Colt pot bellied and bad fetlock - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ontario
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Colt pot bellied and bad fetlock

Two for one deal here folks. This is my friends paint colt. I think he's about 4 months old (forgot to write it down). Please give your opinions on the following:

1. Fetlock not flexing and forward -- this started a few days ago. There is no heat, no swelling. I think there is pain, given his walk and when I poke around in the sulci of his frog he pulls away. He won't put full weight on it for very long (maybe a second) when left to his own devices, whether standing or grazing. I can apply pressure to the joint, and both above and below without a reaction. I can move the joint, but there is resistance when I try to extend it. Could this have happened when he kicked the 100 lb rottie in the head? Why no heat? Possibly a bruise on his hoof about halfway up in the just to the outside of the front.

2. Not progressing and pot-bellied -- His spine is protruding slightly and overall looks thin, except for his belly. He has been wormed and manure has been checked. It's not worms. He eats hay, pasture grass and foal rations -- currently on Buckeye. He drinks fine, but spends an inordinate amount of time at the salt block. While I watched him for about 30 minutes he went back to the salt block about 6 times. His urine looks and smells normal, but to me his manure doesn't smell like horse -- it smells like cow or something. He has lots of gut noises, no pain when prodded, and lots of gas passing. The gas is almost a constant thing.

His feed has whole oats in it, but I don't see any oat husks at all in his manure -- shouldn't there be a few? I'm used to seeing a few. We gave him some mineral oil today and he will be taken off everything except hay and pasture grass for a few days to see if there is a change.

Sorry I forgot to get a good side shot to show his belly, maybe you can see some of it in the video. You can kind of see it in the rear shot. Hopefully I will be able to get the video loaded and you can check out his movement. Here are pics of his fetlock.




Last edited by NorthernMama; 08-21-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 08:16 PM
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For one thing, he is cow hocked which doesn't help at all, and it sounds like he has a hay belly (at least thats what I've always heard it called). A baby who gets lots of grass and hay can sometimes get a really rounded (sometimes to the point of looking distended) belly, but the rest of him still looks like a growing baby. I know when the foal is really young, its not a bad thing, it happens as he starts to eat more hay, and nurse less. As for his leg, it looks like he's got a popped or stuck joint or something. I would have the vet come out and check him out, and make sure that he is doing good for his age. Make sure that the leg isn't some conformational thing that will be permanent without correction, ect., and if he really is cow hocked, it would be a good idea to make sure that its not going to be something that is a huge deal later in life, as well as learn what some of his limitations might be.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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I don't believe he is actually that cow-hocked - it's the way he's standing because the foot/joint is bothering him. The joint seems to work OK -- I can pick his foot up and move it all around. The movement when I do it seems smooth. Would a popped joint still move like that? Now when he walks, he is uneven, but doesn't bob and on his own he will even kick up his heels.
I tried to post a video to youtube, but it kept giving me errors.

The thing about his belly is that the rest of him is quite thin actually. He's NOT looking like a growing baby. And he's smaller than my friend expects him to be at this age given his birth size and bloodlines.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-21-2009, 10:15 PM
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We really can't diagnosis this foal online. Your friend needs to get a vet out to check that leg and give him a good going over.
It's not up to you. You do not own the horse.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 05:45 AM
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he has extremly steep forelegs as well, I think that you should get a vet/nutrisioist in, he looks VERY thin (poverty lines are extreme). they should be able to help your friend out =]
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 10:07 AM
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This is definitely call for a vet exam.
You say there was a fecal check that was negative but that means little to nothing in horses, especially foals. How often is this guy dewormed and what with?

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I'm pretty sure the vet is coming out next week for him.

Ryle, I can't remember what he was wormed with. I have left a message for my friend to call me back with the info.

I wonder why he is at the salt block so much. He is definitely lacking in something.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 06:07 PM
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I know sometimes a thin framed body and bigger belly can just be bad breeding or not a great breeding. We bought a colt one time that had thin hindquarters, big belly just all gangly looking. We thought it was just a phase that colts go through being all weird looking. Well when we took him to the vet he just said he was poor grade breeding. Nothing special, just would make a good trail horse but nothing more. He was the ugliest horse I have ever seen but he had the best temperment I could have ever asked for, lol. Even at 7 years old he stayed pot bellied looking and the vet (3 of them, as we went to others) told us there was nothing we could do.

I am not sure about this colt's breeding though, this was just a past experience I have had that almost sounds like your situation, except for the fetlock, I don't know what is going on there. :( Poor thing, hopefully the vet will know what to do and see if it is treatable with time. By the sound of his manure and stuff, I really hope it isn't anything too bad internally. Please keep us updated on his situation.

"Horses Lend Us The Wings We Lack"

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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7Ponies -- I am fully aware this is not my horse and not "up to me" -- however, you should see that many of us here are helping others and don't knock those of us who want to help, if and when we can.

Ryle -- I confirmed he is 4 mos and has been wormed with Panamec once a month and just this week, about 3 days ago, she wormed him with Exodus jic for tapeworms. Yesterday we gave him 60cc of mineral oil. Today, we both went to see him at different times and without conferring, we both thought that his belly looked less distended. Hmmm... due to the Exodus? Due to the mineral oil? Who knows.

APHA Momma -- his breeding lines are good. This lady has a strong history in good quality paints. That doesn't mean, however, that a knock-off doesn't come along once in a while. Both the sire and the dam have had good throws, but this is the same dam we thought was pregnant with twins. She birthed only one after all (this colt) and he was big at birth.

We'll see what happens over the weekend and whether the vet can come out. Vets are funny up here. And if you can't get the one, no one else will cross their territory. Stupid, if you ask me, but that's the way it is here. There is really only one vet out of three available; don't even ask me about that scenario.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-22-2009, 09:11 PM
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EEEKKK! I have NO idea about that ankle! Wowza! Never seen anything like that. The belly going down is because of the change in wormer, I bet! The salt block addiction can easily be caused by a defficiency from worms. I've heard a few vets say that this year in Ontario the worms are bad because of the horrible weather, so ya never know...

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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