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crooked leg in a 5 month old colt?

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  • crooked leg in a 5 month old colt?

    Although I've found lots of adult horses for clients, I haven't dealt with foals very much.

    And I just looked at a gorgeous 5 month old colt for a client. His temperament was wonderful, but we are worried about the fact that he toes out considerably in front. Only slightly in the LF, but a 30 to 40 degree angle on the RF, to the point where he even sets his foot down a bit sideways.

    The seller has his full sister who is a year older, and says that full sister looked the same way (or even worse) as a foal, and with some corrective trimming and just growing and filling out, she straightened out to the point that she only toes out a bit now.

    So my questions are: How common is this? I know that many young horses who haven't filled out yet toe out more than they will eventually when they grow up and their chest gets a bit wider. But how concerned should we be about this amount of deviation in a 5 month old?

    Anyone here done the surgery to help with this problem?

    The horse in question is an Irish Sport horse/TB cross, expected to be about 16.2 hands, and his mother has straight legs.

    Thanks!
    http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

  • #2
    On a baby that young, unless there was OBVIOUS bone deformity, I'd be doing really good farrier work on it rather than opening up the surgical can of worms.

    In babies, taking a rasp across them as often as weekly, to keep them as near perfect as possible, does more to get them straightened out.

    That said - a lot of vets will opt for surgery on a bad offset, or if the foal is really growing unevenly (in the joint) and getting worse.

    FWIW, a LOT of the Irish babies tend to toe out at a stage of growth - their legs "come out of the same hole", and they straighten out very nicely as they finally grow a body to match their big limbs. Feel free to PM and kick it around if you feel the need!
    Homesick Angels Farm
    breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
    standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID
    www.IrishHuntersandJumpers.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Most foals toe out at some point in their development. 30-40 degrees is pretty extreme, though.

      By surgery, I'm assuming you mean periostial stripping. To be successful (if it ever is), it is generally done by two months of age, and its primary purpose is to correct angular limb deformities, not general toeing out with an otherwise straight column. I agree with AA02 about rasping often and good farrier work for those foals who are toeing out.
      Mystic Owl Sporthorses
      www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

      Comment


      • #4
        The window of opportunty for the corrective (stripping) surgery has passed with a 5 month old foal. As far as farrier work being "corrective" -- unless the rotation is strictly from the hoof down how will that help? If the rotation is from above the hoof, only the surgery would have corrected it and perhaps as the foal matures and fills out, some straightening will occur as the chest develops. However, on a severe rotation, it probably won't correct it entirely or maybe alot at all.

        Foals should be kept rasped and leveled from an early age so that the hoofs wear evenly and their soft bones aren't caused to grow a bit crooked from unlevel hoofs. Their hoofs get little points at the toes and can wear more to one side or the other, which regular farrier work will keep correct. However, even at that time, a farrier is not going to correct a crooked foal. Many of them are born pretty winky-wonk and it straightens out very early in the very early development and "unfolding" or the surgery would be the best route to take. I have never seen a farrier fix a rotation that starts at the knee, but he could try and make the horse very lame! JMHO
        PennyG

        Comment


        • #5
          Agree, the time to attempt any sort of correction in the foal has passed at 5 months of age. I've seen a number of Irish Sport Horse foals, and noticed a common trend to toe out...but they were mostly by the same stallion in Washington (he himself toes out badly too). Unless the breeder wants to guarantee the foal will grow out of it, with some kind of legal agreement, I wouldn't give any credit to the information given about the previous foal. It sounds more like a sales pitch than anything else.
          Additionally, should your clients ever want to inspect Irish Sport Horse, the foal would never be approved with a toe out. A good friend of mine had a lovely Irish mare, out of a Clover Hill dam, with a slight toe out on one hind and the Irish inspectors refused to register her.
          I would find another horse with straight legs!!!!!
          Proud Momma:

          Imax - Fresstyle x Juventus x Rubinstein
          2014 - Sister to IMAX (hopefully)

          Comment


          • #6
            Where is the deviation? Is it his whole leg that turns out or is it lower?
            As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

            Gift Hill Farm

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TKR View Post
              The window of opportunty for the corrective (stripping) surgery has passed with a 5 month old foal. As far as farrier work being "corrective" -- unless the rotation is strictly from the hoof down how will that help? If the rotation is from above the hoof, only the surgery would have corrected it and perhaps as the foal matures and fills out, some straightening will occur as the chest develops. However, on a severe rotation, it probably won't correct it entirely or maybe alot at all.

              Foals should be kept rasped and leveled from an early age so that the hoofs wear evenly and their soft bones aren't caused to grow a bit crooked from unlevel hoofs. Their hoofs get little points at the toes and can wear more to one side or the other, which regular farrier work will keep correct. However, even at that time, a farrier is not going to correct a crooked foal. Many of them are born pretty winky-wonk and it straightens out very early in the very early development and "unfolding" or the surgery would be the best route to take. I have never seen a farrier fix a rotation that starts at the knee, but he could try and make the horse very lame! JMHO
              PennyG
              Yes, there is nothing more than will make a dramatic change in this foal other than growth, which may (or may not) make a difference.

              I would have x-rays done and see what your vet says. What really matters is how the bones are lined up, and that's not always so easy to see with the eye.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by can't re- View Post
                Where is the deviation? Is it his whole leg that turns out or is it lower?

                Its the whole leg. And we also did notice that he seemed straighter at the trot. It looked most crooked while he was walking.
                http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Firstly, you didn't mention the knee. Is it offset???
                  Secondly, there is an EASY fix to the problem. And, it will fix it.

                  Dynasplint.

                  No surgery. Just a gentle corrective stretching. Whether it's an offset knee, club foot, whatever; Dynasplint will fix it.

                  People seem reluctant to try it (I have NO idea why) but it fixes an amazing amount of flaws.

                  http://www.dynasplint.com/ - click on the veterinary link on the left.
                  Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                    Firstly, you didn't mention the knee. Is it offset???
                    Secondly, there is an EASY fix to the problem. And, it will fix it.

                    Dynasplint.

                    No surgery. Just a gentle corrective stretching. Whether it's an offset knee, club foot, whatever; Dynasplint will fix it.

                    People seem reluctant to try it (I have NO idea why) but it fixes an amazing amount of flaws.

                    http://www.dynasplint.com/ - click on the veterinary link on the left.
                    I can tell you why SOME may be hesitant. I talked to a surgical vet clinic about using one - they provided them in a rental format - $1000 MONTHLY! And they said typically, it could be several months wearing the splint. Periostal stripping is much less expensive. I was taken aback - luckily, my foal straightened up nicely on his own - they did talk me into waiting before doing surgery, and I'm relieved I did wait. Of course, there is a huge difference between waiting on a two week old colt and a five month old colt As for toeing out - I don't worry about minor toe out (as the foals mature, they widen in the chest, which brings the toes back in), but as everyone else has said, the degree you are talking about is kind of extreme...
                    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                    Director, WTF Registry

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ok i have a now 4yr old. she started out with a slight toeing out. on her LF front foot. by a year she was turned out pretty bad. after a few consults with different vets we decided to do the stripping though she was already a year. at the time of surgery her leg turned out almost 90 degrees. had a 20 percent chance of correction. we had tried the trimming first and that did not help one bit. went with corrective shoes which helped but once they were pulled she would wear that hoof wall down within a few days.
                      this is what we started with



                      in december of 05 4 days before xmas she had surgery this was shortly after her stripping surgery


                      and this was 4 months later



                      i started riding her last winter. and she has been totally sound. still turns out a bit and will need shoes but the stripping did help out a ton.

                      all of this started out with just a slight toeing out. both sire and dam were straight. and is her full older sister.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FriesianX
                        I can tell you why SOME may be hesitant. I talked to a surgical vet clinic about using one - they provided them in a rental format - $1000 MONTHLY! And they said typically, it could be several months wearing the splint.
                        Your surgical vet clinic is grossly misinformed. Top price? $350 per month.

                        *edited to add: I have two friends that are Dynasplint Reps.
                        Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For a true offset knee where the cannon bone comes into the knee at a very different place than where it leaves (does not line up straight) how can any splint change the knee.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                            Your surgical vet clinic is grossly misinformed. Top price? $350 per month.

                            *edited to add: I have two friends that are Dynasplint Reps.
                            Not my vet, one of the area surgical clinics. You asked why more don't use the splint? Just giving you one possible answer.
                            www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                            Director, WTF Registry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not sure it's a "buyer's" responsibility to do corrective work on a foal. Unless the price was dropped dramatically to entice them and the foal was such that it was worth it ....

                              PennyG

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Bumping!

                                I would love to hear some other opinions and experiences on this! Thanks!
                                http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Over ten years ago I had a friend who purchased a gorgeous warmblood youngster who toed out severely on one front leg, so she got a great deal (about 70% less than the true value). She had him trimmed every month and as he grew in the chest the toeing out became less severe, although he definitely never became straight. If you saw him you would immediately note the leg deviation. He never went unsound and became a fairly successful dressage horse, albeit not one for the in-hand classes. For her it was the best deal ever, but the price reflected the risk that she took. She eventually sold him for quite a lot of money (a 400% increase) as a schoolmaster. His deviation was far worse than the one in "skip rainy shi's" picture. If the owner is willing to give you a "deal" and you like the colt I would consider it worth a try. The rewards might be huge! JMHO Good luck!!!!!!!
                                  www.vermontwarmbloods.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by VirginiaBred View Post
                                    Firstly, you didn't mention the knee. Is it offset???
                                    Secondly, there is an EASY fix to the problem. And, it will fix it.

                                    Dynasplint.

                                    No surgery. Just a gentle corrective stretching. Whether it's an offset knee, club foot, whatever; Dynasplint will fix it.

                                    People seem reluctant to try it (I have NO idea why) but it fixes an amazing amount of flaws.

                                    http://www.dynasplint.com/ - click on the veterinary link on the left.
                                    Dynasplint is not always the answer. I tried it on a filly that was growing too rapidly and unevenly and had developed crooked hocks. It did not fix anything. It DID leave her with permanent white scars on both sides of her hocks. Thankfully, we were still within the window of time to do transphyseal bridging which corrected her crookedness. If I had not used the Dynaplints, she would not have scars today. Dynasplints can work for some things, but they will not move bone.
                                    Mary Lou
                                    http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                                    https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                                    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      So what do the x-rays show?

                                      If the bones are centered and lined up correctly, I would not worry too much about the whole column turning out abit. Especially OUT. I would worry more about IN.

                                      As for the various surgeries (periosteal stripping & bridging), there was an interesting study that came out several years ago that pretty much debunked both procedures. Boy, was my vet TICKED OFF -- 'cause he does about a 50+ of them a year...I've had afew of my foals done as well.

                                      I think people spook about the window of opportunity, but I know that is flexible. I had a Weltmeyer daughter who was pretty cowhocked in the back (she had all kinds of orthopedic issues...). I had the surgery done when she was 2-3 months old. At 6 months (when the window was supposedly closed), she was still cowhocked, although not as bad. I pointed this out to the vet who agreed, saying "I was hoping for alittle better results."

                                      Now that filly is 5 yrs. old and straight as an arrow back there. She still has a bone cyst in her stife, but her hocks are straight <g>.

                                      As far as farrier work helping -- my vet (who worked his way through vet school as a professional farrier) says it only helps for crookedness one joint above the hoof. In other words, don't expect trimming to help straighten a crooked knee.

                                      That said, I still have my babies rasped almost from Day One and follow it up every 4-6 weeks. I figure it can't hurt, and it gets them use to handling. My farrier usually will do it for free if they aren't too much a PITA.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Dinah-do
                                        For a true offset knee where the cannon bone comes into the knee at a very different place than where it leaves (does not line up straight) how can any splint change the knee.
                                        Go to the site and look. Or, better yet, ask a Dynasplint Rep. I've seen an offset knee corrected with a Dynasplint.
                                        Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

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