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Filly with a stifle problem

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littlehorse2

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Has anyone had this problem? My filly Silverbell's stifle pops in and out of her socket? The vet said that he wanted to do surgery if it didn't get better within six months. It seemed to get better over the winter with her running in the snow, but I'm relizing it is getting worse again. The guy we bought her from said it's common in minis, but that it wasn't hereditary in his line of minis. If it is hereditary than I don't want to breed her for fear that the foal would have it. If I did decide to breed her than I would be responsible for the surgery if the foal had it. The guy we got her from didn't even offer to help pay for the surgery if we went that route. He offered to buy her back which would have cost more than the surgery cost.

Suggestions please.

Christy
 
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littlehorse2

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I was told to walk her up and down hills to build up the muscle that holds the stifle in place. I'll wait to hear what else your vet says. I just can't afford the surgery right now. You would think that if it's hereditary that the breeder would pay for all if not half of the surgery since he sold her with a guarantee that she had no medical problems, but we noticed this about 2 weeks after we got her.

 

rabbitsfizz

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The condition is definitely hereditary, but sometimes the "popping" sound they make is just a growing issue that they have for a while and then it goes away and does NOT come back. I'm afraid the guy was spinning you a line- there is NO way you can have this condition in your horses and not have it be hereditary- if he has a problem with this sort of thing then he has the hereditary condition. As to the filly, if she is bad enough to be operated on then she should not be bred from. I hope she was not expensive!!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Fizz, I disagree that there is "NO way you can have this condition in your horses and not have it be hereditary." Both my vet and my farrier have said horses can develop stifle problems like this from several environmental factors or simply poor conformation, which, granted, can be hereditary.
There is general agreement now that my Kody was likely not born with this problem- many folks around here own horses of his breeding and apparently none of them have issues. Neither does he have the kind of conformation (straight angles) that usually causes it.

My filly Silverbell's stifle pops in and out of her socket?
Just to clarify Littlehorse2, there is no "socket" for the stifle to pop in and out of. The patella is like our knee cap and the ligaments slid out of the groove on it, or it luxates and the "kneecap" pops out of place. Sockets are technically ball joint arrangements, I believe.
I think. My brain and ability to remember correct terms appear to have already gone to bed tonight.

I'm sorry you're going through this, the exercise program you were given sounds correct although for an older horse I was told lots of straight-line trotting and cantering along with that hill-work. I would definitely delay surgery unless your girl is dragging a leg so badly as to cause damage. Surgery is irreversible and there are other, cheaper, less invasive options to try first. I would also not try ANY of those options except exercise and dietary supplements until she is done growing. Kids go through some pretty bizarre stages!

I applaud you for not wanting to breed this mare. This is a common problem in minis, more so because a lot of folks think "Oh well, at least I can still breed her!" and there goes another generation with the problem.
Love this girl, let her grow up and see what you have. If she still has the problem and it really affects her, there are plenty of people who would cherish her as a wonderful family pet. Horses like this with problems of their own make wonderful nursing home visitors and theraputic animals! Mares do not have to have babies to be happy, really they don't. But I personally would take a "wait and see" approach before I worried too much. You can always do the surgery later, you can't take it back once it's done.

Leia

P.S.- the health guarantee the guy gave you, is it in writing? It sounds to me like by offering to buy her back (presumably returning your money) he has done all he is obligated to. Health guarantees are usually more of an "if it's wrong, I'll replace it or refund your money" thing then they are an "I'll fix anything that turns out to have been brewing" deal.
 

AS IF BY MAGIC

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I would believe it to be heredity too... slightly different back action problems, are rearing heads, via one of my mares !! and her breeder had NEVER seen it before either !!

He didn't offer to pay your vet's bills as you would still have the filly. Make no mistake if it went back to him, it she would be breed from. It really leaves a bad taste, maybe if she's pain free, she can be homed as a companion or pet, on a perm loan basis, and you can retain her registration papers, or endorse them not for breeding.
 

rabbitsfizz

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If it is in your herd, ie in your breeding programme, and continuing to appear IT IS HEREDITARY. That is what hereditary is!! Of course Kody was born with it- why would you think otherwise?? That is what hereditary is!! The only times I have EVER known this to come right was when it resulted form a known injury or when it was transitory- ie suddenly appeared at around one year old and then disappeared spontaneously. I may not have explained myself clearly enough in the original post, sorry, I am still acclimatising to new pain meds and they make me a bit wonky- anyway, the tendency to the problem- ie the conformation that leads to it, is what is actually inherited. The worse the problem the more the likely to inherit the full blown complaint. As with my stomach ulcers- they were not inherited form my Mother, what was actually inherited was the tendency to create too much stomach acid that leads to Ulcers. Luckily for me they invented Ranitidine which keeps it all behaving itself nicely. Does this make it plainer?? If this man has the problem "in his herd" it is being inherited- it is NOT spontaneously happening each time, and IMO at least, he should not be breeding.
 
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littlehorse2

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Thanks everyone. We plan on keeping her anyways. If I were to get rid of her it would break my daughters heart. They've been bonded since Bell was 3 weeks old. The farm was close enough that we went and visited almost every weekend. To answer the question of I hope she wasn;t expensive, she cost $1000.00. Did I pay to much for her?

Christy
 

rabbitsfizz

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Well........I suppose it depends on what you bought her for!! I do think the owner was deceitful and deliberately misleading, if he added to this by selling you the filly specifically for breeding then, Yes, I think you paid too much. If you wanted to buy her as a pet for your daughter and that was the price, then well, it was up to you. I gave away a top show quality, to die for rain splash Appy Grullo base (really was to die for !!) colt, and I gelded him too, because he had patella luxation.
 

midnight star stables

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hobbyhorse23 said:
Fizz, I disagree that there is "NO way you can have this condition in your horses and not have it be hereditary." Both my vet and my farrier have said horses can develop stifle problems like this from several environmental factors or simply poor conformation, which, granted, can be hereditary.
There is general agreement now that my Kody was likely not born with this problem- many folks around here own horses of his breeding and apparently none of them have issues. Neither does he have the kind of conformation (straight angles) that usually causes it.

My filly Silverbell's stifle pops in and out of her socket?
Just to clarify Littlehorse2, there is no "socket" for the stifle to pop in and out of. The patella is like our knee cap and the ligaments slid out of the groove on it, or it luxates and the "kneecap" pops out of place. Sockets are technically ball joint arrangements, I believe.
I think. My brain and ability to remember correct terms appear to have already gone to bed tonight.

I'm sorry you're going through this, the exercise program you were given sounds correct although for an older horse I was told lots of straight-line trotting and cantering along with that hill-work. I would definitely delay surgery unless your girl is dragging a leg so badly as to cause damage. Surgery is irreversible and there are other, cheaper, less invasive options to try first. I would also not try ANY of those options except exercise and dietary supplements until she is done growing. Kids go through some pretty bizarre stages!

I applaud you for not wanting to breed this mare. This is a common problem in minis, more so because a lot of folks think "Oh well, at least I can still breed her!" and there goes another generation with the problem.
Love this girl, let her grow up and see what you have. If she still has the problem and it really affects her, there are plenty of people who would cherish her as a wonderful family pet. Horses like this with problems of their own make wonderful nursing home visitors and theraputic animals! Mares do not have to have babies to be happy, really they don't. But I personally would take a "wait and see" approach before I worried too much. You can always do the surgery later, you can't take it back once it's done.

Leia

P.S.- the health guarantee the guy gave you, is it in writing? It sounds to me like by offering to buy her back (presumably returning your money) he has done all he is obligated to. Health guarantees are usually more of an "if it's wrong, I'll replace it or refund your money" thing then they are an "I'll fix anything that turns out to have been brewing" deal.

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When i was looking for a filly/mare I had 2 people with 2 different mares say the same thing!!!!!
I wasn't to sure.. both mare were used for breeding, & their foals were Gorgeous, but i played it safe & said no & bought a sound filly, now i'm happy i did
I didn't know it was hereditary.. now i do
 

wildoak

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I just had surgery done on a yearling filly last week. Her problem was pretty significant, dragging alternately one or the other leg around. He did not cut the ligaments, just "nicked" both to cause irritation and hopefully correct her problem. If it doesn't work we'll have to go back for more extensive work. Her problem surfaced at a few months and has been more on than off, even with lowered protein and 24/7 turnout so I felt we had no choice. She's a cute filly, if she corrects will make a nice little using horse for someone but she is not being sold as a breeding horse and thus far that's scared everyone off lol.

Jan
 

mizbeth

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I think if your daughter has bonded with this little filly/mare she is worth her weight in gold! NO! You did not pay too much for her!

How old is your daughter? How old is your filly/mare? If the filly/mare is young she can easily outgrow her problems.

I talked to a large breeder one time (who was honest in his answer to me), that told me about 10% of his babies had stiffle problems at one point but by the time they were yearlings, they had outgrown them.

I think a lot of the stiffle problems have to do with how fast they grow in such a short time. Some might not even be stiffle problems, but stiffles get blamed.

Your little mare is in such good hands!

Beth
 

hobbyhorse23

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rabbitsfizz said:
If it is in your herd, ie in your breeding programme, and continuing to appear IT IS HEREDITARY.  That is what hereditary is!!  Of course Kody was born with it- why would you think otherwise?? That is what hereditary is!!  The only times I have EVER known this to come right was when it resulted form a known injury or when it was transitory- ie suddenly appeared at around one year old and then disappeared spontaneously.  I may not have explained myself clearly enough in the original post, sorry, I am still acclimatising to new pain meds and they make me a bit wonky- anyway, the tendency to the problem- ie the conformation that leads to it, is what is actually inherited. .... If this man has the problem "in his herd" it is being inherited- it is NOT spontaneously happening each time, and IMO at least, he should not be breeding.
Easy there Fizz, I think maybe the meds fuzzed what I said a little bit.
Of COURSE if it is in your herd and continues to appear it is hereditary. What I said was we have not heard if this man's other horses have it (he claims they do not), and in Kody's case I'm saying the rest of his family does NOT have it. Nor does he have the conformation that would cause it. That's why we do not think it is hereditary in his case. He has upward fixation, by the way, not luxation, and it's a very odd case. Vet has x-rayed him and his bones are fine, massage therapist who worked on him says there is lots of tissue adhesion like there is an old injury.

But this is not about Kody, it's about this lady's filly. I agree the breeder is highly questionable in this case, but it IS possible that the filly's problem is transitory as you stated they can be. That's what we were trying to figure out.
Best of luck! If your daughter is bonded to her, she was worth it. Simply do not breed to her until you figure out what's going on and why and if it could be passed on.

Leia
 
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littlehorse2

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mizbeth said:
I think if your daughter has bonded with this little filly/mare she is worth her weight in gold!  NO!  You did not pay too much for her!
How old is your daughter?  How old is your filly/mare?  If the filly/mare is young she can easily outgrow her problems. 

I talked to a large breeder one time (who was honest in his answer to me), that told me about 10% of his babies had stiffle problems at one point but by the time they were yearlings, they had outgrown them. 

I think a lot of the stiffle problems have to do with how fast they grow in such a short time.  Some might not even be stiffle problems, but stiffles get blamed.

Your little mare is in such good hands!

Beth

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My daughter is going to be 6 in September and the filly is almost 15 months old. I had the vet come check her and he's done the surgery in big horses and dogs before. But I am exercising her every day, plus she stay out in a smaller paddock with a run in at night during good weather. Plus she goed into a larger paddock all day when I'm not exercising her.

Thanks again everyone.

Christy
 

wildoak

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The July 05 issue of Equus has a really good article on stifle problems, complete with great illustrations for those of us who can't figure it out any other way lol. Explains the mechanical reasons it occurs, and the various treatment options.

Jan
 

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