Is a failed flexion test the end?

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Is a failed flexion test the end?

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    04-27-2011, 12:41 AM
Is a failed flexion test the end?

Ok, so I'm new here but I really need advice. I've been leasing an 8 year old percheron/thoroughbred cross for about 6 months and now I'm looking at purchasing him. I had him vet checked today and he passed everything except flexion- his right hind was given a 2/5. The vet seemed pretty concerned about this but told me that I could continue riding him. She said he had mild effusion around his hock and stifle. I'm not looking for a show horse... I just was a pleasure horse... and I'm totally in love with this horse. So I'm pretty heart-broken. Is it worth doing xrays?? He had a similar issue last year and his owner had him checked out and his vet didn't come to any conclusion and suggested hock injections. He also had an injury as a baby, they think he did the splits in the trailer and pulled something up near his hip. I REALLY want this to work out, but I also want to be smart about the decision I'm making. HELP!
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    04-27-2011, 12:50 AM
Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that

I had a horse have a clean pre-purchase but failed tendon palpation. I sprang for ultrasounds and they found a whole mess of issues and holes and tears that will plague that poor horse the rest of his life.

I loved that horse and I wanted it to work out so badly I was willing to accept a lot but that was a deal breaker. He wasn't even lame at the time it was so difficult for me to come to terms with.

I do regret doing the ultrasound now though and should have just listen to my vet during the prepurchase. Would have saved myself a lot of money, time and heart ache

If it would make you feel better to do the x-rays and you have the cash to spend, go for it. If the vet seemed concerned, it's probably not a good idea. Sorry to hear that.

Take it from a girl who rescued a horse with known lameness issues who failed a vet check... it's endless vet bills, sadness money and trouble. My gorgeous wonderful sweet little quarter horse is now in the pasture board after having a lameness relapse :(
    04-27-2011, 01:14 AM
Xrays really depend on your budget, as without knowing what the problem is, it could lead to having to do scans too. And then you might find that you have spent all that money on a horse that you don't want to buy. (which is what I did, I spent $800 finding out what was wrong with a horse I didn't own).

If I were you, I would probably pass on this horse, sorry, I know that's not what you are wanting to here. But when looking to buy, you really want something without any health issues.

There are many more horses out there looking for someone to love them and bond with them.
    04-27-2011, 03:48 AM
Green Broke
I personaly never trust a flexion test.
3 of my horses failed thiers, I bought them anyway and they have never had a day lame in the time I have had them (of those 3 the least time I've had one of them was 10years)

2 of my horses passed which where:
My youngster who i've only had since september so too early to tell
My arab, who turned out to be lame all round and never came properly sound for any length of time. He had on going knee issues and a bad back, he would be sound for a few weeks then do something silly and be lame for months.

SO you can probably see why I generaly don't trust them. I'll still have them done and a horse that is massivly lame I wont buy, but some horses are just a bit stiff and I'll concider those dependant on age and a lot of other factors(a 15yr old horse will be stiffer then a 10 yr old, will it impact what I want to do etc). If you held my leg up for a minute and then expected me to run I'd limp a few strides too and there is nothing wrong with my knees.
    04-27-2011, 11:44 AM
Thank you for all of your input. It's a really tough decision because I REALLY love him. My husband is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan and this horse is like the only thing that keeps me sane.
I've done a lot of reading on flexion tests and it seems to be pretty controversial. I'm thinking about having his usual vet check him out since he knows him and he had seen a similar issue before in him. But, like others have said- it's tough to spend money on a horse that isn't even mine yet.
This makes it extremely difficult for me because I've been riding him for 6 months and I've never had a problem with him. He's a big guy (over 17h) and he's pretty bulky. I started him on corta-flx about a month ago and that seemed to help him not be so stiff.
Fortunately, his current owner really adores him and she has said many times that if it doesn't work out, she would buy him back. She just recently did this with one of her other horses who is totally useless and now she pays $200 a month to have him out at pasture. So I believe her when she says she would buy him back.
Ughhhh I SO wish this was easier.
    04-27-2011, 11:55 AM
Flexion tests are more of a tool to see if you can pin point a problem, not a 'this is what is wrong' thing.

The last two horses I did a PPE on had positive results on the flexion test.

I personally would rather spend $800 on a horse that I end up not buying because I found an issue than have to spend $800 on x-rays after I buy a horse and find it to be too lame to work.

You like this horse and it fits the bill for what you want a horse to do.
This horse has been doing what you want it to do for months with out a problem.

Both things make a difference.

If it were me I would probably do further exams to determine the cause of the flexion issue and then discuss lowering the price with the seller if the cause will not interfere with my plans for the horse.
    04-27-2011, 12:10 PM
I say, if you love this horse and the Vet says the horse is still rideable, then go for it.

The reason I say this is - because you don't know exactly what the issue is, and this could be "doable". Meaning, if you have to invest joint injections and Adequan IM's - then that'll be worth it, for the horse you love so dearly, to keep him happy and sound.

I say pursue this, to find out exactly what you have to do to keep your beloved sound a happy.
    04-27-2011, 01:15 PM
Depending on the use you are going to give the horse should help you determine what you should do. If he is simply a trail or pleasure horse then it may never be a problem. I would go by the advise of the vet but never buy a horse with your heart.
    04-27-2011, 01:30 PM
Since you say you are not looking for a show horse I would go for it, you have been riding him for 6 months so if he hasn't shown signs of lameness chances are whatever is wrong is minor and won't interfere with just being a pleasure horse, I honestly wouldn't even bother with x-rays, but that's me, even if he does have an off day once in a while since you won't be showing I would not worry about it too much
    04-27-2011, 07:24 PM
I have mixed feelings about flexion tests. If you hold your own leg up to your butt for a minute and then try to run away, you'd wobble too. If you were looking for anything other than pleasure, I'd say pass. It's too bad the vet can't say whether this horse has always been like this or if it's just started to become an issue. That would give the real picture of how big a factor it is. I know a few people who have chronically lame horses. They spend big bucks on horses they cannot ride. If the xrays would definitely give you more information, they would probably be worth the money. Otherwise, just save your money and take your chances.

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