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Stripping - Update Post #20

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  • Stripping - Update Post #20

    What are your opinions, experiences, stories about stripping to straighten a leg. I have a foal who is 3 weeks today who has a crooked front leg. Her knee bends inward. Not enough to touch the other knee, but significantly enough that it affects her gait. I *thought* it might have looked a little straighter this morning, but basically in 3 weeks it has not changed. The vet who was out earlier this week suggested stripping. I called another repro vet who also suggested it and advised against the splints at this time of year because of the heat, rubbing and sores that the splints can give.

    My questions are: at what age would you consider this? Should I give her more time? (obviously, this depends on the individual case, so give me your general impression) How successful was the procedure? What does it involve? (time, money, recovery) What are your general thoughts?

    I will have the foal evaluated next week by a repro vet and if she feels it is warranted, by a surgeon. I'm also giving the foal rejuvenaide, but it is a knock down drag em out affair to do that, so she hasn't been getting as much as recommended.

    Just a little history - this filly was born at 317 days. It is not even her "due" date yet. She is very large, and was only slightly dysmature. Very short haircoat and slightly tipped ears. Otherwise big and healthy but with this crooked knee. maybe since she was born so early I should give her more time to straighten on her own????
    Last edited by avezan; Jul. 6, 2008, 05:00 PM.

  • #2
    I don't know when stripping has to be done by, but I would probably give as much time as possible, as long as the foal was not lame. I only had one foal that I considered it on. I decided to leave him alone. He matured to be almost straight. My vet said the stripping will get them to within 4 or 5 degrees, not absolutely straight.


    • #3
      If she is still doing it, and since you are in VA, you might contact Morgen Flynn with Dynasplint. The co. website is www.dynasplint.com. Last I knew, Morgen could be reached at mflynn @ dynasplint.com (no spaces). I know breeders who have had good success with this.


      • #4
        I had one done many years ago, he was 15 degrees at birth. At three months it was significantly better on its own, after stripping it was straight by the time he was a yearling.
        I cannot remember if we braced it or not.

        keep giving the rejuvenaide..

        press her butt into a corner with your body at the shoulder and lift her head...
        "It's not how good you ride, It's how good your horse covers for you." -Kristan
        Magic Rose Farm- home of Beste Gold & Hot Shot
        Beste Gold & Offspring on Facebook
        Magic Rose Farm Warmbloods on FB


        • #5
          Originally posted by LavenderFarm View Post
          If she is still doing it, and since you are in VA, you might contact Morgen Flynn with Dynasplint. The co. website is www.dynasplint.com. Last I knew, Morgen could be reached at mflynn @ dynasplint.com (no spaces). I know breeders who have had good success with this.
          I would search the threads about the Dynasplint. There are mixed reviews on it -- some great, some bad.

          I agree with Fairview -- I would want to know what kind of time window you have within which to do that surgery successfully, and hold off as long as possible on it. In the meantime, I would be inclined to try nonsurgical alternatives.
          Roseknoll Sporthorses


          • #6
            We have a client foal here with this problem and the vet has planned surgery for her if she is not normal (or close to normal) at 2 months.


            • #7
              Here is a current thread re stripping on another board:

              Roseknoll Sporthorses


              • #8
                I've been talking to a surgeon about this for a while now. The surgeon suggests waiting until the foal is at least 2 months old - she says they often straighten up on their own, and many people jump to surgery that don't have to. For the lower joints, it must be done sooner, but for the knee, you have until they are 10 or 12 weeks old.

                My colt was similar - HUGE, a bit early (not as early as yours, but about 10 days early on a mare who is usually like clockwork), and he is almost straight now, at 6 weeks. I'm going to do a corrective shoe (epoxy formed) and see if that helps even more. His movement was really winging on one side at 2 weeks, by 4 weeks, it was much improved, and now I have to really look to see it.

                By the way, I talked to them about the brace, and they charge $1000 PER MONTH to rent one of them, and won't sell them. OUCH, the surgery is under $1000!
                www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                Director, WTF Registry


                • #9
                  We had one born preemie/mare had placentitis. It took 2 to 3 months for him to straighten out. He had to be on restricted turnout (teeenie paddock/not running with the herd) for that amount of time so he didn't strain the knees. He was on total stallrest for first 6 days, teenie paddock/restricted paddock (size of a roundpen) for 2 weeks, larger teenie paddock (we used the riding ring) for 2 months and was finally able to rejoin the herd somewhere between 2 and 3 mos old.
                  Providence Farm


                  • #10
                    I believe you have a few months time to decide on a knee. I would not try the dynasplints for an ALD. They might be fine for contracted tendons, but not for what you describe. I tried them on a big fast growing filly and had only huge white scars and a large bill to show for the effort. My filly was too old for stripping by then. But transphyseal bridging made her perfect.
                    Mary Lou


                    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                    • #11
                      I would give mother nature more time. My now yearling was born with a VERY crooked front leg. One vet really pushed me to do the stripping at 2 months of age but I got a 2nd opinion and decided to wait.

                      I did give the filly a couple tubes of Rejuvanaide, which I highly suggest doing. I also got her feet trimmed earlier than I usually do for foals and we paid very close attention to them.

                      Long story short, her leg is PERFECTLY straight now. I am so glad I didn't rush in to doing surgery. I did LOTS of research, talked to a vet I REALLY trusted and listened to my gut. You DO have time with a knee. 3 weeks is too early to give up on it straightening up on its own, IMHO. (My filly's leg wasn't totally straight until she was 8 or 9 months old. But at 5 months old it was 95% straight and I believed it would straighten the rest of the way up, which it did.)


                      • Original Poster

                        Hi Everyone,
                        Thanks for the replies. I will wait a few months before considering stripping. I am taking the mare to be re-bred this week. I will have the repro vet evaluate her and possibly have the surgeon see her while she is there and measure her angles. I don't think she is more than 15 degrees (but I don't really know how to estimate either!) Inca, who is your vet? I REALLY miss having A&M in my back yard with the wealth of vets and knowlege and facilities right there! We have a derth of vets in this area, so I am hauling the mare 2 hours for rebreeding.


                        • #13
                          I am in the wait and see group as long as you can. I had an inexpensive weanling I bought for resale off of photos from out west. I got him here and he was significantly knockkneed. Long story about how upset I was but the vet suggested stripping. I simply could not afford it so I waited and danged if he did not almost completely straighten out on his own. You can't hardly tell that there is anything wrong with him today...and he's sold and sound and no problems. A good trim, lots of movement and balanced feed.

                          Back up to 1989 and I had a baby born who was terribly knockkneed. Knees were touching No one even suggested stripping back then so we used corrective trimming on him. By the time he was three, he was placing high on the line in Sport horse shows as a gelding in the company of WB stallions. This was a nice big TB cross. He went on to be a very nice amateur horse in dressage and eventing.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LavenderFarm
                            If she is still doing it, and since you are in VA, you might contact Morgen Flynn with Dynasplint. The co. website is www.dynasplint.com. Last I knew, Morgen could be reached at mflynn @ dynasplint.com (no spaces). I know breeders who have had good success with this.
                            This is exactly what I was going to suggest. PLEASE, if you do nothing else, call Morgen. Talk about a non-abrasive way to fix issues.............this is it! Not to mention the fact she is right in your backyard.
                            Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                              Here is a current thread re stripping on another board:

                              Imagine my surprise when I clicked on this link only to be told that I have been banned from that forum. Considering I had never even heard of it before this link, that struck me as odd.
                              I had a dynasplint baby who is a two year old now. I guess I am part of the mixed review crowd. He broke his toe off at 3 months old and the pain caused him to avoid standing on it which caused his tendon to contract, which caused an awful looking club foot. The splinting and toe extensions did get the angle of his hoof relatively close to normal, but the foot itself is half the size of the other one. It would be much worse if he still had that horrible angle he had in the beginning, but he is nowhere near normal. That said, I would absolutely give it a try again before jumping to surgery.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home


                              • #16
                                Dr. Watkins at A&M is the one I talked to extensively and he convinced me it was okay to wait.

                                I was using my friend's vet since my filly was at her place. That vet consulted with Dr. Honnas at A&M and they both tried to push me into doing the stripping surgery.

                                Dr. Watkins saved my mare's life when she severed her superficial digital flexor tendon and had an 80% tear of her deep DFT. So, I have a relationship with him and completely trust him. After talking to him about all my options, I was totally comfortable with waiting.

                                I also talked to a friend of mine who is a vet at A&M and another breeder friend whose hubby is a vet at A&M. They both were also in the "wait and see" camp.

                                Dr. Watkins told me a lot of people rush to do the stripping surgery because it is low risk and relatively inexpensive. But, there is no way to REALLY know if the stripping surgery was what straightened the leg or if it would have also straightened up if left alone.

                                There is another surgery that has a little more risk and also costs more that they do if the stripping surgery does not work. That can be done around 6 months of age but can also be successful as late as 12 months of age (but the earlier it's done the better, as I understand it.) So, I basically decided to skip the stripping surgery and *IF* my filly's leg had not straightened up by 6-8 months of age, then I would have done the other surgery where they put a screw in the growth plate.


                                • #17
                                  Be patient.
                                  Stripping can be good or terrible like a friend of mine's horse who might have been able to walk, not hobble if he had waited.
                                  Mother Nature usually does a good job of correcting her mistakes, or in your case, maybe unfinished business.
                                  Good Luck!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by inca View Post
                                    Dr. Watkins at A&M is the one I talked to extensively and he convinced me it was okay to wait.

                                    Dr. Watkins told me a lot of people rush to do the stripping surgery because it is low risk and relatively inexpensive. But, there is no way to REALLY know if the stripping surgery was what straightened the leg or if it would have also straightened up if left alone.
                                    That is exactly what the surgeon I talked to said! Kind of a relief to hear multiple experts telling us the same thing!
                                    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                                    Director, WTF Registry


                                    • #19
                                      I had to go through something like this 7 years ago. I will abbreviate the story but suffice it to say we tried the waiting etc. My then colt was born very correct but due to where he was he was basically overfed at weaning and Mom had been way over fed during pregnancy. He turned out and rotated. No matter what we did, cut back on feed, stall rest, trims, etc. it did not work to stop the progression.

                                      Anyway, my point is GET XRAYS. Especially of the knees. This will clearly show how the joints are growing. It was remarkable with Maverick. They were sent to Cornell (which we live near, for second opinion). Maverick had a rotational and angular deformity, just looking at him you could not see all that but the x-rays "do not lie".

                                      Stripping was not an option so we had to do the transphaseal bridging (wires through the knee joints) on both legs. My colt was nearly 9 months old at the time and while we used are very competent vet, the wait was too long and in hindsight I should have stepped forward sooner.

                                      1. that his pastern joints had already fused and his right pastern would always be turned out
                                      2. the were not very optimistic b/c they considered him "old" at the time.

                                      Today he is a 17 hand dressage/eventing gelding. He is crooked but no one really notices. I did not start to jump him until this year-at age 7 and on low things at that. He wears boots when training even though he has only interfered with himself just a few times.

                                      have the films sent to a major vet hospital with vets who specialize in leg deformities. It's worth the money.


                                      • Original Poster


                                        Well, the foal is almost 2 months old now and I think we will go ahead with the stripping. When I took the mare back to be re-bred, I had the repro vet look at her and she immediately suggested stripping (this was at 4 weeks). I told her I wanted to wait and she suggested an equilox patch for her hoof. it sounded good to me, so we did it. The farrier was VERY conservative, and put a tiny patch on that you can barely see. I think it did help a little, but when the foal gets tired, her leg goes back to the same maximum degree of crookedness. A different vet preg-checked the mare (not in foal, darn) and was very concerned about the knee. She suggested x-rays to make sure the carpal bones were not deformed. They were not, nice and square. But there is a bony growth on the inside of the radius, indicating that the pressure from the crookedness is making the bone grow to match the crookedness. (I'm sure there are technical terms for this!) Anyway, the stripping of the growth plate on the opposite side should stimulate the growth of the bone on the outside to match this growth on the inside.

                                        So, what do you all think? I was in favor of waiting, but I think these x-rays indicate that we should do something now or it will continue to get worse. I will call surgeons tomorrow to discuss my options. I'm also looking for a good surgeon to do the stripping. My repro vet suggested Ian Harrison in Berryville or calling Virginia Tech. The other vet has suggested Blue Ridge. I'm open to suggestions and stories! Thanks.