purchasing colt, weaned at 9 weeks failure to thrive & lameness! Advice welcome!!

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joyfulminis

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Hi there! I have owned and been around horses all my life but have never worked with or owned a weanling, this will be my first time. I do not know much about weaning...but the lady I am purchasing my colt from has already weaned the colt at 9weeks old?! From what I have read, that is much too early. She contacted me and said she was worried about him because he is not retaining weight well even though he is eating. And wants me to pick him up early because she doesn't have enough time to give him the individual attention he needs.

I also noticed he has a limp on his left hind leg when walking... his movement is not fluid, its like he draws his hind leg forward to take a step and it is mechanical or almost looks like its clicking. I thought it was just because he had his feet trimmed for the first time just before we saw him and she said he fought a lot to get it done, but I recently went to see him again and it's been over 4 weeks, his lameness is still exactly the same. The seller says its probly because she trimmed his heels down too far and his heel toe ratio is off which is causing over extension in his pastern... which does make sense to me. When I brought up the lameness initially, she said she was unaware of it but went and looked immediately and did not try to deny it. So she's not being shady... but this whole situation makes me concerned about buying him.

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated!

would you still make the purchase?

will he be stunted from being weaned too early?

have you seen foals with mechanical movement grow out of it? (something the seller mentioned)

do you think it could be a low heel issue? (obviously this would be just opinion based since I am unable to post a video of his movement)

do you think buying, and having her sign a paper saying she will take him back and exchange for a different colt in so many days/ months if he gets worse or doesn't get better is a good idea?

she seems to be very honest and upfront, and willing to work with me. I am just uncomfortable possibly buying a bad apple.
 

chandab

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Unless the price is very reasonable (like practically free) and you are already over the moon in love with this colt; turn and run the other way, run far away.
The leg issue is probably locking stifle, which may get better with time, proper nutrition, proper/balanced hoof trims and appropriate exercise (hand walking hill exercise and maybe low caveletti); but, it's just as possible that he'll end up needing surgery to fix it when mature.
9 weeks is way, way too early to wean, except under extreme circumstances. While he's old enough not to need a bottle, he'll need liquid milk replacer for at least 3 weeks, several meals per day; then at 3 months old he can be started on milk replacer pellets. It means tons of extra work for you, because mom isn't there to do the hard work.
 

Cayuse

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I agree with chandab about the leg issue probably being a locking stifle. I would probably be running in the other direction too, because stifles can be tricky to deal with. But if I didn't have the heart to run, I would get the best vet you can find to do a pre purchase exam and go from there.
Also, what are your goals for the future with the horse? Keeping as a pet vs performance? If you want a pet/pasture ornament to love, the gait irregularities would be less worrisome. But if you want a horse to use, I would proceed with caution.
 

Ryan Johnson

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I would run like the wind. Theres a few parts to the ladies story that does not quite add up to me. The fact he is still lame after 4 weeks, makes me think theres a little more going on than just having too much taken off his hoof.

As said above, 9 weeks is crazy early for weaning. I have never heard of a foal being weaned due to not retaining weight. Its usually the other way round, the foal being weaned from the mother, due to the mother not being able to sustain a healthy weight to provide for both herself and the foal.
 

joyfulminis

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Yes Ryan that is a VERY good point, if it was a hoof trimming issue it wouldn't cause the same lameness after 4 weeks. My first thought when seeing him favor his left hind leg, it looked like it was stifle related like Chandab said.

There are more details to the story now, the owner sent me a video (very shaky and bad quality) in it he walked, trotted and cantered. From what I was able to see in the video he trotted and cantered fine, but I wasn't able to see him walk as it was too shaky. She's also just started going on and on about him being cow hocked and narrow in the chest, but "it's because he is super refined and will straighten out and fill out later". Lol. And I did see in the video he was super cow hocked.

Thanks to y'alls opinions and advice, I am more than likely not going to purchase this one. Super bummed as he was actually a doll, and is a beautiful cremello color, and my Daughter loved him when she met him. (Posted two pics) But I think he lady ruined him. Along with weaning way to early, she also has him and 4 other foals in a tiny area where none of them can properly exercise... which is not helping with his lameness or development, I'm sure.
 

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joyfulminis

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Yes Ryan that is a VERY good point, if it was a hoof trimming issue it wouldn't cause the same lameness after 4 weeks. My first thought when seeing him favor his left hind leg, it looked like it was stifle related like Chandab said.

There are more details to the story now, the owner sent me a video (very shaky and bad quality) in it he walked, trotted and cantered. From what I was able to see in the video he trotted and cantered fine, but I wasn't able to see him walk as it was too shaky. She's also just started going on and on about him being cow hocked and narrow in the chest, but "it's because he is super refined and will straighten out and fill out later". Lol. And I did see in the video he was super cow hocked.

Thanks to y'alls opinions and advice, I am more than likely not going to purchase this one. Super bummed as he was actually a doll, and is a beautiful cremello color, but I think he lady ruined him. Along with weaning
 

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