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Foal with contracted tendons?


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#1 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:15 PM

My new filly has contracted tendons in the front just enough to keep her from being able to lock her knees completely. The vet has suggested tetracycline shots to bind with the calcium in her body which will relax her muscles and tendons. Or the other option is leg bands. I'm leaning more torwards the shots. If you've had experience in this area, please share. Any advice or experience is greatly appreciated! You can see it in this pic - notice how her knees are slightly bent. THANKS! [Smiley Wavey]

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#2 fhchik06

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:22 PM

Aww, she's adorable... but sorry, I have no expeerience with that... just had to comment on her!

#3 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:59 PM

Thanks fhchik06! Those kind of comments are always appreciated. [Big Grin] [Huggy]

#4 DawnC

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:22 PM

Hi scs...

I worked at a Morgan breeder for a couple of years who had this crop up more than once. (Geeeeeee, maybe time to stop breeding that particular mare/stallion combination eh? [Crazy] They had 6 (SIX) babies out of that combo... 3 of which had issues of some sort [Eek!] )

I worked with one youngster that had a similar level as what you had pictured, and one with a MUCH more severe case, rolled all of the way over on his toes, required surgery to fix.

Both turned out FINE... solid as a rock when I left, one was a yearling and the other had a pretty solid start to him under saddle.

It has been a while since I worked them, but we did a LOT of hand-walking, and ALL food/water items were fed on the ground to encourage stretching. Neither got injections. Both were put into a fairly agressive rotation w/a good farrier.

Sorry that I'm not much help... really was a while ago.

[ 07-26-2005, 07:24 PM: Message edited by: DawnC ]

#5 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:26 PM

Thanks Dawn! I hadn't thought about ground feeding forcing them to bend over and stretch the tendons. Great great idea! [Huggy] [Jump]

#6 mdiamond

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:43 PM

I had a foal last year that was very "over" in the knees when born.He even walked on his toes to some extent. By the time he was a month old you couldn't tell other than his knees bumped forward. He has grown into them and is straight.

The main thing is that she still places the hoof flat on the ground when she is walking. With time, age and excersize your fillies will be straight before she's weaned.
Most foals with excersize will straighten.

I had an old horseman tell me that "race horse" folk prefer a foal with legs like that when born rather than legs that bend the other way. Much stronger and less likely to hyper-extend the knee.

I think your filly looks just fine and just watch her closely. She really doesn't look bad in the legs at all. [Smile]

#7 leoned

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:49 PM

For the little colt, who was way worse than your baby, we did the shots, and it was, well.... miraculous

the filly we had, we did hand walking as well as turn out (yup - dawnC is right - all the exercise and stretch) and she turned out fine - but we also did massage with her 3x per day too (while she is standing, massage and push and stretch the tendon for about 10 minutes max - and, obviously, don't go crazy) and had quite an aggressive farrier regime (which I did when she was asleep tee hee) to lower those heels and prevent the hooves even thinking about going clubby....

however...... if your vet advises shots - go for it, because I believe that you only have a short 'window of opportunity' (tho' I'm not absolutely 100% about the time limit...)

good luck - pretty girly!

[Smiley Wavey]

#8 cvm2002

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:51 PM

I've had research published on the use of oxytetracycline in foals for flexural deformities. Its not a cure-all by any means, and the success with this therapy depends on a number of things: 1) How old is the foal? The longer the contracture has been present, the less likely oxytet will treat the problem. 2) What is the foal's overall health? Oxytet can be harsh on the kidneys, and we give a *whopping* (nice medical term there!) dose compared to what would be administered for true antibiotic therapy. 3) Can the deformities be reduced manually?

My experience is that oxytet works very well for distal limb flexural deformities at the coffin and fetlock. I've had less success with carpal deformities. This deformity involves the superficial digital flexor, and superior check ligament surgery would be a sure-fire and relatively easy procedure to do. I'd say try the oxytet. If it doesn't work, you're only out a few bucks. Not sure what's meant by "leg bands" though.

#9 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:37 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses!

CVM - she is 25 days old today. She was born very knock kneed or carpas valgus is the correct term I believe. As her lower front limbs have straightened mainly in the last 10 days, the tendons have contracted. She's not walking on her toes really but she just can't lock her front knees - they stay bent ever so slightly and shake just a little. However, she gets around just fine even to the point of running up and down a steep hill in my pasture. And she's also very naturally gaited so this hasn't affected that at all so far. She's in very good health otherwise so I'm going to try the Oxytetracycline. I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experience with me! [Not Worthy] [Huggy]

#10 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:44 PM

quote:
Can the deformities be reduced manually?

CVM - My understanding is that the leg bands would manually stretch the tendons out. I heard "leg bands" but I may be using the wrong word. By manually, are you referring to something else such as farrier work? The vet rasped the outer edge of her front hooves in order to help the knock knees but I'm not sure if that will do anything for the tendon issue?? Please clarify reducing the deformities manually if possible. Thanks!!!

#11 RA

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:47 PM

My neighbors had a little colt with severely contracted tendons.

Along with the above treatments, their vet also gave the colt selenium injections. Our area is very selenium deficient. The mare had not been given prenatal care - they didn't know she was pregnant when they bought her.

They massaged that little guy so much they worn the hair off of his butt! He could barely stand and bunny hopped instead of walked. He now is a beautiful little pony - you would never know he was not expected to make it.

#12 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:37 PM

Thanks RA - I very much appreciate the encouragment! [Huggy]

#13 cvm2002

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 05:44 PM

quote:
Originally posted by scs7646:
Please clarify reducing the deformities manually if possible. Thanks!!!

Just like what it sounds.....If you put one hand above the carpus, one hand below, can you manually stretch the limb into a normal conformation? Or is it "locked" in that position?

#14 scs7646

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:23 AM

Yes CVM - I can stretch her legs easily into the right position. I'm also noticing that the trembling is much worse in the afternoon than the mornings. So muscle fatique from playing all day must make it worse. Honestly, this morning she seemed just fine but last night was a different story [Confused] . I've called Dr. Debra Ruffin at Auburns Large Animal Clinic to come take a look at her. She has done recent research on tendon issues in foals. I feel that she'll probably be fine without any additional help but just need to make sure. I'm driving my hubby crazy worrying about it! [Roll Eyes] I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks again for all the good advice! [Smiley Wavey] Wish us luck. Indy doesn't want to have surgery. [Frown]

#15 scs7646

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:22 AM

Just an update - Doc for AU says that Indy is fine. Said that she obviously was born a little premature but with exercise everything will be fine. She has just started actually grazing on her own a few days ago and that is doing wonders for stretching the tendons. So it's all "GOOD"! [Big Grin] Thanks to everyone for your responses and support! [Not Worthy] [Huggy] [Smiley Wavey]

#16 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:15 PM

My new filly has contracted tendons in the front just enough to keep her from being able to lock her knees completely. The vet has suggested tetracycline shots to bind with the calcium in her body which will relax her muscles and tendons. Or the other option is leg bands. I'm leaning more torwards the shots. If you've had experience in this area, please share. Any advice or experience is greatly appreciated! You can see it in this pic - notice how her knees are slightly bent. THANKS! [Smiley Wavey]

 -

#17 fhchik06

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:22 PM

Aww, she's adorable... but sorry, I have no expeerience with that... just had to comment on her!

#18 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:59 PM

Thanks fhchik06! Those kind of comments are always appreciated. [Big Grin] [Huggy]

#19 DawnC

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:22 PM

Hi scs...

I worked at a Morgan breeder for a couple of years who had this crop up more than once. (Geeeeeee, maybe time to stop breeding that particular mare/stallion combination eh? [Crazy] They had 6 (SIX) babies out of that combo... 3 of which had issues of some sort [Eek!] )

I worked with one youngster that had a similar level as what you had pictured, and one with a MUCH more severe case, rolled all of the way over on his toes, required surgery to fix.

Both turned out FINE... solid as a rock when I left, one was a yearling and the other had a pretty solid start to him under saddle.

It has been a while since I worked them, but we did a LOT of hand-walking, and ALL food/water items were fed on the ground to encourage stretching. Neither got injections. Both were put into a fairly agressive rotation w/a good farrier.

Sorry that I'm not much help... really was a while ago.

[ 07-26-2005, 07:24 PM: Message edited by: DawnC ]

#20 scs7646

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 07:26 PM

Thanks Dawn! I hadn't thought about ground feeding forcing them to bend over and stretch the tendons. Great great idea! [Huggy] [Jump]

#21 mdiamond

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:43 PM

I had a foal last year that was very "over" in the knees when born.He even walked on his toes to some extent. By the time he was a month old you couldn't tell other than his knees bumped forward. He has grown into them and is straight.

The main thing is that she still places the hoof flat on the ground when she is walking. With time, age and excersize your fillies will be straight before she's weaned.
Most foals with excersize will straighten.

I had an old horseman tell me that "race horse" folk prefer a foal with legs like that when born rather than legs that bend the other way. Much stronger and less likely to hyper-extend the knee.

I think your filly looks just fine and just watch her closely. She really doesn't look bad in the legs at all. [Smile]

#22 leoned

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:49 PM

For the little colt, who was way worse than your baby, we did the shots, and it was, well.... miraculous

the filly we had, we did hand walking as well as turn out (yup - dawnC is right - all the exercise and stretch) and she turned out fine - but we also did massage with her 3x per day too (while she is standing, massage and push and stretch the tendon for about 10 minutes max - and, obviously, don't go crazy) and had quite an aggressive farrier regime (which I did when she was asleep tee hee) to lower those heels and prevent the hooves even thinking about going clubby....

however...... if your vet advises shots - go for it, because I believe that you only have a short 'window of opportunity' (tho' I'm not absolutely 100% about the time limit...)

good luck - pretty girly!

[Smiley Wavey]

#23 cvm2002

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:51 PM

I've had research published on the use of oxytetracycline in foals for flexural deformities. Its not a cure-all by any means, and the success with this therapy depends on a number of things: 1) How old is the foal? The longer the contracture has been present, the less likely oxytet will treat the problem. 2) What is the foal's overall health? Oxytet can be harsh on the kidneys, and we give a *whopping* (nice medical term there!) dose compared to what would be administered for true antibiotic therapy. 3) Can the deformities be reduced manually?

My experience is that oxytet works very well for distal limb flexural deformities at the coffin and fetlock. I've had less success with carpal deformities. This deformity involves the superficial digital flexor, and superior check ligament surgery would be a sure-fire and relatively easy procedure to do. I'd say try the oxytet. If it doesn't work, you're only out a few bucks. Not sure what's meant by "leg bands" though.

#24 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:37 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses!

CVM - she is 25 days old today. She was born very knock kneed or carpas valgus is the correct term I believe. As her lower front limbs have straightened mainly in the last 10 days, the tendons have contracted. She's not walking on her toes really but she just can't lock her front knees - they stay bent ever so slightly and shake just a little. However, she gets around just fine even to the point of running up and down a steep hill in my pasture. And she's also very naturally gaited so this hasn't affected that at all so far. She's in very good health otherwise so I'm going to try the Oxytetracycline. I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your experience with me! [Not Worthy] [Huggy]

#25 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:44 PM

quote:
Can the deformities be reduced manually?

CVM - My understanding is that the leg bands would manually stretch the tendons out. I heard "leg bands" but I may be using the wrong word. By manually, are you referring to something else such as farrier work? The vet rasped the outer edge of her front hooves in order to help the knock knees but I'm not sure if that will do anything for the tendon issue?? Please clarify reducing the deformities manually if possible. Thanks!!!

#26 RA

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:47 PM

My neighbors had a little colt with severely contracted tendons.

Along with the above treatments, their vet also gave the colt selenium injections. Our area is very selenium deficient. The mare had not been given prenatal care - they didn't know she was pregnant when they bought her.

They massaged that little guy so much they worn the hair off of his butt! He could barely stand and bunny hopped instead of walked. He now is a beautiful little pony - you would never know he was not expected to make it.

#27 scs7646

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:37 PM

Thanks RA - I very much appreciate the encouragment! [Huggy]

#28 cvm2002

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 05:44 PM

quote:
Originally posted by scs7646:
Please clarify reducing the deformities manually if possible. Thanks!!!

Just like what it sounds.....If you put one hand above the carpus, one hand below, can you manually stretch the limb into a normal conformation? Or is it "locked" in that position?

#29 scs7646

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:23 AM

Yes CVM - I can stretch her legs easily into the right position. I'm also noticing that the trembling is much worse in the afternoon than the mornings. So muscle fatique from playing all day must make it worse. Honestly, this morning she seemed just fine but last night was a different story [Confused] . I've called Dr. Debra Ruffin at Auburns Large Animal Clinic to come take a look at her. She has done recent research on tendon issues in foals. I feel that she'll probably be fine without any additional help but just need to make sure. I'm driving my hubby crazy worrying about it! [Roll Eyes] I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks again for all the good advice! [Smiley Wavey] Wish us luck. Indy doesn't want to have surgery. [Frown]

#30 scs7646

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:22 AM

Just an update - Doc for AU says that Indy is fine. Said that she obviously was born a little premature but with exercise everything will be fine. She has just started actually grazing on her own a few days ago and that is doing wonders for stretching the tendons. So it's all "GOOD"! [Big Grin] Thanks to everyone for your responses and support! [Not Worthy] [Huggy] [Smiley Wavey]