Knuckling over at fetlock

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Knuckling over at fetlock

This is a discussion on Knuckling over at fetlock within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Knuckling at the fetlocks
  • Treatment for knuckling over at fetlock in front legs of horses

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    09-11-2007, 02:30 PM
Knuckling over at fetlock

Some of you may remember me from a while ago when I posted about my 27 year old mare, Onyx. I'm happy to say that she has gained some weight and is doing much better in that area. Unfortunately she's got a new problem now. I've been having trouble keeping her sound anyway but this morning I noticed that both of her rear fetlocks are knucking over. I will try to remember a camera tomorrow so I can show you better, but what causes this on older horses and how do I fix it? She's getting a supplement with MSM, condroiton (sp?) and glucosamine and has been for over a year. In addition she's on Allegra Senior and grass hay. All her joints are popping. I know she's old and her days are probably numbered but I'm hoping theres something else I can do for her before I consider putting her down.
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    09-11-2007, 04:47 PM
Hi i'm only new here therefore don't know about the previous injury, but you sound like you have done a great job with her so far and i'm sorry to say that I cannot help with the knuckling over.
Just wanted to give my best wishes..
    09-11-2007, 06:10 PM
This could be from pain in the back or neck or from a neurological issue. Older horses tend to be more painful just like older people and this can affect how they move overall.

An exam to check for stiffness or pain in the neck and back and for neurological deficits would be the place to start since this is a new occurance.
    09-13-2007, 11:28 PM
She has always been a little sore along her topline. I used to have a chiropractor out regularly when I was showing her. That was a long time ago though. I know she's got arthritis. I don't know if this sudden show of pain is from the change in weather or not but I don't want to keep her on bute for the rest of her life. She's already on a good joint formula. I just don't know that theres much else I can do for her. I'm really starting to think that I need to have her put down. Sad to think about. We've been partners for 12 years.
    09-14-2007, 09:47 AM
Don't go jumping the gun and getting yourself all depressed here. ;) I have a 31yr old POA, so I understand the worry, but you don't even know what is causing the problem and you are only looking at the possible bad side effects of using Bute to increase your mare's comfort. Many older horses can be maintained safely on a maintenance dose of Bute to make them more comfortable--think quality of life at this stage. She can keep going and be uncomfortable or you can use Bute judiciously and she can be a happy old woman. Free choice forage and the use of Ulcergard or even antacid top-dressings for feed can decrease the risk of GI upset associated with Bute. Plus the risk is dependant upon the dose so if you can keep her comfortable with a gram a day or a gram every 2 days then your risk is pretty low. There's also the possibility that what you are dealing with is neck pain that can be alleviated with neck joint injections. It may be that you can increase her comfort with Adequan IM injections that you can give yourself once a month.

Get your vet out to evaluate her and find out what your options are before you start getting too stressed and contemplating euthanasia. I've seen this time and time again where an owner got themselves all worked up prior to the vet getting there assuming the worst only to find out that the issue wasn't as bad as they were expecting.
    09-14-2007, 04:28 PM
Good point I have increased her joint supplement to see if that helps and the vet will be out soon, She wasn't knuckling over at all this morning and I was happy to see that. She is a happy old mare even if she is in pain. She geets me every time I go out and she begs loudly for grain. Its just so sad to see almost nothing left of her former glory. I hope I can keep her pasted together and comfortable for awhile longer. And hopefully I don't have to sell my body to do it.
    12-08-2008, 02:10 AM
knuckling over

I have seen several older mare that have done this. Most it did not bother them at all. It just look bad but once they where warmed up they moved normal. It sound like you are doing all that you can at this time. Old lady's are very special aren't they? Mine was 31 before I had to have her put down. Still cry from time to time.
    12-08-2008, 11:38 AM
Green Broke
She could also be too heavy. You might need to keep her a little ribby to keep her comfortable. Use a blanket for cold weather.

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