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Alternatives to check ligament surgery in foal

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  • Alternatives to check ligament surgery in foal

    Hello. I have a four month old foal with a club foot. Diet has been addressed as well as farrier work and at this point the check ligament surgery is being recommended to me. Out of curiosity has anyone heard of or done any other methods of trying to treat this? I read somewhere else that an experimental treatment was being done where the ligament was poked many times with a needle to stimulate stretching of the tendons associated. I don’t know the name of this procedure or if it’s been done much so curious about it. I wanted to discuss this as an option with the surgeon who will be doing our surgery. I’m also interested in any other procedures etc that have been proven to be successful. I will definitely do the surgery if that’s the best option. However I am a think outside the box type of person and wish to know all my options before deciding. Thank you for your advice.

  • #2
    Years ago I bought a mare that had had check ligament surgery. I had her her whole life, and she never had any lameness issues at all. A few years ago I had a filly that had contracted tendons. When she was about four months old it was suggested that she have check ligament surgery, and I managed to avoid it. In hindsight, it might have been better if I had it done, as although she was never lame and superficially things looked good, her coffin bone had remodeled from the tension.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses


    • #3
      I tried toe extensions and dynasplints on my foal. If I had it to do over again I would have done the surgery.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home


      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        I tried toe extensions and dynasplints on my foal. If I had it to do over again I would have done the surgery.
        Went through the same things- and more. Just do the surgery- and early, if possible. The sooner the better for a great outcome.
        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


        • #5
          I had the surgery done when mine was 11 months, and while it may have "worked" to stop the progression, I wouldn't say that it cured the club because the hoof is still clubby. In fact, for all I know the outcome would have been the same with or without surgery.

          A friend had both her mare's fronts done and got the same outcome I did: the clubbier hoof was still clubbier than the other one after the surgery, and they were both still clubby.


          • #6
            Originally posted by kande04 View Post
            I had the surgery done when mine was 11 months, and while it may have "worked" to stop the progression, I wouldn't say that it cured the club because the hoof is still clubby. In fact, for all I know the outcome would have been the same with or without surgery.

            A friend had both her mare's fronts done and got the same outcome I did: the clubbier hoof was still clubbier than the other one after the surgery, and they were both still clubby.
            You're better off doing it asap- like under six months of age.
            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


            • #7
              Many years ago I bought a mare who I later found out had had this surgery as a foal (back when it wasn't that common). Her feet weren't identical but pretty close. She had no lameness problems whatsoever, and after I sold her, continued to have a show career. She did have some scar tissue on the tendon but it did not hinder her at all.


              • #8
                Do it! The earlier the better.
                I have an 11 year old gelding who ruptured a check 3 years ago. He had the surgery. His leg looks identical to a high bow. He went back to his normal work (Eventer).
                I did lots of reading before putting him under the knife.
                Everything I read suggested foals recover and grow up to show little to no scare tissue.
                If you wait and have to do it later in life you'll face possibly having to deal with a ruptured check lig (like my guy) and then have scarring that will make it hard to sell if you ever plan to sell.
                They learn to reuse the leg as well. My guy thought his leg felt very loose and wiggly afterward.

                Babies don't really give a flip. Lol.
                Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!