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Clicking stifles and crossing over behind

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  • Clicking stifles and crossing over behind

    I figure it doesn’t hurt to check that what I think caused an issue today is truely the most likely cause. I trimmed Shelbet the cranky Ponymare today. She’s an 11.2 hand, coming 7YO mare who had 2 foals and is a pen pet. She unfortunately gets far too little exercise. She behaved reasonably well when tied short to a tree (since it isn’t intimidated by the Marezilla act she tries on new humans), but at one point when I went to her left hind she tried her ‘move butt into human and push human over’ routine. I untied her and started moving her in a circle with a crop& flag behind her. I got her moving and yielding her butt at a hustling walk for a couple circles counterclockwise and a couple circles clockwise.

    When I switched directions again for a few more counterclockwise circles, she suddenly froze with both hinds camped well underneath her and spread a little wide. She would not move, for flag waving or a smack on the butt or a strong push on her hip. Didn’t pin ears or threaten like I would have expected, just looked surprised like ‘I caann’tt!’ I got her to walk forward and she wasn’t off, just wasn’t willing to move butt sideways and cross hinds very much.

    We went back to trimming and when I picked up the LH and started bringing it forward to bevel – CLICK- right in my ear, from her stifle. Well, gee, when my knee starts catching I don’t like moving sideways either. Put the leg down and let her shift around a bit before picking up again. I was careful to keep her leg relaxed and stable while I beveled, and it didn’t click or give further trouble.

    I’m assuming what happened was that reaching across with the hind put sideways stress on the stifle joint, and some tendon got a bit untracked and ‘caught’? And that like a human knee catching and clicking, if it happens rarely than it isn’t a big issue? My PT’s recommendation to me was more exercise to strengthen the muscles around the joint so they help everything track correctly; vets generally say the same in cases that present like this? Other interesting/similar stories people want to share?

    Once again no diagnostic equipment in Haiti, no vets or farriers readily available though a vet team is coming in February. X rays and joint injections and whatnot just aren't possible for us, but it is good to know what other signs I might want to look out for.
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

  • #2
    Most likely a ligament and not a tendon. I think that what works for the human knee will also work for the stifle. More exercise and increased fitness will help with some stifle issues.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Whoops, yes, it would be a ligament.
      HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
      www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

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      • #4
        Try reading about sticking stifles. The usual suggestion is to have the horse exercise. Walking the animal up hills and having them do some backing are often suggested.
        Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
        Elmwood, Wisconsin

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