anybody with experience with "delayed patella release" (catching/locked stifles) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-20-2012, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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anybody with experience with "delayed patella release" (catching/locked stifles)

I have a 2yr old who has "delayed patellar release", also known as 'stifled,' catching stifles, locked stifles, sticky kneecaps, ..., which roughly means that his knee caps (hind quarter) do not smoothly lock/unlock, making him walk awkward. First step he lifts his hind leg unneccessarily high up, then walks normal. When I pick the foot up I can hear a "knack" in his knee. Does anybody have had experience with this kind of problem? At this time I am wondering if he will ever be rideable and actually trying to give him away as companion horse.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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I work with a Gipsy Cob with almost the same problem. In his case the problem is not so severe though. You can notice him walking a bit funny, you can say that he is a bit lame on one of his hind legs but it isn't really a concern. You notice the problem at walk and a bit at trot when he isn't carrying himself properly (when he is not collected) but despite of that he can be ridden and worked. They say that in mild cases it will just pass without further complications, just work.

We try to do a lot of cavaletties because we don't have hills to work him this way. I read that hill work is really good in this case because it helps him develop the right muscles.
Good luck.

"I am not what just I am - I am who I am not yet" (M. Heidegger)
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-20-2012, 03:20 PM
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There is a certain bloodline of QHs that have the tendency to get this problem. You can take him the vet, there is a procedure that can be done to free them up, have no idea what it costs though.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-22-2012, 08:31 PM
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The problem is common in young horses of certain breeds & confo types such as 'straight' back legs(stifle joint). It doesn't usually make a horse unsound for riding. It is exacerbated by sedentary lifestyle & helped with exercise. Particularly hill work & walking over caviletti - if your environment suits, you can create laneways of caviletti in the paddock the horse has to go over for food, drink, shelter, etc, so he's getting that exercise without you having to do it with him.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-22-2012, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
There is a certain bloodline of QHs that have the tendency to get this problem. You can take him the vet, there is a procedure that can be done to free them up, have no idea what it costs though.
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I had the stifles clipped on my gelding 13 years ago. It cost me around 350$ if I can remember right, and I had to haul him about 2 hours. I'm pretty sure.the price has gone up over the Years, but it wasn't as much as I was expecting it to be.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-22-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies! I like the idea with an obstacle course to get to feed and water, that would work for me. He just came from a pasture where he had to go up and down hills, unfortunately I have only one of those. What made me a bit uncertain, even though I have heard before of the advantage to have him climb, is that he got much much worse after I had him teach himself trailer loading (grain in the trailer parked in his pasture, he could walk in and out on his own decision). Climbing in was easy - coming out obviously pretty difficult since he spend a lot of time inside the trailer once he was in ...
I will discuss options for surgery with my vet, but with todays horse market and the value of this colt I am not sure if a procedure will be feasable
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-23-2012, 01:16 AM
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My horse has this issue as well. I had his stifles blistered and the problem went away in about 3 days.

For very mild cases you can try estradiol cypionate injections but they only last for maybe 1-2 days. Blistering the stifles can be a longer term solution but sometimes it doesn't completely solve the problems. Splitting seems to be most successful in more severe cases.

And a regular hillwork regimen def goes a long way.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-23-2012, 03:16 AM
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I had a standardbred who had it. It was never discovered while he was in race training, he just wasn't fast enough. I found out about three months after I got him. I researched and found a "scale" of options. First was trimming the hoof short with lots of breakover and a bit higher heel. With the idea that hoof leaves ground before totally stretching out the leg and therefore avoiding the "catch". For my boy that worked like a charm. He needed to be trimmed every six weeks on the day. Only one day longer and he locked up.
Uphill and downhill trotting exercise builds the muscles who in turn help straighten the slightly too long ligament who catches on the patella.
I also knew a young QH stallion who was worked regularly but no free turnout was allowed. The vet said he would grow out if it.
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lockes stifles , patellar , stifled

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