Severe club foot

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Severe club foot

This is a discussion on Severe club foot within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    10-13-2012, 09:51 AM
Severe club foot

Just after some opinions on wether this is worth me fighting for.

I work on a remote cattle station. We breed our own workhorses. The foals are left running with their mums in a huge paddock and not handled until weaning. Not the way I personally would do it, but not my horses.

There are no vets willing to do large animals anywhere near, and the only vet we can fly in is not in the good books as after his last visit a colt died, it may or may not have been related to the use of drugs. So vet intervention is not an option.

Farrierry is all done by us in house. We have a master farrier we can consult with and the manager and head stockman are both good at it, but not master farriers.

There is one filly, about 5 months old now, who has severe club feet on both fronts. One is worse than the other. On the worst foot the toe is actually back behind the coronary band. She was very lame when she was younger but isn't as lame as she's getting older. The heels of the worst foot don't touch the ground and the frog is growing down to try and reach the ground.

The boss is fairly resigned to having to euthanize her as the feet are too severe. This would be done humanely and obviously isn't the worst choice out there.

However I really like this filly, have ridden her nieces and full siblings who are really good work horses.

Wild it be worth me taking her on and seeing if small amounts of trimming frequently, even daily, could help turn her around?

Does anybody think it's possible to get her back to being sound enough for moderate work without surgical/veterinary intervention?

I would just hate for such a lovely young horse to go to waste if I could have done something to help her out.

*photos forthcoming as soon as I find a stupid app to resize them so I can actually upload them on my iPad!*
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    10-13-2012, 10:06 AM
Sorry about the crappy pics, but as she isn't halter broken its the best I could do.

And just cause she's so cute!

    10-13-2012, 06:31 PM
Wow that's a bummer. According to my farrier, that is completely fixable with surgery between 3 and 8 months of age. Too bad you don't have that option.

I suppose she could find a way to compensate for that defect, but long term it would probably cause lots of problems in terms of arthritis and various ligament issues. If you subscribe to, there are lots of very good farrier on that board who might be able to offer solutions.
    10-13-2012, 06:32 PM
Green Broke
That looks so un comfy.. I hope you find a way to help this girl out.. no matter what that outcome is.. :(.. she most definitely is a looker!


IMHO I don't think that she can do work? But I don't know much about clubbed feet. Im hopping to hear something different for you:) please keep us updated!
    10-13-2012, 06:34 PM
Oh my goodness... that is bad.
I've never seen that before...
Good luck, keep us updated!
barrelbeginner likes this.
    10-13-2012, 06:45 PM
Originally Posted by The Northwest Cowgirl    
Oh my goodness... that is bad.
I've never seen that before...
Good luck, keep us updated!
Subbing hope there is a good outcome for her
    10-13-2012, 08:15 PM
I don't think those are actually club feet. To me (and I'm definitely not a vet) I would think that is a tendon contraction issue.

It looks pretty severe, but I would research contracted tendons because sometimes horses get that when they grow too fast and there is a chance her body could catch up if her growth slows down. Try Googling tendon contraction, Developmental Othopedic Disease, and Physitis/ Epyphysitis in horses.

Here are some articles I found on a quick search just to show you that's what she most likely has, but I didn't do a thorough search so I will leave that for you. Good luck with her! I know mild cases can resolve when their diet is corrected, perhaps with orthopedic shoeing. I don't know if she is too advanced to be helped or not. But I hope you can help her.

Corrective Trimming and Shoeing in Contracted Tendons of Foals

Merck Veterinary Manual
    10-13-2012, 08:34 PM
Tendon contraction is club feet due to genetics and or nutrition.
    10-13-2012, 08:44 PM
I guess I just consider a club foot to actually have the heels on the ground.

This girl looks so contracted she isn't even putting weight on her heels.
    10-13-2012, 08:57 PM
Green Broke
I am hoping for a possitive outcome for this beautiful yearling:)

But im kinda stuck in the fog.. if you know what I mean..

What is the 'real' possibly that this girl could be rode and worked like a normal horse? Or live a healthy 20 years?

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