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How much of a deal breaker is OCD in a PPE for you? UPDATE ON POST#19!

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  • How much of a deal breaker is OCD in a PPE for you? UPDATE ON POST#19!

    I'll give you a little brief before I go on:
    I found an amazing 2 yo stallion 2 colt by Cardento from a breeder friend. It was love at first sight. He has huge bone and stands 1.66 (over 16h) at the age of 2!!! He is huge but light,very smart and has floating gaits. I decided to buy him and gave a downpayment to my friend (to stop other offers) and went along with the PPE.
    First they found he had a tiny injury in his check ligament (front right) which needed two months stall rest. We decided to postpone any more tests till he recovered from that. Three mo later we were back on the PPE and he scanned clean and ready to go, but when we went ahead with the xrays, he showed OCD in both hocks (more on left than right). He is not lame nor is there any inflamation. Also, the colt has gone through no training whatsoever (by this I mean jumping shute exercises), so it is not due to overexertion. I would guess it is from a big growth spurt due to his size...
    My vet said that he might never show symptoms or you can operate with much success and it can even come out so clean that it will not show in a future PPE, but even so, I have heard that buying a horse with OCD is a nightmare. If you operate and he comes out as good as new, why is it such a big deal? Are the odds bigger than they are telling me? Also I would like to have him as a breeding stallion, but it is said he can give his future colts OCD due to his size genes...
    What would you do? Should I go along with the buy, asking for a considerable discount due to new circumstances? I haven't seen him jumping yet, so now I would like to consider that first and then get into the dealing...but if he turns out to be a rockstar over jumps, should I risk it?
    Thanks for the opinions,
    Last edited by faraway46; Dec. 14, 2009, 05:51 PM.
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....


  • #2
    I bought a 4-year-old that had an OCD in his right hock removed. It has never been a problem for him as far as I know. So, I would do it again.
    "And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."


    • #3
      Would the owners consider having the surgery done, THEN selling the horse? That way you are not taking the risks associated with the surgery. Once the surgery is complete and successful, then you could buy him. Send the radiographs to a good surgeon and see what they think the prognosis is. With no symptoms at all, if the fragments are easily removed, I would see no reasons that this should be an issue. I understand that the hock is the joint with the best post surgical outcomes. I would feel good about buying the horse with a surgeon's OK post surgery.
      Fast growth is one of the factors that are believed to be related to OCD development. Lack of turnout/exercise for youngsters is another, as is high levels of concentrated feeds being fed to youngsters, along with mineral imbalances. It is a very complex process. I would think that it is something to factor into a breeding horse, but knowing there may be genetic predisposing factors would allow you to make proper management decisions with the offspring.


      • #4
        I think that if the OCD is located on both sides, then it is more likely to be genetic. Something like 30% or more of all warmbloods have OCDs. As far as a future as a performance horse, if you have a good veterinary surgeon who does a lot of these, the surgery isn't a big deal (esp. for hock lesions). The younger the better, though, for having the surgery done. There was a study done showing that young racehorses with a history of OCD were MORE successful than those without, possibly because the biggest horses are the ones who are predisposed to it. Still, having to have OCD surgery is expensive and annoying. I personally would not want to breed a mare to a stallion that I knew had a history of bilateral OCD lesions.


        • #5
          Majorly a deal breaker as a breeding stallion.
          Windswept Stables-Specializing in Ponies
          Sales, Breaking,Training,Showing, Stud Service

          Home of 2008 Sire of Year Reserve Champion
          Pony Hunter Breeding - Empires Power



          • #6
            I might see if I can get a hold of the x-ray report of Cardento to find out if this is genetic. He is KWPN so somewhere you should be able to get some information regarding his radiographs?? Having seen a few Cardentos, I wouldn't be surprised to see some OCD lesions as they are big & lankey horses. I found a Cardento that even I would like to take around the big jumper ring, very cool (and scopey!) horse.


            • #7
              I had a horse that I bought about ten years ago who was a big (i think his measurement card was like 17.3 1/4) hefty old warmblood thing.. when I vetted him he had an OCD lesion in one hock (might have been in two, but I dont think so). Vet at.. Morven? I think, told me that the place on his hock that it was was a superficial thing and would never be an issue for him. I was barely more than a teenager at the time and had honestly never even heard of OCD. I blindly took the vets advice and was never sorry. I had him as a pre-green horse, sold him on as a junior hunter, then did the AOs, and I believe he is still around and still doing the 3ft. He was Hannoverian, by Wertherson.

              He was a mean SOB, but for the kindness he showed me and his ability I'd take another one a heartbeat.
              Teneriffe Enterprises- NW Indiana


              • #8
                My 2 cents.

                I work as an equine anesthesia technician here in Florida. We do surgeries on OCDs on a regular basis with much success. If it were my situation, I would try to get the seller to reduce the purchase price and then I’d have the surgery done (of course this would be based on having a surgeon evaluating radiographs). I noticed that you are from Argentina, so I am not familiar with any surgeons from there. Whatever your decision, I wish you the best of luck--the horse sounds quite lovely.

                If you have any further questions that I may help you with, please feel free to PM me!


                • #9
                  bought a weanling from germany, had ocd in a stifle, had surgery, is now 8, and has never taken a lame step before or after surgery. has also never really been heavily pounded or overridden/competed, but he did show in low level jumpers til sold as a dressage horse as a 6y/o to my friend. as far as i know he's still very sound.

                  i also have a mare and would not breed to a stallion who had ocd surgery in both hocks. especially because it's the hocks, a typically sensitive area when it comes to lameness anyway. not a chance i'd wanna risk passing that onto babies.

                  maybe if you love him, buy him, geld him, fix the ocd and enjoy his jumper career?
                  Bigeq.com First in Hunter/Jumper Sales Online


                  • #10
                    If you are planning to keep him a breeding stallion then this issue would be more of a problem.

                    Most people won't breed to a stallion that has OCD.

                    If you plan on keeping him to show regardless of if he stays a stallion or not then I don't see why it would be an issue, especially if the surgery is low risk.


                    • #11
                      If available, check radiographs of the parents to see if it is infact inherited. OCDs often scare people away, but show no problems throughout the horses career. OCDs can be cleaned up relatively easy, and sometimes grown out of. I would talk to the owner about having a contract pending successfull surgery per her expense. I personally have had huge deals killed because of OCDs, despite the fact that all of my vets advised against the unnecessary surgery as they were completely sound.


                      • #12
                        I have a dutch mare that had OCD in her left fetlock removed that I think came from being fed too much/growing too fast with previous owners, she is now 7 and never has been off on it at all. Granted, due to EPM, she really has not been ridden much. I can tell you for sure, at least with the KWPN, if you want to get the stallion approved for breeding Dutch, they are very picky about the radiographs. I attended an educational seminar at a Keuring this year and they emphasized that. They did not say they don't take any and I think they have in fact relaxed the standards somewhat, but the KWPN is known for having exceptional stallions and very high standards of all breeding stock. You can also get a really awesome resource if you can get your hands on it from the KPWN in the NEtherlands, it is a report of the stallion's produce and how the ones that were inspected scored and his scoring at approvals and other useful info. It's not on their website so you would probably have to contact them directly.


                        • #13
                          As far as for a riding horse, I wouldn't be too put off by OCD, if it looked like there is a good prognosis and he hasn't shown any issues. Definitely show the radiographs to a few surgeons and get their opinions. I had a clients horse have the surgery on both hocks last dec, and the horse is doing great. Now, as a breeding stallion, I'd definitely have to think twice about breeding a mare to a stud with OCD issues. There are enough nice stallions out there without those issues to choose from already, why potentially set myself up for lameness issues if I don't have to?
                          Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                          • #14
                            It all depends on where the OCD is and whether it's a superficial area or an area where it would cause a problem. For example, I once vetted a 3-y-o who had a slightly clubby front right. Vet then did a shoulder flexion on her because said often the two are connected--foot grows clubby because not bearing enough weight on that side and blood flow is different. Slight positive on shoulder flexion and then the xrayed it and found an OCD--it was in a problem area obviously. The owners weren't willing to do the surgery and I never heard the horse doing much of anything after that. Anyway, the OCD in the shoulder caused her to carry her weight unevenly which caused her to end up with a club foot. Some areas are problems, some are not. I still shy away from any horse that has OCDs on xrays unless it's been in regular work for a sustained period of time so I know it's not going to be a problem.


                            • #15
                              Here's a good article outlining the condition and treatments. Towards the bottom they discuss surgery. Much like what has already been postulated on this thread.


                              One thing this article mentions is the possibility that if the OCD is occuring in a young horse, its worthwhile to delay surgery somewhat to see if it heals on its own, or continues, but cautions not to wait too long for surgery, because the complications are compensation injuries and further joint damage. The article seems to encourage early life surgery and also does say that it is considered genetic when found in young horses of big breeds.

                              Personally? considering your interest in the horse, I would buy him, negotiate a lower price for him on account of the surgery, have the surgery done myself, and enjoy this horse. I would not, however breed him if I did determing that this was genetic, and my sense is that it is, personally. I would geld him and enjoy the animal.

                              Good luck.
                              Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                              • #16
                                Well, I have bought them...older and in the work and on the schedual I was needing them for. There is a committment to keeping an eye on work load and footing and being willing to perform any needed procedures-surgery or injections-deemed necessary.

                                BUT...in a 2 year old never in work that has also had 2 months stall rest with a front check ligament????

                                Three points here...

                                1) For every glowing success story of horses staying sound with all sorts of conditions...there are 10 stories of careers ending abruptly or never getting started and mega vet bills.

                                2) Never make excuses for unsoundness or bad performance in a horse you are considering buying. The OCD and check ligament injury may NOT be just because he is so big so early. And there may be more ahead.

                                3) Never do business with family or friends. Because you cannot make an informed and unbiased decision based of facts. You are worried you will hurt feelings and damage your relationship.

                                Last of all, this is NOT a breeding stallion prospect with almost 10% of his young life spent on stall rest and potentially performance limiting OCD.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  Agree w/ FindEight.

                                  Depending on the purchase price -actually forget the price,I think I would bale out on this prospect for 2 reasons - check ligament and OCD. There are too many nice horses out there needing homes... unless the owners are willing to pay for surgery, I'd ask for deposit back.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Great advice...THANKS!!

                                    As always Findeight hit the nail on the head, specially on the "don't do business with friends" part.
                                    I passed on the colt, but not because I was doubting due to the PPE. Not only did I not get a reduction in price, as logically one would ask for because of all the expense and hassle of surgery (and not to mention a not so perfect PPE in ligaments either), but she increased it 20%!!! This was done once I had already done the PPE and paid for it, which I think is not correct because you can not change a price of a horse once you've paid for your vet (that is like a downpayment on ther horse with what those test cost today!!!). I agreed to the full asking price of $15000 and she rose it to $18000!!! I offered back $16,500 in three payments (33% cash, 30 days 33% and 34% 60 days later) and she said $18000 all cash or nothing. I answered "ok...nothing", but unfortunately I paid for a PPE on a horse I could not buy on the price it was offered..
                                    This happened because she offered the horse to someone else in the meantime (it took 2 weeks of exams to get a thorough idea of what to encounter) and she said it was too long so she offered the horse to someone else who was willing to pay $18000. This person eventually didn't buy the horse either when he did his PPE. Of course she called later to see if I was still interested, and I said no.
                                    I personally don't think it was correct to show the horse to someone else while I was donig the PPE nor was it right to up the price...so even if I still like the colt (and it would be for personal use, not resale...), I will not foster these attitudes...
                                    Anyways, when there's a wrong there's a right...Luckily 2 weeks later I found a beautiful Darco mare for $15000 4 y.o., backed and ready to start her career with a perfect PPE. So down the road, I am grateful she through a diva fit....
                                    These are pics of the mare:
                                    Last edited by faraway46; Dec. 16, 2009, 06:20 PM.
                                    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....



                                    • #19
                                      very nice!


                                      • #20
                                        Sounds like that first horse just wasn't meant to be for you. Glad to hear you found something else!