Imflammation of The Growth Plates? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-02-2009, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
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Question Imflammation of The Growth Plates?

Ok, so after chatting with my farrier, I found out that my boy had an operation as a baby because he had imflammation of the growth plates. I was not told this when I bought him even though I asked about his medical history. I bought him directly off the breeder too!
I love my boy, and would never ever return him because of that but I felt it was something I should've been told.

Now, straight to it. My farrier gave me a brief explaination of what it is, and its technical name but I forgot what that is. He basically said I should slowly cut down his hard feed and just have him on a basic pellets and chaff diet. So thats what I'm going to do.
He also said to get some ODSM for him. Its like a gel rub that will reduce imflammation and take some stress off his knee. He said not too worry, that it won't affect him as he had the operation but he'll always have the a little bit of knobbly knee unless I get rid of it now.
Would it also be good to put him on a joint supplement? Maybe TechnyFlex or JointGuard?

I know there are a lot of smart cookies on here, so could you please tell me about this and if the treatment plan I stated above would help him? Is there anything else I can do with to help him? I know that my farrier said it won't affect his riding or movement, just his appearance but is that true?

Thank you. I'm a very concerned Mum at the moment.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-02-2009, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
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Your farrier's explanation doesn't sound quite right. Surgery isn't generally performed for inflammation of the growth plates. With a young horse and something having to do with the growth plates, it's much more likely that your horse had an angular limb deformity as a foal and one side of a leg bone was growing faster than the other.

Check out these articles:
The Horse | Angular Limb Deformities in Foals
The Horse | Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium: New Treatments for Foal Deformities

Don't go crazy cutting everything out of your horse's diet. Instead shoot for a balanced diet so that you meet all of his needs, but without trying to dump extra weight on a growing frame. Discuss the situation with your vet rather than just your farrier. Farriers may be quite knowledgeable, but they are not trained to deal with medical conditions of the leg and they don't generally keep up with the changes in recommendations that occur on a regular basis in the medical field.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-03-2009, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Australia
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Thank you. Those articles were very interesting and gave me a good definition of it I'm not too sure whether he had an angular limb deformity or an inflammation of the growth plate. Its on the inside of his knee, which led me to believe it was probably an inflammtion of the growth plate. It hasn't affected him yet, and I believe it has been dealt with but will it affect him as he gets older? Is it purely an appearance thing now it has been dealt with? His legs are straight its just his knee is a bit knobbier than his other one.
And management, should I put him on a joint supplement?
I will be definately getting in touch with his previous owner because I wasn't told this when I bought him.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-03-2009, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I agree with Ryle's advice. Unfortunately not all breeders are created equal, I'm sorry you didn't get full disclosure from them. Out of curiosity, how did your farrier know about a surgery that you were not privy too? One of my research horses this summer was donated by the owner due to breeding unsoundness. The owner told us he had been diagnosed with "slipped growth plates" and after he was euthanized, we did a bone prep on the legs. The amount of osteoarthritis was astounding, but the horse never showed any signs of lameness.

It sounds like you have a fair amount invested in this horse, I really feel like it would be money very well spent to have a veterinarian do some radiographs and put together a plan for you. For the amount you have into him already, it makes sense to spend a little more (probably a few hundred dollars) to make sure you protect the investment as well as the future health and happiness of the animal. Just my $0.02
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