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#1 2016-11-08 13:54:57

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
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Help! Stifle Lock.

Horse Daughter, for almost a year now, has been dealing with a large warmblood mare, her 'dream' horse. She paid more for this horse than she's ever paid for a horse and hoped this would be the event horse she's been dreaming of.

From the first day the horse arrived HD has said, hmm, something is 'off'. Never could put her finger on it. Something just wasn't right.

Under pretty steady and heavy training lately HD's worst suspicions are confirmed. The horse has stifle lock. It will not be a jumper, it will not be an eventer. Over rough terrain it will probably never even be a trail horse. It has been almost IMPOSSIBLE to get any weight on this horse and we wonder now if there isn't chronic low level pain.

THe horse is a sweet heart. Wants nothing more than to stand as close to you as she can and blink her big eyes. Follows everyone around like a dog. Except downhill. Down a steep hill she breaks away from a straight path behind you and zigzags down a slope, because using her legs the proper way down a slope is very hard and possibly painful for her. (among other symptoms that all point to stifle lock)

The horse is very well bred, very nice example of the breed, I think 4 years old (might be 5?).

Vets have been called in (none have seen the horse for this condition yet) but she's pretty sure what the diagnosis will be and it is not going to lead to a good outcome for the horse.

Does anyone have experience with stifle lock and have any information to add? We are hoping for a miracle.

Last edited by uno (2016-11-08 13:55:42)

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#2 2016-11-08 22:18:30

lady leghorn
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From: Okanagan Falls B.C.
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 3326

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

One of our Miniature horse Stallions hurt himself, we saw what happened.  He was sore for awhile.   But then he quite the locking up.  once in a very long while he

would lock up.   But was completely fine otherwise.   He was checked by the vet.  Nothing really serious.   This mare sounds much different though.

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#3 2016-11-08 22:52:21

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15589

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Is physiotherapy an option?


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#4 2016-11-08 23:16:41

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1627

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

If it was my horse I'd be checking the back.

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#5 2016-11-09 00:10:43

uno
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From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
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Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Sue and Robbie, the vett just left the stable and the prognosis is ... uncertain.

Since HD bought this mare as an eventer, the chances of that happening are zero. No jumping, no eventing.

The vet says there is a surgery that can be done, nicking the tendons (?) that can sometimes correct mild cases. Sometimes. No guarantee. He also feels the stifle joint is showing signs of arthritis in a horse that is only 4 years old.

Vet said lots of work trotting over poles (on the ground, flat work) and trail riding over varied terrain will act as therapy. He feels there is the chance the horse will be 'serviceably sound'. But that is not what Horse Daughter bought her for and HD feels she cannot continue to stable her at $350 a month over the winter if the horse is not making progress towards the career for which she was intended.

This horse's back and neck and all moving parts have been checked and checked again. She has been very difficult to ride and HD sent her off for a month with a saddle bronc rider, someone to ride the buck out of her. Now HD is wondering if this obstinate refusal to be ridden was related to pain. Vet does not feel the horse is in pain. However, when you are almost 17 hands tall and your legs stop working randomly, it's a long way down. Horses do not like to fall and he feels this refusal to be ridden is actually fear of dropping over when being asked to do something beyond a walk.

So now the struggle begins. This horse has hit the end of the line with Horse Daughter. What now? Sell her to someone who rides her hard anyway until she truly is broken down and hurting?  Do you put down a horse that might be sound for someone who just wants a light riding horse and perhaps beginner level dressage? Either way, HD is taking a big financial hit on this one.

I do not know if she is going to have the surgery done or not. Even if she does, this horse will not remain with HD. I want to cry. I fed this horse for a long time. Scratched and snuzzled her. She is a sweetie. .crying.

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#6 2016-11-09 01:06:47

Shnookie
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From: Regina, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2013-04-19
Posts: 784

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Too bad she has invested so much and it is not turning out.  I have no experience with a locked stifle, but I had a horse with mild (not crippling) arthritis in a fetlock from a sprain as a 3 year old.  Instead of getting treatment from the vet, I tried ground flax, and it worked for a very long time.  It is an anti-inflammatory, and may help your horse, or not.  I fed my horse 1/4 cup per day on some oats.  He was about 1200-1300 pounds.  With him I saw a change in two days.


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#7 2016-11-09 01:29:16

Susan
Moderator
From: Saskatoon
Registered: 2010-05-31
Posts: 4285

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Lots can be done for a stifle in a young horse. Arthroscopic surgery could have a decent prognosis with good after care. It is expensive, but may be worth considering. I do not have experience with stifles in my show jumpers with the exception of one of my horses slipping on ice one time. He was out for a bit. I looked into a thermotex infrared heating blanket to assist in his recovery and it has been a wonderful therapy I have used with many horses over the years. I'm afraid you will have to treat the cause however. Horses are so darn expensive. But she could become a useful horse (perhaps not an eventer) with appropriate intervention.
I also advocate for an extensive pre purchase vet check. It's good to know what you are getting into. Good luck uno and horsey daughter! I feel your pain. Our own is currently in hospital and is taking a bit of a downward turn.


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#8 2016-11-09 04:15:04

uno
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From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
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Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Susan, I was hoping for better news about your own horse. I will tell HD about your experiences.

Schnookie, I have heard good things about flax too. But I think the arthritis in this situation is the result of the problem, not the cause of the problem. As far as I understand it, this is a mechanical problem, not a nutritional problem. Sort of like my flat feet. Something is just built wrong. Vet also feels this is bilateral, equally bad in both legs.

TO be honest, very few of HD's purchases have been done with a vet check. She does not usually deal in high end horses. Until now. This horse come from a reputable breeder with a well respected name and many nice horses on the show circuit. It is possible that even they weren't aware of the problem. They never rode the horse. Anything they noticed would have been put down to quirky behaviour or attitude, not a physical malfunction. Horse Daughter says that it has taken a year for all the pieces to click together in her mind to finally confirm her growing suspicions. This horse has been seen repeatedly by vets and NOT ONE OF THEM picked up this problem. I do not know that a vet check would have caught this. Not unless someone was specifically looking for it.

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#9 2016-11-09 08:37:12

DaronwyK
Active Member
From: Valhalla Center, AB
Registered: 2014-08-20
Posts: 224
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Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

If she is a nicely bred WB mare, your daughter could market her for a novice dressage mount. Stifle issues would limit her to lower levels, or if the breeding is particularly good even as a brood mare prospect. At 17 hands and only 4 years old it is possible that her mechanical issue was simply because she grew too fast...not uncommon in warm bloods unfortunately.

A good friend recently was dealing with joint lesions in her two year old Dutch WB that occurred simply because he grew too quickly for his joints to keep up. His future career may end up being a pleasure horse, rather than her upper level jumper.


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#10 2016-11-09 10:03:39

killerbunny
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From: Brockville, Ontario
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 3198

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

The main thing as well is that she not be in pain.
Good luck.


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#11 2016-11-09 13:18:34

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1627

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Sad news Uno and HD, I wish the prognosis would have been better :crying:

Last edited by Robbie (2016-11-10 00:17:56)

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#12 2016-11-09 17:04:00

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5569
Website

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Daronwyk, that is pretty much what Horse Daughter is thinking, low level dressage.

I am no expert on horse breeding, but apparently this one has some good lines. (Of course what one person thinks is good lines, another thinks is junk)

The vet discouraged breeding her, not because it would cause her pain but because she might pass this condition on. We have not yet established if this is a glitch of genetics or a glitch of growth pattern.

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#13 2016-11-10 04:19:00

heda gobbler
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From: Tatlayoko Lake, BC
Registered: 2009-01-26
Posts: 6878
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Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

Sad all round.


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#14 2016-11-10 16:36:37

Shnookie
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Regina, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2013-04-19
Posts: 784

Re: Help! Stifle Lock.

If this is not a genetic conformation problem, I wonder if they can do anything with laser treatments and or physio.  They are using lasers for a lot of things these days.
Susan, sorry to hear your horse is not better.


Starting with Blue, Black, and Splash Ameraucanas and Red Cuckoo Basque (Marraduna).

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