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Bringing back chronicly strained collateral ligament of coffin joint...round two.

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  • Bringing back chronicly strained collateral ligament of coffin joint...round two.

    2 years ago my Perch/Cob cross (basically a 15.2 perch) was diagnosed with chronic strain to the medial collateral ligament of his coffin joint.

    Attempt one at bringing him back failed. We did IRAP and shock wave, a few months off, then sent him to swim for 6 weeks. He came back sound but it didn't last long.

    He's had over a year off, with occassional trail rides recently and has been doing fine.

    Back when he was injured, I noticed his feet weren't being trimmed as short as they had been in the past. His previously rounded, fairly short hooves had become triangle shaped, with pointy toes. I'm guessing he was breaking over to the sides, hence the triangle shape???

    Anyway, thoughts and suggestions are welcome! I'd also like opinions on what to do with his feet. They are kept shorter now, which has helped him wing out less... and barefoot.

  • #2
    Is there a subject involved in trimming your horse's feet?

    Comment


    • #3
      I brought one back via shockwave and IRAP and a lay-up followed by a long slow rehab. (Diagnosis was via scintigraphy followed by MRI.) I started him back over fences almost a year from the original injury. That was in spring 2009. I kept him going with meticulous care and careful shoeing, though I never made it back to showing quite at my previous level, but that was due to factors other than the horse.

      Cue summer 2011, when something was just not right and the usual fixes weren't working. Ended up doing another scintigraphy, this time of the whole horse, and an MRI. Former led to a diagnosis of neck arthritis, which the referral vet felt was driving the front end issues all along. Latter showed a tiny amount of re-damage to the collateral ligaments.

      Injected neck and some of the other problem areas, and returned horse slowly to work. He still has days where he gets stabby at the trot going to the right on a circle, but overall is fine on the flat. I suspect that our days of 15-m counter canter circles are a thing of the past. Also, while I have cantered poles and brush boxes I haven't jumped him.
      The Evil Chem Prof

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Tom, the farrier trims him.

        Peggy, that's not encouraging. I think there's a strong possibility I'm headed down a similar path with my guy, especially since he's such a heavy build, but it's so hard to wonder!

        Maybe I should just save myself the disappointment and let him be as he is.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you think it might be the neck and you have a vet that can do neck radiographs in the field (easy to come by where I live), they aren't hideously expensive.
          The Evil Chem Prof

          Comment


          • #6
            My gelding had a strain to his collateral ligament and it was caused by an imbalanced foot due to incorrect shoeing/trimming. After one month of stall rest and getting his foot correctly balanced he has been sound ever since.

            Thankfully for me I got lucky and dodged a big bullet and caught the cause right away and got it corrected.......I do not use that farrier anymore either
            RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
            May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
            RIP San Lena Peppy
            May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Diamondindykin, can you give me more detail on the trimming that caused the issue and how you corrected it?

              Since his foot was so strangely shaped, and with more aggressive trimming to avoid breakover to the sides, he's moving straighter. I'm not super hopeful that it was that simple, but I want to explore that possibility.

              Comment


              • #8
                Win1 ~ it is a long story but I will tell you the whole thing!

                I bought my gelding at age 2 and he never had any lameness issues previously. Did a full pre-purchase with x-rays and his feet looked great. I bought him in April and after his first trim he became lame in June. We thought it was a stone bruise and it went away after a few days. In September he was started and we immediatly noticed that while not lame he was short strided on the same front foot he had been lame on in June. After 10 rides we stopped riding him to let him grow over the winter. I sent him to a trainer in May and this trainer happens to be a farrier and this horses farrier from birth until I bought him. As soon as he saw his feet he said he wasn't happy with the way they looked but since I just had him done the day before I brought him he left them be. During the first weeks of his training he would be off on the front right but would warm up out of it. Right before his first shoeing with this trainer/farrier I took him to the vet for a lameness exam. X-rays showed his foot was extremely unbalanced. One side was higher than the other causing him to not hit the ground flat footed causing the strain. He had also developed a splint during this time as well.

                His trainer/farrier immediatly began fixing the imbalance and he was put on one month stall rest with time on the hot walker every day. He was also on Isoxsuprine for 1 year. He has recovered fully and went on to complete 18 months of reining training!!! We are going to show this year in reining
                RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                RIP San Lena Peppy
                May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Yay, congratulations! I'm so happy to hear that everything fell into place and allowed you to solve the problem without much damage. I wasn't so lucky, but maybe if I've figured out the cause we can move on. Fingers crossed.

                  Tom, I'm assuming you're a farrier, what is your take on my observations re: the triangle shape his foot took having to do with the injury and prognosis?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Exactly Win1.......you need to find the cause so you can fix it!! Good luck
                    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                    RIP San Lena Peppy
                    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                      . . .
                      Tom, I'm assuming you're a farrier, what is your take on my observations re: the triangle shape his foot took having to do with the injury and prognosis?
                      Not sure that description is definitive enough for me to have an opinion.

                      Collateral ligament strains are usually an acute injury due to excess leverage/torque on one side of the foot in a severe misstep - like landing hard on one side of the foot coming off of a jump. For it to be a chronic condition from a medial lateral balance issue IMO you would have gradually decreasing performance over time and very poor hoof care.

                      Percherons and their crosses tend to have front feet that are more narrow in the front (resembling a hind foot) but for them to have a triangular shape the heels and quarters would really need to be blown out from neglectful trimming.

                      Here is an example of a Percheron front foot:
                      http://blackburnforge.com/images/Photo_092608_010.jpg
                      http://blackburnforge.com/images/Photo_092608_008.jpg


                      Either way you are dealing with a soft tissue injury that could take 6 months to a year to heal and may always be susceptible to future injury just like any other ligament or tendon injury.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks Tom, that does help and the trim you showed is what I had in mind and what he had previously. I did discuss my perceived decline in his trim, but the carrier assured me longer was better and a bit of flattening was ideal. She said she was afraid to take too much for risk of making him sore.

                        It's funny you mention the injury occurring landing from a jump. He was on and off lame for months, the vet couldn't locate the exact issue and advised an MRI. But the first time I felt a couple funny steps was landing from a jump. I don't know for sure if that was the offending incident because he would be sore then fine for a while...etc. He was also leased prior, so this may not have been the original injury. But, maybe it was and the chronic aspect was caused due to it not healing properly and being reinjured over and over until we figured it out???

                        If that's the case, I wonder what the chances are of coming back from a repeat injury?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post

                          Collateral ligament strains are usually an acute injury due to excess leverage/torque on one side of the foot in a severe misstep - like landing hard on one side of the foot coming off of a jump. For it to be a chronic condition from a medial lateral balance issue IMO you would have gradually decreasing performance over time and very poor hoof care.
                          What Tom is describing is exactly what happened to my gelding! Because the outside of his foot was longer than the inside he was landing off balance straining the ligament. It was gradually getting worse the more time his foot remained unbalanced.
                          Did you have any x-rays done?
                          RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                          May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                          RIP San Lena Peppy
                          May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Win1 - Star, too, had an element of NQR along with weird not-quite abscesses for a few months until, one day at a show, he rolled a toe coming off a jump and landed on three legs. The initial diagnosis was a only high-suspensory strain on the same leg, verified by ultrasound. But, three months later, when that was healed according to the ultrasound and the horse was not sound, we went digging for something else. Eerie parallel.
                            The Evil Chem Prof

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Win1 View Post
                              Diamondindykin, can you give me more detail on the trimming that caused the issue and how you corrected it?

                              Since his foot was so strangely shaped, and with more aggressive trimming to avoid breakover to the sides, he's moving straighter. I'm not super hopeful that it was that simple, but I want to explore that possibility.
                              Feel like posting pics Win1?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a little BLM Mustang with a chronic collateral ligament injury some time ago. He went for quite a while misdiagnosed as navicular before a savvy vet suggested ultra sounding inside the hoof to check the collateral ligaments when all the navicular treatments failed.

                                The collateral ligament injury was diagnosed finally and we did shockwave, rest, slow rehab, etc... and while he did get better, he ended up lame again within a few months of return to work. He was never terribly lame but more in one direction on a circle than the other...just enough for us to retire him from showing to light trails. On top of that we had EPM pop up twice and then very severe summer heaves. I euthanized this great little horse in 2011 for the heaves which we could not control any longer.

                                Our best guess was that he injured his collateral ligament when he was stabled in NY and they'd only turn out in a severely rutted arena...there were froze deep hoof prints and our two geldings would run around in there. It was after he was at that place that he started to have problems. So in his case, it was most likely a bad misstep.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I had to let go a very "Nice" farrier over squarred and long toes..........A proper trim is a MUST. Even better is to have an x-ray to see the alignment of the horses's coffin bone and internal foot , and then trim accordinly........
                                  Many horses have been crippled over bad trims.
                                  Personally, I feel like the quick, trim (in the pasture) doesn't really see the balance and footfalls........I prefer trimming on a road, or barn isle!
                                  www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428

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