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Discussion on Club foot appearing at 9 mos.

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Christine Dye
New Member
Username: Tdye

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Thursday, Jan 16, 2003 - 11:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O;

I have a 9 mo old foal that has started to develope a club foot. This foal was born very normal. He was a tad relaxed in the pasterns at birth but was very correct w/in three or four days. The first 5 months everything was normal. When I weaned him at 5 1/2 mos I moved him to a friends barn so that he could be with three other foals his own age. My friend uses a different farrier so I just let her farrier trim his feet. About three weeks ago I noticed that his left front foot was starting to toe out and his feet just looked odd to me, so I called my regular farrier to go look at him. Today was the first day he could get by to look at him. What he told me was that my foal had started to develop (as of right now very slight) a club foot and that the foot in question had been trimmed with 3 different angles.

He suggested (and I agreed) that we put the foal on a two week trimming schedule for the next two months and if we didn't see any improvements that I should take him to a surgeon.

He is ribby right now and it was suggested that I keep him that way for now so that if his tendons are contracting we not exasperate it with a sudden growth spurt. He is about a hand higher than both of his pasture mates but he was born about a hand higher than them. All three of them were born within about two weeks of each other. They have all grown at about the same rate as each other. I never noticed any kind of ligament contraction or off angles until now. The only thing I did notice that his pasterns seem longer than they used to be. I used to think they were just a little bit too short. They seem to be a good length now.

I have not noticed any lameness.

After my farrier trimmed him today his stance looked much better.

So.... my questions to you are:
1. What is the prognosis on a foal developing this condition so late and given that his foot has already started to club? The reason I'm concerned with the age is I've been told prognosis is better, if we have to do surgery, before they are 3-4 mos old. But this problem is just now developing. I know it's not something I just missed until now, because my original farrier and I agree on this.

2. Do you agree with my farriers course of action; or do you think I should consult a surgeon now?

3. My farrier did say, very reluctantly, that the other farrier had not done that great of a job and had caused the toeing out; but he said that farrier's could not cause a club foot. Your article here say's that they can. What do you think? Don't worry I don't plan on sueing anybody :-) I just want to understand what happened.

I apologize for the length of this post; but I wanted to give you as complete a history as possible in hopes that you could answer my questions.

Thanks for providing this service and I hope you have some good new for me.

Tina
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7613
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jan 17, 2003 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

1) The prognosis depends on the cause, if it is poor trimming it is good.
2) Yes as long as he does not worsen. The first sign of contiuning ti worsen, call the surgeon.
3) Certainly leaving the heel long repeatedly can result in a club foot. After all if you can trim it out as he proposes it can also be trimmed in. But be careful, I think your farrier takes this stance because so often horse owners take, it is possible as the same as it is true and there are so many factors here no one should be pointing fingers.
DrO
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Christine Dye
Member
Username: Tdye

Post Number: 2
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Friday, Jan 17, 2003 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Dr. O,

I'm not going to point fingers or place blame. Just trying to solve a problem or at least keep it from getting worse.

I'll let you know the outcome.

Tina
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Christine Dye
Member
Username: Tdye

Post Number: 3
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 - 12:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK Dr. O,

Here is the update. We have done 3 trims approx two weeks apart. Club foot "seems" to be gone and the toeing out (which used to look like a deformity) now appears to be more of tight shoulder issue; which I hope will correct as he fills out in his chest and shoulders.

We are going to wait 3 weeks this time to trim; if he still looks normal between trims we will go to 4 weeks then on up to 6 to see how he grows out. My farrier is pleasantly suprised to see this foal change for the better; Says he has very balanced feet now and very healthy growth. We are wishing we had taken some pictures.

Anyway, I guess I'm (or this foal) is not really out of the woods until we see how he grows out between 4-6 week trims; but certainly good news for now.

Thanks again,
Tina
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7841
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 - 4:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Super Christine.
DrO
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Christine Dye
Member
Username: Tdye

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 - 10:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well Dr. O, you asked for an update so here goes. The horse mentioned above is now two years old and is perfect. No toeing out... no club foot. Life is good.

I have the same farrier and he still can't believe what happened and wishes he had taken photos.
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