Bad Knees- Help!

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Bad Knees- Help!

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  • What to do with a horse with a bad knee
  • What to do for an animal with a bad knee

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    01-13-2009, 04:05 PM
Bad Knees- Help!

My yearling has bad knees. I think that if I get him shoed this spring he will come out of it for the most part and hopefully I will be able to break him. Heres an idea of how bad his knees are: they knock together when he walks, but only a little. They also bow in (hence his name: Bow) Any ideas on when the best time to break him would be (if I can)?? I was thinking of waiting to get someone on his back til 4 years old when his legs are more developed. Also, will the shoeing even work??
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    01-13-2009, 04:11 PM
I would talk to a vet to see what he/she says about it.
You might even want to call up a farrier and do a consultation type thing before you actually shoe him. I would even suggest getting in a few different farriers and barefoot trimmers.

IMO, if he has bad knees now, at a yearling, he may not be able to support the weight of a rider and tack.
    01-13-2009, 05:47 PM
It sounds like riding is going to be a ways out, so I wouldn't even worry about it for now. I agree with appylover in saying you should get multiple opinions and maybe even try to get a couple farriers/vets to work together on something.
    01-13-2009, 05:54 PM
I would get with your vet and a few farriers, hopefully find a barefoot one also and see what all of them have to say about his knees. Sometimes shoes can help correct minor problems with legs but generally barefoot is a better choice and helps out more in the long run. See what everyones opinions are and you have to make your final decision from there.

I would not worry about riding him until he is quite a bit older, see what your vet and farrier says about his legs and ask them about riding him. They will be able to offer the best advice after seeing the horse.
    01-15-2009, 01:50 PM
I agree with all of you.. riding is quite a ways off. I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Thanks for the advice!
    01-15-2009, 06:34 PM
Green Broke
You've waited too long to "fix" this problem. Had you addressed it at birth, you may have been able to get him to straighten out a bit. Now that he's nearly 2 years old, it's too late.

Also, 2 is too young to break, ESPECIALLY a horse with a leg issue.

You need to talk to a vet that specializes in lower leg deformities to see if there is any hope for him. Just shoeing him isn't likely to help much. And doing too much can cause him serious pain.

You also need to open to the fact that this horse may never be ridable.
    01-15-2009, 06:47 PM
I'm doing a bit of research on this to try and help you out.

I still think contacting a few vets and farriers and barefoot trimmers are your best bet though.

I found this on this website The Lazy Horse, Club Foot & Knock-Knee Foal
Knock-Knee Foal
"I have a foal with knock-knees," writes John Marsh of North Carolina. "Both knees are so bad that they hit together when he walks. Is it possible that keeping the hooves properly cut could help straighten the knees? I have ordered a knee brace. Have you heard any news (good or bad) about knee braces for this problem?"

Foals with severe knock-knees may be helped by trimming the outside heel and quarter of the hoof wall lower then the inside hoof wall, and squaring the toe of the hoof wall. But you can accomplish only a limited amount with trimming alone.

Other things you need to do are: exercise the foal twice daily by hand walking it for 15 to 30 minutes; massage the legs, top to bottom, for 10 minutes each leg; ice-bag the knees for 15 minutes to help with pain and swelling. You can make an ice bag by combining one cup isopropyl alcohol to three cups water in a Ziplock-type bag and freezing it overnight. The result is a nice cold ice bag that is not solid, so will form to the knee. Wrap the ice bag with terrycloth, so as not to injure the horse's skin.

Knee braces, if designed to help this problem, will probably help. I have not seen any long-term study on their use, but I would be concerned that prolonged use of braces could weaken the knees. Other options to consider with your vet are surgery, epiphysial stapling, and casting.
That was with a foal, but with your yearling, as Luv2ride mentioned it could be too late to fix it.
    01-15-2009, 06:50 PM
Green Broke
Okay, I'm confused. Is he a yearling now or is he coming 2yrs old this year? If he's just now a yearling (born in 2008 ) then you MIGHT be able to help him. I would not wait though, I'd be on the ball NOW.

If Fort Collins, CO is within driving distance, I would call the CO State University Vet Hospital and see if they have any specialists there that can help. CVMBS - VTH - Colorado State University

If you're not to far from Des Moines, IA, then try ISU:
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory | Iowa State University

It's on the wrong side of Kansas from you, but you might contact KSU's equine hospital to see if they know of any vets that can help you near or in NE.
Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine - Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
    01-15-2009, 09:27 PM
Ok, to clear this up.. this horse is NOT going on 2 years old. He was born in 2008. If nothing can be done to improve his knees, does something have to be done to prevent them from getting worse??

Thanks for the website luvst2ride and appy lover
    01-16-2009, 01:39 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by nmb8    
ok, to clear this up.. this horse is NOT going on 2 years old. He was born in 2008. If nothing can be done to improve his knees, does something have to be done to prevent them from getting worse??

Thanks for the website luvst2ride and appy lover

Okay, you might be able to do something (help or prevent it from progressing), but I would seek the help of a vet and try to AVOID shoes. Shoes on such a young horse should be avoided if possible. The hooves need to be able to grow and spread with age. Frequent trimming, every 3-4 weeks, should be able to keep the hooves in a balance to improve the legs.

You might want to contact Pete Ramey and see if he has any ideas. He's done a lot of work in helping rehabing horses with problems through barefoot trimming. Pete Ramey hoof care heals founder in horse’s navicular disease farrier or (might be an old address)

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