Can pregnancy cause stifle lock symptoms??

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countrymini

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Sorry in advance for adding yet another stifle lock/epsm thread but reading through the other threads I couldn't find what I was looking for.

I've just purchased a lovely little 34" mare, she's approx 4 mths preggas (maiden) and has had no history of stifle lock. The previous owner had her in a yard (around 1/4 acre), with another mini, it had very very short grass and she was feeding them second grade lucerne. I saw the mare twice before buying her and she walked around fine, no signs at all of stifle lock.

5 days after getting her home here I noticed her back right leg starts catching, clicking, dragging sometimes behind her. I had the farrier out and he thought it could be the change in diet. The paddock she is in here is around 1.5 acres and i've only given her a tincy bit of lucerne when i was settling her in so she does't get overweight. She also has room to run here whereas she didn't at her old home. Some days the catch is almost not there then it'll be back again on other days.

Am getting the vet out to look her over, hoping its not something too terrible. Just thought i'd add this thread to see if anybody else has had the same experience. Does the fact that she didn't show signs before hand mean she's lacking in something due to the pregnancy, or is could it be something like espm?
 

countrymini

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(just thought i'd point out I asked my farrier about my mare while he was out farriering all my horses, I didn't call him to check her)
 

Windhaven

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I am not saying someone is not telling the truth here but just throwing out some ideas.

How well do you know these people you bought the horse from? How old is this mare? Did she get stressed, buck, kick or just act a little crazy when you brought her home or on the trailer ride? Did she have a kicking battle with another horse to see who is boss?

If she is a young mare then stifle problems could be just showing up due to a growth spurt (but I doubt it).

If she ran, buck and acted crazy when brought home she might have injured herself.

If you have another horses and they went butt to butt to see who would be boss she could of been injured.

If none of the above happened then I would be led to believe that the old owner was just not knowledgeable with horses and didn't notice or the pen was just to small for it to happen (but I don't think that either) or they were not truthful with you, in hopes that it wouldn't happen for a while and you would think it just happened because of one of the reasons I mentioned above.

If it was due to pregnancy I would believe it would be late in the pregnancy when the mare was HEAVY in foal, not only 4 months along. Then again this would go back to a conformational fault.

I also doubt that it is due to a change in diet with only being 5 days. If anything with a severe change of diet you would see colic.

A side profile of the mare would help to see if it is a conformational fault.

It will be interesting to see what other people have to say. I hope it is just an injury and will heal. Good luck!
 

LittleRibbie

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Hi and welcome.. first of all...is that your little mare in the picture? Shes very cute...interresting color..i'd love to see a picture of her close up..hint hint!

Anyway back to your ?. I bred a small mare last year..28" never any signs of stifle problem ever ( and I have seen both severe and not severe horses with issues so I do know what it looks like ) well at about 7 1/2 mos. she started to show signs..never to the point where it was stuck for more than 1 second but it WAS a pop and/or a very quick lock/unlock. She was very heavy in foal and I attributed or was at least hoping it was only b/c of her weight. She didnt show signs everyday but enough times that I was getting worried. She foaled and it happened a few more times for the next mo. Then it stopped as quickly as it started and I have not seen any signs in almost a year. I never changed her food or gave her any supplements except mare and foal. Foal has shown no signs. I have no idea if it may have been preggo/weight related, maybe b/c she was stalled more ( she was under camera at night ) and prior to preggo she could always come and go as she pleased.

Others here will be able to discuss options for surgery if you decide after she foals but lucky for me we didnt have to go that route.

Again welcome and I hope you get some answers for your wee one,

heidi
 

MindyLee

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I have a mare who only stiffles when prego. I only see it a couple times but once the foal is born, no more stiffles. I think its from the extra added weight on her little thin legs.
 

countrymini

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I am not saying someone is not telling the truth here but just throwing out some ideas.

How well do you know these people you bought the horse from? How old is this mare? Did she get stressed, buck, kick or just act a little crazy when you brought her home or on the trailer ride? Did she have a kicking battle with another horse to see who is boss?

If she is a young mare then stifle problems could be just showing up due to a growth spurt (but I doubt it).

If she ran, buck and acted crazy when brought home she might have injured herself.

If you have another horses and they went butt to butt to see who would be boss she could of been injured.

If none of the above happened then I would be led to believe that the old owner was just not knowledgeable with horses and didn't notice or the pen was just to small for it to happen (but I don't think that either) or they were not truthful with you, in hopes that it wouldn't happen for a while and you would think it just happened because of one of the reasons I mentioned above.

If it was due to pregnancy I would believe it would be late in the pregnancy when the mare was HEAVY in foal, not only 4 months along. Then again this would go back to a conformational fault.

I also doubt that it is due to a change in diet with only being 5 days. If anything with a severe change of diet you would see colic.

A side profile of the mare would help to see if it is a conformational fault.

It will be interesting to see what other people have to say. I hope it is just an injury and will heal. Good luck!
I forgot to mention her name was Indi. She has gotten on really well with the others but before the catching/popping started I did take another mare ("Sweety", in my profile pic) out of the paddock and Indi did a full laps around the paddock as fast as she could till i finished with sweety and brought her back. I don't think she'd have been able to run that fast in a long time so it possibly could be an injury then?
 

countrymini

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I am not saying someone is not telling the truth here but just throwing out some ideas.

How well do you know these people you bought the horse from? How old is this mare? Did she get stressed, buck, kick or just act
Forgot to mention, Indi is 5, turning 6 in september. I don't know her previous owner very well, but I talked to her a fair bit before hand and she truly doesn't come accross as the dishonest type. Here's a picture of Indi from the side, she's totally coated up for winter.

DSCF8156.JPG
 

countrymini

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Hi and welcome.. first of all...is that your little mare in the picture? Shes very cute...interresting color..i'd love to see a picture of her close up..hint hint!

Anyway back to your ?. I bred a small mare last year..28" never any signs of stifle problem ever ( and I have seen both severe and not severe horses with issues so I do know what it looks like ) well at about 7 1/2 mos. she started to show signs..never to the point where it was stuck for more than 1 second but it WAS a pop and/or a very quick lock/unlock. heidi
Hey Heidi

My mare in the picture, is Sweety, not the mare with the problem. I've attached a closer picture for you. She's a pintaloosa, and the sweetest nature ever.

Indi has the same as your mare had, never stops her walking only catches and then lets go.
 

countrymini

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Sweety - pintaloosa

(you can see Indi's hind leg in the right photo about to lock up)

DSCF8158.JPG

DSCF8159.JPG
 
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supaspot

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Im no expert in stifles problems but she does have a very upright straight leg which Im sure would make her prone to problems
 

Windhaven

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The pictures do help. I think both your mares are very cute sweet looking mares. Love the way they are both marked.

As for Indi, it does appear she is a little straight in the stifle area which is the cause of stifle problems.

But I have seen way worse and the horse never have a problem and some the don't appear to be as straight have severe problems.

It is VERY possible she did hurt herself while running in the pasture. She might of over extended it, it caught slightly but because of her speed she was able to pop it and this has caused it to be sore. That could be why you are seeing it now. If it never happened before then hopefully it will heal and stop again. Sometimes the vet can injected it to help speed up the healing process.

Next time you take the other mare out. It would be a good idea to put her in a stall first with some feed to keep her quiet.

Once she is better it would also help to do some exercises to build up and strengthen her stifles. Backing, walking in deep sand, and hill climbling. And she can do this while pregnant because you don't have to do it to an extreme.

Good luck and hope she gets better.
 

disneyhorse

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I am one who rarely believes in "excuses" for stifle lock other than genetic reasons in minis. It's just so darn common in minis to hear of, whereas in the big horses I just don't hear of it as often. I've owned quite a few minis and Shetlands, and have had three (all different breeding) with locking stifle (I believe that both minis and Shetlands genetically have this problem running rampant). My friend has owned about the same number of andalusians and not a single one.

My friend has a big breeding operation (big horses) and I never hear of mares locking up "just because they're in foal."

The pinto mare pictured above has poorly conformed hind legs, very straight, and if this is the mare locking up, that would be my clue.

Andrea
 
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HGFarm

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I totally agree with Andrea on the excuses I have heard in the Mini world for bad stifles. A change of diet is not going to cause it and if she is now 6, I doubt that it would just now be showing up either- she has had it all along. I would never breed a horse with this problem. Andrea mentions it seems to run rampant and I think that is because poeple continue to breed horses with this problem, making more with the same problem.

I knew someone in the state here who had a mare that they used for breeding and EVERY FOAL, regardless of the stallion, had stifle issues. One was so bad they put it down- but they kept on breeding the mare!!!

I dont know them, but heard of one stallion years ago that had a good show career going- had stifle problems. The surgery was done, he kept showing AND they used him for breeding as well. I have to wonder how many of his foals ended up with the problem?!!

By the way, your 'fur kids' are very cute!
 

Lizzie

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Thank you Disneyhorse!

I firmly believe, that this is a conformation problem. It is a rampant problem in Minis and purely because of poor conformation. There are no excuses. It has been discussed here before and the consensus of opinion, is that no horse with locking stifles should be bred on, to further the problem. It is genetic and no doubt about it.

The little mare shown by the OP, with her very straight rear, is ripe for a locking situation, unfortunately. Cute little girl, but if she were mine, she would never be bred again. JMHO

Lizzie
 

countrymini

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Thank you Disneyhorse!

I firmly believe, that this is a conformation problem. It is a rampant problem in Minis and purely because of poor conformation. There are no excuses. It has been discussed here before and the consensus of opinion, is that no horse with locking stifles should be bred on, to further the problem. It is genetic and no doubt about it.

The little mare shown by the OP, with her very straight rear, is ripe for a locking situation, unfortunately. Cute little girl, but if she were mine, she would never be bred again. JMHO

Lizzie
Thanks Lizzy. She was already pregnant when I got her and I'd already made the decision not to get her pregnant again next year, because of the locking, just hoping the foal hasn't inherited the faults. I still think her previous owner was being honest, maybe she didn't own her long enough to see anything.
 

Carolyn R

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Thanks Lizzy. She was already pregnant when I got her and I'd already made the decision not to get her pregnant again next year, because of the locking, just hoping the foal hasn't inherited the faults. I still think her previous owner was being honest, maybe she didn't own her long enough to see anything.
It very possibly may be a situation that she has a predisposition to, her stifles locking along with the correct "formula" of occurances has never aligned for it to rear its head until now. So yes, it is quite possible that the previous owner has never witnessed it happening. There may have been a slightly off gait, something not quite right in the past, but I would say that there is a very large majority of owners that have would not be able to put

there finger on the cause being poor conformation/stifle related. Many would just simply feel that it may have been a bruised sole, sore muscle and not equated it to a stifle issue, especially since it did not rear its ugly head in its entirity.
 
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Lizzie

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Kudos to you Countrymini, for the decision you have made. Problems in all animals, can almost always be eliminated, with responsible breeding practices. Do you know or have seen, the sire of the foal she carries? Hopefully, he has better rear angulation than your mare and the baby will not have the same problems.

Do keep us posted on your babies.

Lizzie
 

countrymini

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Do you know or have seen, the sire of the foal she carries? Hopefully, he has better rear angulation than your mare and the baby will not have the same problems.
Sire has awesome conformation and movement, comes from quality bloodlines, so hopefully he'll pass it on.
 

cassie

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both your mares are gorgeous
I so hope that all goes well and your foal turns out ok
do you mind if I jump in here and post a pic of my little mare and ask what the people think of her confirmation? she did a similar thing to what heidi's mare did when she was heavy with foal, and I wondered if you guys though her confirmation could be leaning towards locking stifle or if she is ok confirmation wise...? Like you countrymini I bought my mare in foal and the previous owner said nothing about locking stifles, she has had two foals before and I think they have turned into quite nice horses from what I have heard... would love your opinions please. (and country mini if you don't want me posting my questions and pics on here please just let me know and I will take them off thank you) good luck with your mare! a new baby is so very exciting!

this is Suzie, would love your opinions on her confirmation and if you think she could be prone to a stifle lock...? Thanks.

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Thank you in advance for any help you give me
 

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