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Discussion on 2 yr. old filly with usual lameness

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Judy Henslee
Member
Username: judyhens

Post Number: 89
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, Jul 27, 2007 - 1:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,
We recently (1 or 2 months ago) sold a 2 year old Peruvian filly to a nice family. They did not have a pre-purchase exam, but I wish they had. They called last week and again today stating that the filly has some kind of lameness. She is concerned that the filly was injured as a foal because she was raised in a large paddock with 3 other fillies her age. Two of them were bigger than she was. Other than the normal bumps and dings, we didn't notice any lameness issues with her during her first two years of life. She comes from very sound stock.

Anyway, the lameness is described as follows: very occasionally will turn a hind hoof under, with the bottom pointing up, and walk (?)/ put weight on the top of the hoof. The problem resolves in about 15 minutes. Will stretch hind legs occasionally. Seems to be walking "funny". Doesn't run as freely as her other horses. The woman states that we could have watched her twice a day all her life (which we did - every morning and afternoon) and never see this, it is so intermittent. She first noticed this when she found her lying down and she tried to get up and almost fell over. Anyway, we are puzzled. I told the woman we would post here. We suggested she make an appointment with her vet, but that vet is 40 miles away and she is worried about transporting her. However, she said she would try to get her seen next week. Our vet at A & M suggested she make a video of the problem. The woman is trying to borrow a camera, but again, said it was pretty intermittent and would be difficult to see.

She lives 2 hours from us, so I don't have any first hand knowledge. However, we certainly want what's best for the horse and would never intentionally sell a horse with any lameness issues. Just never saw it here. As a matter of fact, I haven't even heard of anything like this and we have had 30+ horses for many, many years. Despite spending a lot of time with her, this filly was somewhat hard to catch and ran much of the time when we tried to halter her. She would then give up and we had no further problem. However, it did give us an opportunity to see her move (even though we didn't want to....) at a nice gait and canter very frequently. We just didn't see a problem.

I suppose the other issue is the individual's knowledge of Peruvians. They do run and move quite differently... Our A & M vet suggested maybe the horse was resting a hind limb, when the hoof was pointing up. He also suggested sending him a video and getting the horse seen by a vet. We are trying to accomplish all of these things. Does this particular group of symptoms bring anything to mind? Any ideas would be appreciated.

Judy
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Judy Henslee
Member
Username: judyhens

Post Number: 90
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Friday, Jul 27, 2007 - 2:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,
I went through a no. of your articles, looking at both lamenesses and neurological disorders. Since this is intermittent and (in our opinion)occurred following the move to her new home, I am wondering about feed changes/ hay changes. Your article on Grass Staggers sounds like a possibility. Dallisgrass and rye are pretty common in our area (central Texas). Last year's drought was terrible, but this year's rainfall has been wonderful for the hay. Everything is growing rapidly and getting hay cut is an issue. Hence the presence of seed heads. - Also just for your information, we had her on Purina's Omolene 300 as a foal, then switched to 200 as she got older. All the young horses and nursing mothers get some alfalfa, but not a lot. All are out at pasture. This particular filly was born later than the others and grew at a normal rate for a Peruvian. She was not over-weight and was not growing taller at a fast rate.

The new owners may have been giving her a little bit of oats, but we discussed proper Ca+/ Phos. ratios when she called last week. Wouldn't developmental disease cause a consistent problem and not one that only occurred for a few minutes intermittently? The new owner says the filly doesn't move freely compared to her other horses though, so maybe part of the problem is more consistent.

Judy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18920
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jul 28, 2007 - 12:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Judy,
Check out Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Diseases of the Upper Rear Limb » Stifle Lameness » Stifle Lock: Upward Fixation of the Patella and see if that rings any bells.
DrO
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Judy Henslee
Member
Username: judyhens

Post Number: 92
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Saturday, Jul 28, 2007 - 3:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I checked that out! Since I haven't actually observed the problem in this filly, I can't say for sure, but it is certainly a diagnosis worth considering. When we had her, she was in a large multi-acre pasture with 3 other horses. They ran and played a lot. I believe she is in a smaller paddock alone now, but I am not certain. Weight wise, she was always the smallest of the lot, primarily because of her breed and also she was the latest foal born. So perhaps adding weight and exercise would be all that is required.

If this is what it is, it would be hard for us to have missed it if it was a long standing condition. We probably "over-call" the vet because it is easy to do simply because of our circumstances. An equine vet is here 2 -4 times per week from Feb./ March to Fall to ultrasound mares here for breeding, check stallions, etc. Any horse that is off in the least is brought into the barn (each horse has access to two stalls and a nice paddock) and closely observed. We have had experience with UFP in one horse and would have recognized it. We had a stallion with an eye injury who was at the vet's stalled for 6 weeks. He developed a locked stifle. He would actually swing his rear leg outward and forward to move more freely. Never saw the hoof pointing up though. We were told to exercise him, walk, walk, walk and strengthen the ligament. We did and it worked! No further problem. We had one other mare with an injury requiring hospitalization at A & M. We were told after one week that she was developing stifle lock also, but not to worry. That they would hand walk her daily. They did and we never saw a problem at all.

What is your impression of the percentages where this is acquired vs. congenital (can it even be congenital?). We really need a video. It would also enable me to assess her current weight. Perhaps she lost interest in food for awhile when she was moved to her new home. The woman thought perhaps it was a hip injury. My guess is that would be hard to differentiate. I don't think the hoof facing upward and the occasional stretching coordinate with hip, but actually I don't have a clue. And she says it is so very subtle and occasional that we might not see it at all. Anyway, any further information would be greatly appreciated!

Judy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18929
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jul 29, 2007 - 8:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I really don't have a feel for the congenital vs acquired percentage Judy but congenital cases of UFP are diagnosed at birth. Some might argue most if not all cases that develop have some genetic component predisposing to the problem but to what degree is not known and probably different is every case.
DrO
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Sharon
Member
Username: shanson

Post Number: 102
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jul 29, 2007 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Could bad farrier work account for something like this? Too-long toes behind?
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Judy Henslee
Member
Username: judyhens

Post Number: 93
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Sunday, Jul 29, 2007 - 12:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I will asked about the farrier. Peruvians certainly have a tendency towards long toe and low heel. They are prized for their drive behind and some owners don't recognize the stress this puts on the tendons. Our stock have excellent hock angles, as does this filly.

Re: genetics. We have never seen UFP in a Peruvian and we have bred many over the years. Our experience is limited to the horse with the eye injury who is another breed entirely. He developed it after standing in a stall for 6 weeks. It resolved with exercise. The injured mare who was potentially developing it at A & M (but we never saw it...they instituted a hand walking regime and it never fully developed)was a different breed also. The folks at A & M said that this was common in stalled horses who stand still all the time because they lose some strength in some structures and increase it in others. It's a mechanical/ over use kind of thing. - The specialist there stated that they now take a proactive approach because people would get their horse home, see the new lameness, and stall them. Then take them out every few days and, if anything, it was worse. Answer: more stalling. The worse thing that could be done. Now they apparently hand walk stalled horses daily and make their owners aware of the potential for this to happen.

RE: Genetics. We own the dam of this filly. She was born on our property many years ago. She is now older and has been shown extensively, has won in breeding, conformation, and performance classes and to my knowledge has never shown any hint of locked stifles. She is ridden extensively and is a horse we can trust with any visitor. We are friends with the people who purchased the dam's dam, who is still alive and sound. The dam's sire was the only horse to laureado (made national champion of champions breeding stallion three different years) in two different associations - So 6 national champion of champions titles. The horse was shown extensively until he was an aged horse. On the sire's side, the lines were sound into old age - into their 20s. They reflect some of the soundest Peruvians in the breed. We went to Ca. to visit the sire prior to breeding. We are extremely concerned about soundness in the Peruvian breed because of the increased incidence of DSLD. We have made every effort to exclude any history of this in any horse we breed. Now that disorder is frightening!

Will keep you posted on the vet report. The vet who was out yesterday to ultrasound mares also volunteered to review any video they could come up with.

There are so many unknowns here. Is the filly stalled? Placed in a small paddock? What is her body condition? We understood she was getting a small amount of oats. Was she getting anything to offset the phosphorus? Has she lost weight?

Anyway, hopefully we will have an answer to these questions soon.

Thanks for your concern and input!

Judy
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Judy Henslee
Member
Username: judyhens

Post Number: 104
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Monday, Aug 20, 2007 - 7:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr.O and others,
Thought I would give an update. The filly was taken to an equine vet (actually a repro specialist) who confirmed your diagnosis of stifle lock. Recommended cutting the ligament - said it was severe. We requested that they consult A & M prior to having surgery. This is an awesome filly with exquisite gait. Should be nationally competitive. They agreed. We all spoke with a lameness specialist at that university, gave a life long history, etc. He could not see the horse for a couple of weeks. However, he advised them to exercise the horse on a line and, importantly, get her out of the stall immediately. They did these things and transported the filly to the lameness vet last Thursday or Friday. The filly never locked up at all during the time at A & M. The gait was fine. Absolutely nothing to indicate the need for surgery. He x-rayed joints and, I believe may have ultrasounded something also. No abnormalities at all were found. No evidence of previous injury, etc. He suggested continuing the exercise routine and giving her plenty of room to move around...avoiding stalling. The family is happy with her progress. Looks like this one will have a happy ending! Thanks soooo much for your input.

Judy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19047
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 7:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the update Judy, delighted with the outcome.
DrO
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