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Coon footed, let's talk more. Picture added post #11

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  • Coon footed, let's talk more. Picture added post #11

    I picked up a group of horses, and one of the horse's is coon footed.

    9 y.o Hanoverian, otherwise built well through the hind end with a strong hock and straight cannon. But his feet stick out in front of the bony column with short pasterns.

    I didn't neccessarily pick this horse for a purpose, he was in need and I brought him back and we'll take it from there.

    trot vid: http://www.facebook.com/v/890719758534

    Please note that is this was a horse in a situation where it needed moved asap, it is not fit, it's a little thin, and needs vet & farrier work.
    Last edited by mrsbradbury; Dec. 12, 2010, 09:27 PM. Reason: to note pic added post #11

  • #2
    Can't see much. Can you stand him up against a light background and get a picture of his feet???

    It's always a matter of degree and what the rest of the horse is built like.

    But if the underlying skeletal alignment is off, the hoof cannot support the weight of the horse and act as a shock absorber landing a jump off almost any height where they actually jump.

    Farrier work can help but this one probably is going to last longer doing something else.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #3
      Do you mean it's CLUB footed? Coon foot usually involves a long-ish weak (almost sagging) pastern, a long toe and an abnormal angle at the coronary.
      It's hard to see much in the video, but it looks like the LF may be clubbed and it appears unsound on it as well. Can you post a photo of him standing? More than 1 would be nice. Maybe one from the front, one from the rear and a side view?
      "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


      • #4
        Watched the vids again. Is it the hind end you're worried about? Again, nearly impossible to see much on the videos, but if what you're describing sounds and maybe looks like it might be more of a suspensory apparatus issue if I'm understanding you. If he's straight through the hock and stifle with a soft pastern/fetlock angle then he might have a weak suspensory system, DSLD or simply weak hind end conformation.
        "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


        • #5
          Posting here to suggest DSLD - degenerative suspensory ligament disease (I think I got it right) also known as ESPA- equine systemic proteoglycan accumulation. Another poster, JackieBlue, mentioned it, too. My horse has it, and the first symptom was coonfoot.

          If it is indeed DSLD (confirmed with Ultrasound), there is good management and shoeing, etc., to give a horse with mild symptoms a good chance for a useful life.


          • Original Poster

            It is the hindend I'm worried about, I don't think the horse is clubfooted. I know what club feet are, they need to be confirmed with radiographs. And as for soundess, the horse is in such weak condition, having been standing idle (in a stall) for some time; only time will sort that out. He's not limping to and from the stall here.

            I will take photos of my concerned area and update.


            • #7
              Just trying to help. Very sorry if I posted anything offensive.
              "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


              • Original Poster

                Jackie Blue, I am sorry too. I appreciated your help. His feet are atrocious! Farrier comes tomorrow, the feet are in sorry shape, he has standing in an unlevel, filthy stall and turned out with a herd in a grimy indoor, no one could tell me the last time he actually saw a professional farrier; and I plan to do a vet workup as well.

                These poor things had a minimalistic owner, and are in dire need of some of what I feel is basic care.

                My main concern was his hind end. The pasterns seem saggy. The toe is not misshapen, and the coronary band is symmetrical. But his pasterns are skinny and short.


                • #9
                  How does the horse do with a neuro exam? Any resistance to flexing the neck in any direction? Wobblers syndrome can result in poor development of the suspensories and "sagging" pasterns. Lost an 18 month old gelding to it and I will never look at weak pasterns the same way again.

                  Another possibility is a negative plantar angle. (big horse with deferred foot care makes that something I'd want to check out) A really saavy vet with a good digital x-ray should be able to rule that out. Unfortunately, not all vets know what they are looking at in the x-rays.
                  "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                  "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                  • #10
                    Is it possible he is just compensating for poor hoof angles? I would work on getting his hooves up to par, give his tendons time to adjust/tighten, and then worry about how he moves.

                    On another note, I have a mare here with "saggy ankles". They scared me, but my vet tells me it is a conformational thing, and it is not tied to soundness issues, although we do have to work to keep her with enough heel.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                    • Original Poster

                      I took some pictures of the offensive pasterns while feeding. He's just about in the stall.

                      On a side note, this neat horse has a really cute personality.


                      • #12
                        Okaaaay, that's different. I've seen that presentation countless times in front feet, but it's much more rare in the hinds. The foot is essentially clubbed in appearance from the side, but I believe there's more going on here than a simple clubbed foot. I'd love to see a picture of him standing from behind to get a look at his heel bulbs.
                        First, I'm pretty comfortable saying that DSLD is not a concern here. A negative plantar angle isn't the culprit either. Front feet will look just like this when "ballerina foals", those born only able to stand on their tip toes, are left untreated. The flexor tendon/muscle apparatus is too tight/short in those cases and the heel can't reach the ground. Oftentimes the fetlock will buckle forward when front legs are affected, but that is less common with hind legs. As a foal grows, when the contracted tendons aren't addressed, the foot has to make changes in order to support the animal. The heel will grow abnormally long and the front of the hoof often takes on a bulged, convex appearance although the wall angle is steep and PIII is, for all intents and purposes, rotated. Again, when front feet are affected, because of the amount of weight they are required to bear, things go to He!! in a hand basket rather quickly.
                        So, here we have hind feet that I'm guessing are the result of previous soft tissue contraction or length insufficiency. I'd be willing to wager that the heels are strangely broad - excess separation of the bulbs. The suspensories are likely just fine, but excess tension on the flexors is to blame. The weak pasterns are another symptom of the root problem. At this point there is little you can do to change his conformation, but a competent farrier and your vet should be able to help you keep him comfortable for as long as possible.
                        Did you rescue him from an unpleasant situation?
                        "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                          I took some pictures of the offensive pasterns while feeding. He's just about in the stall.

                          On a side note, this neat horse has a really cute personality.

                          looks like mule feet. lol.
                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mrsbradbury View Post
                            I took some pictures of the offensive pasterns while feeding. He's just about in the stall.

                            On a side note, this neat horse has a really cute personality.

                            Get a vet's opinion - DSLD might indeed be a concern.


                            • #15
                              I have to agree with the DSLD. I had to put my gelding down due to it and that is exactly what his pasterns and feet looked like. His case was really bad and he ended up not being pasture sound. I would look into that with the vet. It is very painful from what I understand but can be tolerated with good vet and farrier care if it's not too bad a case. Also, you might have to more answers if you cross post in Horse Care. I hope the best for him, he has a very sweet face.


                              • #16
                                Candice, I knew a horse with DSLD, and that's what his legs and feet looked like.
                                Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                VW sucks.


                                • #17
                                  Definitely get a vet out to take a look. Poor thing. He's lucky he found you!


                                  • #18
                                    To the OP, I will stress that I know of what I speak. Er, I mean, type. I've seen hundreds of cases of DSLD and other limb deformities. I would have the feet and fetlocks radiographed looking for rotation of PII and arthritic changes. Lesions in the suspensories would not be at the top of my list, but may be a compounding issue.
                                    "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                                    • #19
                                      May or may not be DSLD/ESPA. Only way to know for sure is ultrasound or nuchal ligament biopsy. But, having owned a mare with DSLD it does look suspect to me.



                                      • #20
                                        A friend of mine lost her horse to a luxated pastern...his hind legs looked just like this.The luxated(subluxated?)one was much worse.She had to put him down after some time.He was much older though 26,although I don't think age would be the issue.She actually wrote an article about it in Equus.I believe it was published in the summer sometime.