How to treat lax tendons for a 19 day old foal. He is also windswept in the back legs with one back foot starting to twist in when walking. The other back foot he comes right down on the fetlock. Looks terrible:(
Type of Animal: quarter horse
Age: 19 days
Name of Horse: XXXXXXXX!
Tried taping an extension on the twisting foot with a paint stir stick to the outside of hoof. Also one out the back of the hoof on the one he walks down on the fetlock.
Hi, I hope I can help with your question and do let me know if you have any questions regarding my answer/advice.I am sorry your wee foal has these problems, which I am sure you are aware are commonly seen in young foals. Often they occur in fast growing foals and/or if the foal has been positioned awkwardly in the womb causing inappropriate limb development.Often these issues settle on their own without any assistance, however, more severely affected foals require more in depth treatment.It sounds from your description that there is a combination of tendon contracture (in the foot that is turning in) and tendon laxity in the other limb.Certainly, the contracted tendon will require more prompt attention than the lax one as permanent limb deformity can develop. This treatment may include firmer splinting of the entire lower limb and sometimes oxytetracycline is used as this can relax the tendons, this may be contra-indicated though given the laxity of the other limb. In extreme circumstances minor surgery can be performed to release the tightened tendon.The lax tendon is most likely to improve with time, I tend to recommend some degree of exercise to encourage limb development and hopefully tendon tightening, being mindful of any potential trauma that may occur to the fetlock as it meets the ground. You may need a farrier to attend the foal earlier than usual to ensure the hoof is upright in this limb to encourage a more upright stance. It may take a few weeks but gradually you should see the fetlock rise up. I would exercise him 2-3 times a day for short spells of 10-15 minutes.However, I would advise the tightened limb is examined by a vet to possible get an effective splint placed on it to encourage the tendon to loosen.I hope this answer provides you with the information you expected and do let me know if you have any further concerns.Good luck and I hope he improves quicklyRegardsDr Dan Makin
Thank you for your advice. I forgot to mention the foals' motherhad to be put down the following day after birth. The colt came backwards causing many issues for her, but we did get the colostrum into him.
Hi,I am so sorry the birth was so traumatic and the mare was lost. It must have been very upsetting and this malpositioning of the foal may likely explain the deformities in the tendons.It is great you are seeing some improvement with the tendons and it is unfortunately a long process with no precise time constraints. However, as you haven't seen spectacular improvement in just under 3 weeks, I would be tempted to get a vet exam sooner rather in case there is anything to recommend that may speed the process up and to ensure it is a simple case of lax tendons. The process can last many weeks sometimes months, but hopefully as the growing pace of the foal increases so to should the tightening of the tendons and re balance with his limb bones. Given he had such a traumatic start a vet exam would be a good idea to make sure there are no other issues. You could also get your farrier to take a look and trim the feet back as not only will the toes over grow whilst not being upright but the shorter toe higher heel will encourage a more upright stance promoting tendon and fetlock lifting.I hope things gather momentum for him and you and wish you luck I am sure given his rough start he will turn out to be a top horse.Take careDan
Equine Veterinary Surgeon
Hi Jackie,I'm just following up on our conversation about Customer!. How is everything going?Dan
Today we have duct taped an extension to the outside of the foot which is twisting in hoping to pull that back out. And on the other hind leg we taped an extension out the back hoping to give support to the lax tendon.
Hi,I am pleased things are progressing and it's great he has such a zest for life and that activity will help to tighten things up hopefully.Where you tape the bits to his limbs just watch for areas of rubbing and make sure things are not taped round his limbs too tightly as sometimes these can cause catastrophic wounds.Hopefully with some time you will start to see him coming on in leaps and bounds.Good luckDan