Locking Stifle

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse, Feb 9, 2015.

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  1. Feb 9, 2015 #1

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

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    What causes Locking Stifle?

    What can you do for it to stop it?

    I might have a coming 3y/o mare with locking stifle I've only owned her for about almost 2 years now and her one hind leg locks up some times like every month this started this winter. Not sure whats causing this.

    I will be getting my vet out to check her out to see what else i can do for her to.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. Feb 9, 2015 #2

    amysue

    amysue

    amysue

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    Locking stifle is referred to as upward fixation of the patella. It happens when instead of moving up and down, as the patella should, it moves up and sticks or locks up. Luxation of the patella is where it moves to the side and causes stiff movement. To unlock your horse, ask him to take a step back, this usually unlocks it. In most cases, if you catch it early, you can tighten the slack in the ligaments by schooling the horse over ground poles or trotting up hills. NOT jumping, but STEPPING over poles will strengthen him up and may fix the problem by tightening up the slack. If it is luxation due to conformational defects, and it is truly locked (stringhault) a minor surgery may be required to snip the ligament connected to the knee cap causing the issue and correct the slack, causing the sticking. I have a client who had this fixed in her mare and she was very pleased with the results. The vet injected a solution into the joint to callous the joint and tighten it.
     
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  3. Feb 9, 2015 #3

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

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    Ok thanks i do back her up when i see her locking up. Like today shes locking up alot more then the other times. Could this also be caused if she was kicked by chance.
     
  4. Feb 9, 2015 #4

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

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    She only started to lock in her hind leg this winter.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2015 #5

    amysue

    amysue

    amysue

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    Sometimes an injury can worsen a pre existing condition, but usually with locking stifles, its an over exertion, stretching or strain more than a kick or contusion that causes the lock. It's hard to watch as it looks worse than it is. Usually, this starts in growing youngsters as sort of an awkward growth spurt thing. Its possible that you are just now seeing her do this because she is having a growth spurt and she is not all caught up yet. Some of my youngsters have done it once or twice after being inside the barn for an extended period of time then allowed in turnout. They're stiff, then they over exert themselves and then lock up. My vet has always advised that if kept in shape, fed right and allowed plenty of room, they'll grow out of it. But this is not a guarantee. This is becoming very common in minis and it can be inherited genetically. Hoof condition and position plays a role as well. You may consider having a farrier check her out to see it a corrective trim may be in order, as elongated or excessively overgrown toes can contribute to the issue. If your mare stays in a lot because of the winter weather, it could be due to lack of movement. Most horses prone to locking up do best with 24/7 turnout or access to an in out stabling situation.
     
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  6. Feb 9, 2015 #6

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

    Mini Gray Heart Mini Horse

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    Ok shes in a dirt pasture 24/7 right now she will be 3 in april. Shes in a herd of 3 other mares and a real tiny coming 2 year old gelding. She plays with the gelding alot so shes been moving around a lot more with him since i put him with then about 1-3 weeks ago.
     
  7. Feb 9, 2015 #7

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    There are some exercises you might try. Lift the hind leg up under the body, rather as a farrier does when he puts the hoof on a stand. I was told this can strengthen that muscle. I think this is the principle behind trotting over poles.

    No tight turns or pivots.

    I had a 6 year old mare that started this. She was on 24/7 turnout, never stalled. I do think she was worse in the colder months.

    I had come to terms with dealing with it, as I had her for a driving horse. But a few other issues came up so I called her original owner and she took her back.

    I've heard the surgery is very effective and not that big a deal. Definitely something to discuss with your vet. There are lots of posts here on the topic if you search the forum.

    I would not breed this mare, jmo.

    Good luck. Maybe your little girl will grow out of it. It is not pleasant to watch.
     
  8. Feb 9, 2015 #8

    shorthorsemom

    shorthorsemom

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    I have had this problem on occasion with horses I have had. It can be severe or minor depending on the horse. Conditioning makes a huge difference. I have also found that hoof trims can make a huge difference. I had one farrier and after he trimmed my horses, they seemed to slip more often... new farrier and I rarely see this problem. Not to say the trims are causing the issue, but the angle on some trims can exaggerate the issue on some horses. I typically do "hill work" and long walks in straight lines to strengthen. This helps on both my horses and for some of my little dogs that have had slipping stifles.

    My vet had me walk my dogs in a "sand box" and the surface with "give" really helped my dogs. After I put in a pea gravel paddock for my horses, I noticed that I no longer had slipping stifles. Probably same principle as the sandbox for the dog for exercise.

    best wishes.

    agree with the no breeding recommendation from marsha as a breeder friend of mine would not use or sell a horse for breeding if it had the stifle issue.
     
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  9. Feb 9, 2015 #9

    JMS Miniatures

    JMS Miniatures

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    I have personally dealt with stifle problems and only one that actually locked and I'm sorry to say she never outgrew it. She was one that was born here and she was a gorgeous filly and I know it can be a confirmation fault but you couldn't predict there was going to be a problem and one day during her yearling year she locked. I gave her away as a pet because she will never be bred nor would she be suitable as a performance horse and to this day she still locks.

    I've had others with sticky stifles that never officially locked and with exercise, proper nutrition, and frequent hoof trims they got over it. However I had one just recently that I had to give away as a pet because when I bought him I had no idea he had stifle problems til I got him home and worked with him and my vet said that this was a chronic problem and he had arthritis already as an 12-13 year .
     
  10. Feb 13, 2015 #10

    stormy

    stormy

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    Have some experience with this with some rescue minis, one locked up very bad and could be locked for days, the usual procedure for releasing the patella just didn't work for him. Of the four I have dealt with, one grew out of it, 2 responded to the simple standing tendon splitting procedure done by my vet, the fourth did not respond to the tendon splitting, had to have the full surgical procedure which is still pretty straightforward and done standing but takes longer to recover from.
     
  11. Feb 26, 2015 #11

    drmatthewtaylor

    drmatthewtaylor

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    I don't mind attempting excercise and hoof trimmimgs, but in my hands they don't work consistently. Once I have a patient that has locked more than just a couple of times I recommend surgery. The surgery is generally curative, relatively cheap, and has few complications.

    Dr. Matthew Taylor
     
  12. Feb 27, 2015 #12

    HGFarm

    HGFarm

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    I also agree to never breeding a horse with this problem. I have seen other cases with those that have and at times the issue was passed to the offspring- a couple so bad they were put down- and the breeder kept breeding the same animals. Hope you can get your's fixed up and I am sure the horse could make a great, fun pet.
     
  13. Mar 10, 2015 #13

    Kim P

    Kim P

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    I saw this article a while back. I am a little concerned about my pregnant Patty. I have noticed her doing this lately. Could the pregnancy be causing this? Or was it already there and it has just become more noticeable now? I hope this want cause her problems when she goes to giving birth. The farrier does need to come, but I was just going to wait until she had the baby bc she gets off balance easy now. She gets a bit nervous now when you try to pick her foot up. She is scared she is going to fall. A little feed back please
     
  14. Mar 10, 2015 #14

    Kim P

    Kim P

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    Well I say this is what she is doing. She will will kinda walk stiff legged and kick each of her legs out. Then she is fine.
     
  15. Mar 11, 2015 #15

    AnnaC

    AnnaC

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    I have a now retired mare who did this during the last two weeks of some of her pregnancies. It seem to be after the foal had finally dropped and thus caused her to 'change' the way she had to 'waddle' as she walked. As soon as she foaled it disappeared and none of her many sons and daughters ever had the problem. Get your farrier to visit asap and make sure he trims her toes well back as this may help - also make sure that he only lifts her leg just a short way from the ground so she wont feel off balance, it may also help if you stand on the other side of her to support her hind quarters while he does the trim.
     

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