I just received a yearling Percheron/QH colt from a North Dakota PMU farm that is placing it''s horses. He is extremely emaciated, was in a huge pasture with older horses who I am sure didn''t let him at the poor yellowed hay available. His front feet look like they have been cut with nippers, just straight haphazard cuts. His back hooves are at least an inch longer, and he has a quarter crack that is an inch and a half long, 1/2 inch wide at the base in the middle of one of them. The inside of his right hock has what looks like a bad-to- severe spavin , he does''nt seem lame at this time, but he is not trotting about the way a young horse normally does either. His conformation/lines are good.Diet? Should I get the vet/farrier to sedate, trim him immediately? Wormed with Ivermectin.
First of all, let me thank you for giving a horse in need a good home. There are so many out there currently, and I see more people trying to get rid of horses than take them in. We need more like you!
From your description, it sounds as if the quarter crack and the hock problem certainly need to be addressed, but it sounds as if the more pressing issue is that the unfortunate colt needs severe groceries! That may be part of the reason why he isn't trotting around the way that he should be. Aside from keeping good quality grass hay in front of him constantly, I would recommend considering starting him on one of the newer diets designed for yearlings (due to the nature of this forum, I can't give you a specific name brand, but I recommend checking your local feed/supply store for such a product. They are very new to the market, but I believe that such a diet would be ideal in this situation). Try to avoid grains, COB, etc., especially since it is unlikely that he has never had such type of feed before and he could develop some colic complications.
Also, since you recently dewormed him and chances are it was a first for him in that category as well, keep a close eye on him again for any signs of colic or signs of straining to pass manure. If the worm load is large enough at the time of deworming, there is the possibility of what is called an impaction colic, where the dead and dying parasites can block a part of the small intestine.
That said, the best thing overall for your colt would be to have a good general physical exam from your Veterinarian. I do have some concern about the hock problem you have described, as a spavin-type swelling in such a young horse can sometimes be a warning sign of a devlopmental disease such as OCD (osteochondritis dessicans), in which the cartilage within the joint is failing to mature into bone. This can have long-term negative consequences if not addressed in a timely manner.
I hope this has helped, and please let me know if you have any further questions.
Again, thank you for your kindness and generosity, and best of luck!
Feedback is greatly appreciated!!!
Solo Equine Practitioner/Mobile Practice Owner for 13 years.