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Little Bit

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[SIZE=12pt]I adopted a little filly when she was only 12 hours old because the vet thought she was an Achondroplasia type dwarf, and the lady who was to get this filly didn't want her.[/SIZE]

The breeder had to get one front leg out in front of her when she was delivering this filly and she said it took her a long time with a lot of very hard pulling to get her delivered. Her knees were swollen and her little front legs were VERY crooked and she was over at the knees as well. She had tendon laxity in her back legs, so she was not even walking on her hooves, she was so far down in her pasterns.

The vet that saw this filly when she was about 12 hours old, trimmed the "baby slippers" off of her hooves, and said to give her a little time to see if her legs would straighten out and if she would get up onto her hooves in the back.

I took Toy to Texas A & M when she was 22 days old, to have Dr. Honnas trim her hooves for me.

This man works miracles on these babies!!!!! (He's the vet that trimmed my Little Bit's hooves, too.)

I just stood there and cried when he stood her back up, what a difference a corrective trim can make in these babies!!!! As you can see, he was very aggressive in trimming her, there were some pin points of blood that appeared, but I KNEW it had to be done. I thought that perhaps Toy would have to wear the *Magic Shoes* on her back hooves, but she will not be needing them after all!!!!


I told Dr. Honnas that I sure could keep him busy traveling around the countryside trimming these baby's hooves. He said, "Well, schedule the leer jet for me, and I will do it!"


I have lots of people sending me pictures of their foal's legs & hooves, many of them do need to wear the *Magic Shoes* because not only are they down in their pasterns, but they are rolling over to the sides of their hooves as well, but many foals just need to be trimmed correctly like Toy was! Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get farriers or vets to be aggressive enough with these baby's hooves!


I have a page on Little Bit's *Magic Shoes* website that shows you the step by step photos of Toy's trim now. Here's that address:

http://www.angelfire.com/ms3/littlmagicshoes/Toy.html

Toy at 3 days old



Toy after her trim at 22 days old



Toy's back hooves before her trim



Toy's back hooves after her trim


 

qtrrae

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Hi Janell,

Gosh, Toy looks so much better. What a little doll!!

Thanks for sharing the pictures and information! Thank goodness I have a great farrier that just loves my 2 little dwarves "Treasure" and "Treasure's Buddy"

He is so adamant about keeping their feet trimmed correctly!

My farrier comes today and will do another trim and we will evaluate on whether or not we need to go with the "magic shoes!"

I am so thankful that I know you are there and willing to help if it is necessary!!

Give all those special babies an extra hug from me!!!
 

yankee_minis

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She is adorable!!! Hopefully the adjustment wasn't too bad for her and she is feeling all limbered up and running around now!

Except for being over in the knees, she doesn't look dwarfy to me. I'm not sure if you said you thought she was or not.

You're doing a wonderful job with her!
 

ChrystalPaths

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Look at her! Gee Janelle, she looks wonderful. I can feel your happy tears.
 

MeadowRidge Farm

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all I can say is...WHAT A LITTLE DOLL!! She is just adorable. A good farrier means everything in the world to these minis. I am so grateful for mine. Without his expertise, my Cherokee wouldnt be walking like he is today. Its almost 1 year since we pulled his hind shoes off and he is doing great! Corinne
 

justjinx

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Toy is adorable!

My filly born this year was back on her heels and i have had her trimmed at 2 1/2 weeks and then 4 weeks later...it SURE DOES make a huge difference! After the first trim she ran and ran and ran---what a great sight!

Congrats on your little TOY!

jennifer
 

Margo_C-T

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I will first admit that I have not CLOSELY studied all of the appropriate terminology relative to dwarfism in horses, but this filly looks to very DEFINITELY be of the type I have, for my own purposes, called "short-upper-limb"dwarfism-Janelle, is this, by definition, considered "achondroplasia"? I say this because one person said that, except for the crooked(over-at-the-knee)front legs, it didn't look like a dwarf--and I feel that is one of the reasons why these kinds of horses are in some cases, still being produced,and even registered--because many people don't recognize this as dwarfism(perhaps, on occasion, even including the AMHA[since AMHR doesn't require photos, there ARE going to be dwarves accepted to be registered there, regrettably]....and though the photos on this thread clearly show the phenomenon of the extremely short forearms and stifle-to-hock distance, this is not always the case, so some may very well end up being accepted into AMHA, as well...)--and I feel it is very important for people to learn to recognize these manifestations, as well as the more immediately-evident kind. The main manifestation of this kind of dwarfism IS the very short upper limbs(in proper conformation, the LOWER limbs-cannon bones- should be the shortest, relative to the forearm and stifle-to-hock. This is true in all horse breeds, but is considered especially important in breeds that where running speed is desirable.) The forelimbs are also usually crooked-and behind, the horse, in my observation, is/becomes increasingly close at the hocks, with the lower limbs often "pointing outward"(which might be described as cowhocked); later in life, such a horse will often appear to literally be 'sitting' on their own hocks, and will be built ' uphill', from croup to withers. The head size and shape, neck length, and torso will often appear quite 'normal' and proportionate, for an 'average' mini.

Very good point on the need for proper trimming, Janelle! This can be true, even of normal mini foals; however, I have to add a caveat-that the person doing the trimming MUST know what they are doing, to be so"agressive" in such trimming-or they could do harm. Everyone, please note that Janelle took this baby to a very knowledgable PROFESSIONAL for this job-with excellent results, BTW. And, it's great to hear the responses from those who know and appreciate the importance of quality work by someone who 'knows their stuff'-i.e., their excellent farriers!
 

Dona

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First of all....I want to commend you, Janell, for giving this adorable filly every chance at a normal life. Dr. Honnas did a WONDERFUL job on Toy's hooves!
And I agree with your vet....she is an Achondroplastic Dwarf. I'm impressed, because you would be surprised at how many vets do not pick up on this!

I agree with you Margo.
The first thing I noticed about this filly (after her obvious CUTENESS!
) was the shortness of her upper limbs in relation to the lower ones. This indicates Achondroplastic Dwarfism. These foals often look normal at birth....nice bite, nice length of neck...and often everything looks in porportion except for the short upper limbs (which can be hard for the inexperienced to detect). As these foals grow, however, it will become more & more obvious, as everything will grow.....except the legs.

Fortunately, Achondroplastic Dwarfs aren't usually affected with as many health problems as Brachycephalic Dwarfs are.

Here is a photo of an Achondroplastic Dwarf as an adult.

 
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Marnie

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This is amazing, I've shown pictures such as these to my farrier and she just doesn't get it, she isn't aggesive enough. On a couple of mine that need the real good work, like this, I take to my friends farrier when he comes to her house. But I don't want him here, he's to crabby and rough where mine is kind and gentle. To bad theres not a happy medium in farriers but around here, the ones that'll do minis are rare so we have to make due with what we got. Her feet look great and she's looking good too!
 
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Little Bit

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[SIZE=12pt]I was tickled to see all the wonderful replies to my post! Thanks for all the compliments.[/SIZE]

I had gotten my hopes up that just perhaps Toy wasn't a dwarf when another vet that saw her, told me that he did NOT think she was a dwarf. He said, "she doesn't have a head like any dwarf I have ever seen". But to tell you the truth, I think my dwarves are about the only dwarves he has ever seen. That would be Tessa, Little Bit, and Inky....all of which are quite different from each other.

But, I still had it in my head that Yes, Toy is an Achondroplasia dwarf....here's why I think so:

1- her body is quite long, although her dam's body is a bit long as well, and Toy has Shetland in her background. Toy's dam is not my idea of of breeding quality stock JMO, however I do not see any dwarf characteristics in her.

2- her forearms and gaskins are very short

3- her ears are quite small

4- she's very cowhocked

Now I have never seen a dwarf that had a perfect bite before, but a dear friend of mine had an Achondroplasia dwarf named Casey whose bite was perfect, as is Toy's. Casey's baby pictures look a lot like Toy, and his adult pictures look much like the dwarf that Dona posted.

I'm going to try to answer some of your questions.

Margo you asked:

I have, for my own purposes, called "short-upper-limb"dwarfism-Janelle, is this, by definition, considered "achondroplasia"?
Yes, an Achondroplasia dwarf usually has a body, neck and head that look quite normal, but the legs are too short in comparison to the body(short upper limbs). All of the ones I have dealt with, have very cow hocked back legs, and the bite is good. They have all had long healthy lives, with no unusual health problems.

Margo you also wrote:

one person said that, except for the crooked(over-at-the-knee)front legs, it didn't look like a dwarf--and I feel that is one of the reasons why these kinds of horses are in some cases, still being produced,and even registered--because many people don't recognize this as dwarfism(perhaps, on occasion, even including the AMHA[since AMHR doesn't require photos, there ARE going to be dwarves accepted to be registered there, regrettably]....and though the photos on this thread clearly show the phenomenon of the extremely short forearms and stifle-to-hock distance, this is not always the case, so some may very well end up being accepted into AMHA, as well...)--and I feel it is very important for people to learn to recognize these manifestations, as well as the more immediately-evident kind. The main manifestation of this kind of dwarfism IS the very short upper limbs(in proper conformation, the LOWER limbs-cannon bones- should be the shortest, relative to the forearm and stifle-to-hock.
I feel that all registries should require photos!!! I could register Toy with AMHR just by drawing in her markings and they would never know that she is a dwarf! I could then sell her to someone and because she is tiny and cute, they most likely would want to breed her! There ya go, adding that many more dwarf genes to the pool! Of course this senerio will NEVER happen, as I do not plan on registering Toy, for fear that if something were to happen to me, and she was passed along to someone who did not know she was a dwarf, they might breed her! They would say, she can't be a dwarf, she is registered!
I have two dwarves that AMHA registered! One is a minamal, and he didn't look all that dwarfy as a baby, but as he matures, his dwarf characteristics continue to get more pronounced, but Inky's registration pictures just scream "DWARF" to me!


That is why E D U C A T I O N on dwarfism in the Miniature Horse is SO VERY important!!!


Margo you also wrote:

I have to add a caveat-that the person doing the trimming MUST know what they are doing, to be so"aggressive" in such trimming-or they could do harm. Everyone, please note that Janelle took this baby to a very knowledgable PROFESSIONAL for this job-with excellent results,
YES! it is VERY important that ONLY a very experience farrier or equine vet trim any horse this aggressively!


I can't read the first posts while I am writing this reply, so I will have to go back and take notes.

Oh, I do remember someone wondering if Toy's Momma will be bred again.....I don't think the breeder will ever breed her again, I hope not anyway, as I feel that now this mare is a "known dwarf producer" after probably having 12 or 13 non dwarf foals!, she is 16 years old now. I feel that she should be taken out of the breeding program as well as the sire, because he is now a "know dwarf producer". But I doubt that he will be pulled.
I know a lot of people will not agree with my thinking on pulling all the "known dwarf producers" from the breeding programs, but I feel that it is the ONLY way we are going to reduce the number of dwarf foals being born. JMO

In another thread someone wanted to see a picture of Toy where she was not stretched out quite so much in the back end. I walked out to the paddock and snapped some new pictures of Toy this afternoon. It is VERY HOT & HUMID today here in Texas, and Toy wasn't being the most cooperative model, but here's what I got. Toy was 3 months old on the 20th.





Toy's back legs are VERY cowhocked, bless her little heart, but she can run and buck and play just fine! She's still over at the knees a bit, but I think she will continue to improve.

 

yankee_minis

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The new pictures did help. Thanks! For some reason that picture is so much more obvious to me that she is dwarfy.

This has been very educational for me! (I started another post because I didn't want to hijack yours)

I think she is a cutie and I'm glad she has you!
 

Little Bit

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[SIZE=12pt]yankee_minis....I feel that as Toy matures, her dwarf characteristics will only get more and more pronounced.[/SIZE]

If I have helped only one person to know what to look for when it comes to dwarfism in the Miniature Horse, I feel really good about it!!!
Now if you will take your knowledge and pass it on, even if it is to only one other person, that would be wonderful, too!


I wish that all of the Minaiture Horse clubs would have at least one presentation on Dwarfism in the Miniature Horse during the year. I took 3 of my little dwarves to our AMHR club meeting a couple years ago, there were LOTS of ooos! & ahhhhs! from the members, but only one new member knew about dwarves, and that was because she had one! At first the new members could only see tiny and cute, and could not understand why these special little horses should not be bred, or bred for, but before my presentation was over, I believe that everyone knew why, and understood the different dwarf characterisctic to look for in a horse.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Janelle, isn't it wonderful how educational this thread has become. How friendly and nice veryone is..your Toy is just perfectly precious as are all the Biscuits.

Sp
 
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Little Bit

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[SIZE=12pt]Hi Debbie~ You wrote: [/SIZE]

Janelle, isn't it wonderful how educational this thread has become. How friendly and nice veryone is..

YES! I was hoping to be able to show people how important it is to have their folas trimmed correctly as I have had quite a few people sending me pictures of their horse's legs and wanting me to send them the shoes, but many times I feel that all the horse really needs is to be trimmed correctly, the horse would have to be trimmed this way before shoes could be applied anyway.

When the hooves are not trimmed, it only pushes the foal back on the bulbs of it heels and those tendons are stretched SO much, that if left long enough, the horse does end up needing to wear some shoes with an extension in the back so as to get it up onto it hooves correctly and then the tendons are able to shrink back up to where they should be, the legs get strong and the horse will eventually get up onto it hooves like it should be.

Not only has this thread shown the importance of trimming these babies, but the importance of knowing what dwarf characteristics to look for in a horse. If Toy can teach people this, then I think she has already contributed a lot in helping to reduce the number of dwarf foals being born by helping me educate people on dwarfism in the Miniature Horse.


Midnight_star_stables you said:

looks great! if that mare was breed again, is there a chance another draf could happen?
This is just my opinion, but as I read the article that John Eberth wrote and the other dwarf study I mentioned earlier, YES Toy's Momma could produce another dwarf foal if she were bred to another stallion that also carries the dwarf gene.

Personally I feel that this mare should be taken out of the breeding program so as not to take another chance of producing a dwarf foal,(and I think she will be) since we don't have a test for the dwarf gene yet, we would have no idea if a stallion is carrying the dwarf gene or not, unless of course he had already produced a dwarf foal.

Debbie you said:

Toy is just perfectly precious as are all the Biscuits.
Yes, we love little Toy, she fits right in here with all my other little dwarves(the Biscuits) and hopefully she will be able to live a long healthy life. It would have been such an awful shame to have put little Toy down at birth, she is such a happy little thing, so full of life and is such a sweet little horse!

As a tiny baby I taught her to give me kisses and to give me a hug. When we were up to A & M the other day Dr. Honnas wanted to watch her walk. I have to admit that I have not taught her to lead yet, and so in order to get her to walk over to me I squated down and asked her for a hug, she immediately walkd over to me and pressed her chest up agaist my shoulder to give me a big hug, that got lots of Awwwwwws! from all the students watching her and a laugh out of Dr. Honnas!
 

Little Bit

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[SIZE=11pt]I'll see if I can get my daughter-in-law to snap some pix of a Toy Hug this weekend, Debbie
.
[/SIZE]

Thank you Mary Lou.

How can we go about getting AMHR to require photos to register the horses? I would be happy to do my part in any way.
I think this would be a BIG help in reducing the dwarves and minimal dwarves being registered.

Also the vets need to be eduated on dwarfism as well! So many times people write to me saying that their vets don't see all that many Miniature Horses and have never seen a dwarf M.H. before. They have no idea how to treat them and many times just suggest that they be put down; when all they need is some extra care, and maybe the *Magic Shoes*.
Either that or the vets tell people that the dwarves need expensive surgery done on their legs and so the dwarves are put down because of the surgery that's many times is not needed in the first place!


I HAVE to get the word out the the vets about the shoes somehow, perhaps my favorite vet would be willing to submit an article in some of the vet journals Guess I have another mission to work on, huh?


Janell
 

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