Delayed patellar release

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Delayed patellar release

This is a discussion on Delayed patellar release within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    10-25-2011, 06:03 PM
Delayed patellar release

So, looking at a horse with delayed patellar release. The horse is 4 years old.

The owner says she's growing out of it. Is this something that CAN be grown out of?? Will it have any effect in the future? I'm looking for a mid level dressage prospect.

Your thoughts?
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    10-25-2011, 11:51 PM
I'm assuming this is the same as locking stifle? Has a vet been consulted in this case?

Depending on the severity, there are various options. The horse *can* grow out of it with age or conditioning, but I would't count on that. There are treatments with differing degrees of invasiveness, too. "Blistering" is one option, involving injecting irritating iodine and almond oil to scar and tighten the ligament. There's also a procedure involving punching small holes to the same effect or, as a last resort, surgically cutting the tendon. The latter is not something I would do on a horse I hoped to compete with.
    10-27-2011, 03:29 AM
Thank you, bubba. That seems to be what I'm reading in my research. I'm thinking I'll probably go meet the mare, and if she's otherwise perfect, find a specialist vet to give me some info.

No one else has anything to add, or perhaps has dealt with it firsthand??
    10-27-2011, 03:35 AM
Green Broke
It can be grown out of, normaly with muscle and good work.

We had a section youngster A who had it, sometimes so badly that you had to push him backwards o get it to unlock.
Anyway by the time he was 6 yrs old you could not tell that he had a problem.

It is a very common thing in welsh section A's, It is normaly (at least in welshies) inherited from parents, so I would never breed the mare if you do get her.

I'm not sure I would buy a horse with the issue, it is a large gamble as she may not grow out of it.
    10-27-2011, 07:27 AM
I think I would avoid purchasing a horse that has a locking or slipping stifle. We currently own a mare that has problems with stifle and she has spent allot more time under veterinary care than she has being sound.
There are many things to consider, is it something hereditary or is it injury related? Should it be injected to tighten the muscle back up?
If you decide to buy make sure you have a vet with extensive knowledge of equine lameness issues and a great farrier.
    10-27-2011, 07:43 AM
I'm not sure if this the same thing but my riding partner has a 19 year old TB that he trail rides. Early this spring, his right hind leg would lock up in a stretched out position and we would have to wait a few moments for it to relax enough that we could move on. Sometimes backing him up helped release it.

The vet said his stifle was locking up and gave him a shot of estrogen in his neck. We've ridden on all kinds of trails all summer and into the fall without any indication of a stifle lock up.

It seems like an odd remedy for the problem but it certainly worked.
    10-27-2011, 08:30 AM
Estrogen Therapy is quite common as a treatment as it encourages tightening of the stifle ligaments and quadriceps muscles to the point where the medial patellar ligament is no longer catching on the ridge of the femur.

It is most commonly used as a first treatment and is very successful but my understanding has always been that it should be used several times over a few weeks to be successful. Couldnt say for sure tho.
    10-27-2011, 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by teamfire    
So, looking at a horse with delayed patellar release. The horse is 4 years old.

The owner says she's growing out of it. Is this something that CAN be grown out of?? Will it have any effect in the future? I'm looking for a mid level dressage prospect.

Your thoughts?

Horses are an expensive hobby under the best of circumstances. Look for a sound animal that will meet your needs. Last I checked, it's a buyers market.

    10-27-2011, 02:15 PM
Thank you for your words, everyone. Sounds like it's really not worth the trouble.

It really is a shame, as this horse's parents and most of her bloodline are FEI dressage and GP jumpers... Was looking for a good dressage prospect, but I suppose it's just not possible at my budget. Or at least, just more waiting, I suppose.
    10-27-2011, 06:43 PM
I wouldn't give up hope, I'd continue looking. In another thread, someone had a good suggestion, if you are on a budget, look maybe for a horse that needs a little fixing up, needs some more miles, acts up a bit, has a few bad habits that the owners don't want to take the time to fix. Manageable fixes obviously, you don't want something that you will never be able to work with, but you can generally find a decent horse if you are willing to put the work into it to fix the problems. Just keep looking, and go see as many horses as you can that might fit the bill even if they do need more work. Good luck in finding a great horse.

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