had a lovely OTTB who I had sold as a hunter, had been completely sound the entire time I'd had him, and they'd had him (extended trial period), passed the flexion, but x-rays found a chip the size of your thumbnail in his knee. Since he'd passed the flexion when I bought him, I hadn't x-rayed.

        I ended up donating him to a university IHSA program, as he also had extensive dressage training, he did both the hunter stuff and the dressage stuff. I'll admit I haven't checked in on him in a few years, but 6 years in, he was still sound and one of the program favorites. The donation wasn't as good as cash, but we did get a great tax refund that next spring because of it.

        I wouldn't consider the chip a deal killer for a personal horse, (depending on location, size, etc.) but for a sale horse, I'd be looking to send it back.
        Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
        Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
        Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


        • Original Poster

          It was not you, Barbara, who with held information from me. In fact, you have been extremely forthright about the mare. You are the only reason I know she HAS the chip! Thank you!
          Hillside Haven Farm
          From starting gate to start box!


          • #25
            Re-Sale He**

            Even 100% sound spotless horses are NOT selling right now.

            By the time you spend the money and effort to prove her....and prove she stays sound when she PPE's you will still get whacked.

            Unless you plan to run the risk and expense (since you now know and will be super sensitve) I would send her back ASAP.

            The owence was on the Rescue Manager on-site to apprise you of any and issues. That rescue has a policy of full disclosure accordning to parent director. If the on site management is negligant they should be having the horse picked up.

            There is no crystal ball to give a glimpse of how much the knee will take and how well the chip will mineralize or de-mineralize affecting arthritus. Conservative care would still require regular use of Adequaine and Legend, possibly 1-2X year joint injection pro actively to keep it as healthy as possible. Is your wallet up to this knowing full well you have a 50-50 of re-selling her.

            It would have been better to NOT know in some cases have horse prove itself then find out. But sounds like this was probably why the horses race career ended and no one wanted to spend the money to remove the chip. How many times did she run??


            • #26
              I agree to leave the chip alone. A dear friend just removed a chip in a hock that was causing some mild stiffness. After removing the chip, the horse became even more lame and now he will need regular injections the rest of his life just to stay sound and will never be able to compete like he once did (endurance horse). Surgery does have serious risks and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
              We Are Flying Solo


              • #27
                I have adopted some amazing mares from that organization. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience.
                It is my understanding that they get approximately 4 new horses a week and there is a waiting list to get in. The organization relies on volunteers for the paperwork and care of the animals. They also rely on the truthfulness of the owners/trainers donating the horses. I think it is entirely possible that she just did not know till later or forgot because the sheer number of horses.

                That being said I am so sorry that you have not had the same experience that I have. I so wanted your mare and was disappointed that she had been adopted. The one I took instead that came later to the program thru Turning For Home I would be glad to talk to you if you wanted to know about her. She has some wonderful jumping bloodlines. If you would like to talk please PM me and I will give you my phone number.


                • #28
                  Actually, we do NOT rely on volunteers for the paperwork! How responsible would that be??

                  A full fledged full time adminstrator (that would be me!) with 25 years of racetrack experience collects any and all background info, xrays. ultrasounds, etc., and schedules a veterinary evaluation from one of 3 veterinarians who work closely with us: a racetrack vet who also has evented and has a show horse practice, along with his very busy track practice; a track vet who also is on our board; and an orthpeodic surgeon who is also VERY racetrack oriented.
                  I also meet each horse personally and try really hard to get a decent conformation shot, speak at length to trainers, run race records, etc. Even speak to the state vet if I feel the need.
                  We are based right at the track...which means access to all the vets, all the trainers, all the exercise riders--every possible way to glean info...
                  Turning For Home, Inc.
                  Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


                  • #29
                    Barb, I think she's talking about SJTR not you.

                    Either way, I get being busy and not having time, and forgetting things. But I'll be jiggered if I *ever* tell a potential adopter not to get a vetting or make them feel bad about wanting to do that. I usually suggest and encourage it, actually. Takes longer to place a horse that way sometimes, but at least people know what they're getting and don't come back upset later.

                    (again, Barbara, not directed at you, at all)
                    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                    My CANTER blog.


                    • #30
                      I ended up with an OTTB that I later found out had a knee chip. I got in contact with his trainer, who told me about it and that it was the reason he retired. When I bought him, he was 100% sound.

                      A little over three years later, I retired him due to a ligament strain caused by an unrelated conformation fault (fetlock was slightly offset to the outside, and was going to continue to put stress on the ligament). This was in the opposite leg. He's happily retired just outside of town on a small farm of misfit horses. He'd be ten in April this year.

                      Absolutely gorgeous horse, when I retired him (ugly duck when I first bought him!). I never had any issues with the chip, but I'll be damned if that ligament didn't give me hell. It turned up in moderate, regular work - no deep/hard footing, we weren't jumping much. If you *DO* keep her, I'd watch both the chip and the opposite leg for compensation damage/wear. Personally, if you're not too attached and she's a resale project - I'd see if you can return her.