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What to do about a club foot?

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  • What to do about a club foot?

    I was looking at one of our premium yearlings today and noticed that one of his front foot is looking a bit clubby. He is by no means lame, he grazes normal, he does everything normal actually. Is there a way to treat this? Shoes? Boots? Anything? Supplements? It seems to have developed in the past few months. Could it be nutrition? He was on seminole mare and foal with T&A hay along with some coastal then when I had took him up to my barn by my school he was on ADM Alliance GrowStrong, now he is Nutrena Youth and im going to keep him on that. I phoned my vet about it and he said that trimming will keep it under control, because it has just developed and he shows no signs of it.

    Is this something that will go away?
    Will it get better?

  • #2
    Club foot is something that needs constant care in trimming. It needs to be trimmed correctly to get the foot correct, then trimmed consistently and correctly to keep it good. This just means if he misses to many trimmings the foot will have a tendency to grow as a club foot rather than normal.

    That being said, I have a mare with a slightly clubbed foot that came to me when she was 4 and a half. It was at this time that my friend bought her. She had a bad childhood and did not want her feet messed with at all. Many years later she still has severe farrier issues and I have lost farriers along the way and spent months without a farrier. The owner of the place where she is boarded knows enough to be able to trim, but not correctively.

    During all this time I evented her, mostly at the Novice level, but I have dropped her down to Beginner Novice at times when her feet were bad. This was mostly due to her being flat footed and the hard ground at the end of the summer hurt her feet.

    I have had my current farrier for almost two years now - we have a deal, I pump her full of drugs and he puts shoes on her....it isn't ideal for me, but he is very experienced and I haven't lost him after a few months, so it is worth the drugs. She started out having two different shoe sizes and is now only off by about a half a size and getting better. She is 12 now and has competed sound with a club foot for the last 7 years.

    So, in a nutshell - with proper trimming, a club foot is not an issue. Catching it when the foal is young is also best. Start working on corrective trimming now and get ahead of the game and the little guy will be just fine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Get yourself a great farrier!!! Many club feet are made, not born that way!
      www.spruceglenfarm.com
      Like us on facebook!
      www.facebook.com/spruceglenfarm

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      • #4
        Many club feet are made, not born that way!
        I just shipped off a yearling this morning who has been on 'self-destruct' since I got the shipping date for her. The first ordeal was she lopped off a front toe--COMPLETELY. I have never seen anything like it before. If you cut the foot into quarters, with the heel/frog being the back, the sides... the ENTIRE front quarter was just GONE one morning.

        Two trims later, that foot looks clubby--but the chunk is now growing out. Farrier said it's a chicken or egg thing--did the toe come off that way because she might tend to grow too much heel? Or is she growing this way NOW because of the missing chunk.

        He also has seen growth spurts cause more upright feet at times. He certainly loved her legs and joints. Her dam tends to be a little long/sloped, so this is a first for any of her foals.

        I tend to think she's not a true club foot, but is looking that way because of the way things are growing.

        I certainly would look at the minerals and make sure those are all up to snuff, and would ask about using something like Rejuvenaide--even at that age. IF the growth is such that angles are affected, it might not hurt.

        Just my recent experience.

        My *past* experience is all sorts of unsightly hooves and toeing out etc., that every one of them outgrew when their chest spread and withers popped. So I have hope that the clubby thing will be 'outgrown' or is just a stage as well.
        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree

          Originally posted by railmom View Post
          Get yourself a great farrier!!! Many club feet are made, not born that way!
          experienced farriers can minimize the effects of a club foot and the sooner the better.
          first club foot I ever saw was 7 years ago and it was on a 4 yoa gelding bought by A circuit BO who bought him for a student. the BO said the club foot would be ok for the level of showing that his student wanted to do. the horse had raced with one club foot.
          and we were at a barn with a severely club footed (2) 18.2 mare, who was sound, altho her hooves looked awful. she had had 3 tendon operations before she was a year old, according to her owner who had bought her after the operations. This mare was sound for the entire time, over a year, that she was at that barn.
          so there are tendon operations available. And I'm sure that someone on coth has had this done and can tell you if it is effective. or necessary in your foal's case.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a two-year old filly that was born with contracted tendons. She was three weeks early and was huge. She had a cast on her initially and while things were working themselves out, she was "clubby" for awhile. BUT, with proper farrier care (she was on a religious five/six week schedule) and it took some time. Now as a two- year old, we have not had any problems with her feet. She can go longer in between farrier visits - upto eight weeks and moves beautifully.
            Anney Daugherty
            Winsmore Farm
            www.winsmorefarm.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Is it truly, technically a "club foot" or is it that it is growing upright because of too much heel growth?

              This article explains about the structural deformity "club foot" though doesn't go into the difference between it and the "tendency to appear clubby".

              http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=628
              I may have been away for a while, but I'm not gone yet!

              Crayola posse ~Magenta

              Comment


              • #8
                Try to connect with Beth K at Founder-Rehab: www.founder-rehab.com

                She has taken in horses with club feet and done remarkable rehabilitation. She is a wonderful woman who will gladly share her experience/advice.
                Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

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                • #9
                  When he grazes does he keep the clubby foot back and the other one forward ?My yearling filly did that and the foot she keeps back started growing more heel. The farrier made her a little shoe with an extension on the toe. At the next trimming she was back to normal. I keep an eye on her and rasp her heels if it is necessary.
                  Good luck !
                  http://sporthorsesnw.com/
                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sport...01526589966216

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RockingN View Post
                    I was looking at one of our premium yearlings today and noticed that one of his front foot is looking a bit clubby.
                    Is this something that will go away? Will it get better?
                    NOPE... I purchased the sweetest bay TB filly that we named Forget Me Not ... she had a clubbed foot that was very prominent. I gave her away to an awesome young lady who adores her.
                    They ( clubbed feet ) require constant attention from a farrier. Good Luck with it.
                    ~ Bill Rube ~
                    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
                    Check us out on Facebook

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      clubfoot

                      "He also has seen growth spurts cause more upright feet at times."

                      YEP. Totally agree with this statement. I have a gorgeouse now 3 yo WB mare that's 16.2h and not done growing *up* literally.
                      At 6 months old, she had a right front that looked clubby all of the sudden. Panic set in, we kept on a short trim schedule...turns out it was a sudden growth spurt where the foot couldn't keep up (expansion) and apperaed clubby.
                      She has huge perfect feet now and I still won't put a shoe on her yet. Not done growing.

                      So consider the age, the breed and the rate of growth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Get a *competent* farrier or trimmer out yesterday, and get this looked after frequently - maybe even a couple of times a week for a few weeks.

                        By chance, does this foal have a preference to putting that upright foot back while grazing?
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          hmmm I guess there is a real possiblity that he may have a habit of grazing more with the other foot forward. I'll watch him some tomorrow to see if he does. I'm going to get our farrier out here tomorrow and see if he's noticed it before.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can put a toe plate on him. Just the front half of the shoe held on with two nails on each side. every week or so rasp the heels.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                              He also has seen growth spurts cause more upright feet at times. He certainly loved her legs and joints. Her dam tends to be a little long/sloped, so this is a first for any of her foals.

                              I tend to think she's not a true club foot, but is looking that way because of the way things are growing.

                              I certainly would look at the minerals and make sure those are all up to snuff, and would ask about using something like Rejuvenaide--even at that age. IF the growth is such that angles are affected, it might not hurt.
                              I agree that she likely went through a growth spurt. Either stop her grain or change her to a ration balancer but feed very modest portions. Find an experienced farrier who knows how to trim an upright hoof and have it trimmed religiously every 4 weeks. I had a yearling that this happened to 2 years ago - I completely stopped all grain for 4 or 6 weeks and it reversed itself. She ate only free choice pasture and grass hay. She is 100% even and correct in both front feet now. The trick is to catch it early. I look at my young horses' feet every day when they come in. One thing I have learned over the years is that you can't feed all young horses the same. Adjustments are sometimes necessary. Good luck.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                good farrier!

                                Get a good farrier who, likes babies; and get him trimmed at regular intervals; Mercury was showing similar signs, but, i had a wonderful young farrier who, loved babies,and, was able to shape the"hoof capsule "so that his leg grew as it should and his feet matched as well as any ever do!. l
                                breeder of Mercury!

                                remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Horsecents feed?

                                  Has anyone used horse cents feed in such situations?
                                  breeder of Mercury!

                                  remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Opinions on a clubby foot

                                    Bringing a very old thread back to life!

                                    Obviously there are varying degrees of “clubbiness” ranging anywhere from a serious deformation to a “tendency to be a little upright.” Since I have had very little experience with club-footed horses, I was hoping to get a little insight to distinguish between the varying severities of a clubby foot.

                                    I have a 2 year old warmblood gelding who was our very first foal. His clubby foot began to show up as an early yearling. It was definitely a result of his grazing stance; he has always been long-legged with a rather smaller head which caused him to get in the habit of grazing with his left foot forward and right foot behind. Lo and behold, he began to become upright in the right front.

                                    We tried to intervene pretty aggressively. We had the farrier out regularly, rasped his heels every few days, and began keeping him stalled part-time. It seemed to help a good bit, but it is still present to some degree. He is still on the same routine (reg farrier, stalling) besides the very frequent rasping. Both vet and farrier say that they aren’t too terribly concerned because he so upright in all other feet. I don't see anything negative in his movement.

                                    The interesting thing is that his half-sister, now a yearling, is getting the same “clubbiness” in the same foot. The dam does not have a club foot.

                                    I am going to try to post some pictures I took of the 2 year old, and will try to get some of the yearling soon. I would really appreciate opinions on this foot, especially from those experienced with young horses’ feet.

                                    Thanks!

                                    http://i1361.photobucket.com/albums/...ps257a72b4.jpg ---> disregard the awkwardness of the hind foot here; I just noticed he was standing funny behind in this picture.

                                    http://i1361.photobucket.com/albums/...psdaa3d797.jpg

                                    http://i1361.photobucket.com/albums/...ps97643d26.jpg

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by showjumper90 View Post
                                      His clubby foot began to show up as an early yearling. It was definitely a result of his grazing stance; he has always been long-legged with a rather smaller head which caused him to get in the habit of grazing with his left foot forward and right foot behind. Lo and behold, he began to become upright in the right front.
                                      I have since learned that around the yearling stage is when a genetic club(y) foot will show up, and it causes the grazing stance, as opposed to the other way around

                                      Do you have any solar pictures of these 2 front feet?
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Some years ago I traveled to try a lovely young dressage mare. She was 6, just starting second level. I get there and find out that the mare has a club foot. Mare was sound, rode nicely, easy on the ground, owner discussed the need for good farrier, feet looked well maintained.
                                        I decided to move forward w/ the horse and arranged a PPE. Come to find out from the films that she had significant rotation in that club foot. Owner was nice enough to provide films from when the mare was 4, which were good.

                                        So I guess the moral of the story is to keep an eye on the inside as well. I obviously passed on the mare
                                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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