Locking Stifles
   

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Locking Stifles

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    10-13-2011, 06:40 PM
  #1
Started
Question Locking Stifles

My 17 yr old OTT STB gelding has locking stifles. His stifle will pop and crack. Has crepitus. He always had the slightest hitch. Tracks up a little less with the bad leg than the good one. He has always held that leg up for long periods of time. I think it is because he is self treating because the stifle can't lock up if his leg is up. He will use the leg and will stand on it but he puts more weight on the good leg. If you do a lateral tail pull on the bad side, he pulls back. Has good days and bad days. Doesn't seem to be in much pain if any at all. He can walk trot canter pretty well but if you look closely, his movement is affected by the leg. He is a really happy horse that loves to work. Even on his bad days under saddle if his leg is locking, he is still exuberant and wants to gallop. Hill work doesn't seem to help because he tends to pull more with his front end. Any tricks I have tried like the lateral tail pulls and hills he has figured out a way to favor the leg. Supplements like Cosequin and MSM don't seem to help at all. Have tried legacy and bute daily but he is still the same. His hip muscles are extremely tight. Has negative plane in the hind legs and a slight hunter's bump. The vet doesn't want to do anything for him because he thinks he isn't worth it because he is just a backyard horse. Does anyone have any suggestions? Was thinking about trying Hyalun for him. Even if it wouldn't help the stifle, it probably would help him in other areas since he is 17 and will be 18 on March 5th. Please tell me what you think
     
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    10-13-2011, 06:52 PM
  #2
Trained
How consistent have you been in providing hill work to him?
I've had a couple of horses with locking stifles and the two most significant factors to their improvement have been increasing their condition (both were straight off the track and in let down mode so had dropped a lot of weight) and strengthening the muscles in the hind quarters to support the patella and help lubricate the ligaments that run over it.
Hill work was immensely helpful in this process, just walking up hills - trotting and cantering does not work as well as walking as it is easier for them to pull from their front end. I would also look at getting a chiropractor to him to try and help loosen up his hind quarters.
     
    10-13-2011, 07:05 PM
  #3
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
How consistent have you been in providing hill work to him?
I've had a couple of horses with locking stifles and the two most significant factors to their improvement have been increasing their condition (both were straight off the track and in let down mode so had dropped a lot of weight) and strengthening the muscles in the hind quarters to support the patella and help lubricate the ligaments that run over it.
Hill work was immensely helpful in this process, just walking up hills - trotting and cantering does not work as well as walking as it is easier for them to pull from their front end. I would also look at getting a chiropractor to him to try and help loosen up his hind quarters.
Thanks! I haven't done much of the hill work because of the fact that he was pulling from the front end but I guess I will have to try it and be more consistent with it
     
    10-14-2011, 12:21 AM
  #4
Started
I am such a stupid ignorant horse owner. He is one hurting unit. Comet never looked totally right to me but I shrugged it off and kept riding him. His leg is locked solid tonight. Not only is his leg acting up but his entire body is tense. His neck, back, belly, and hindquarters are all tight. Gave him a liniment massage which helped some but he is still hurting. He is in tonight because the pasture is so slippery and with his muscles all knotted up, it wouldn't be good to let him out. I just don't know what to do!
     
    10-14-2011, 12:34 AM
  #5
Trained
Don't down yourself mate, it's not your fault.

When he locks right up, you can push the ligaments back over the patella by pushing against the stifle with the palm of your hand in a circular motion. Get your vet to show you if possible.

Generally there is no pain when the ligaments slide off the patella, rather discomfort and some stress if the horse can't walk. If your boy is getting that bad, I would be talking to another vet for a second opinion. There are a few options available, surgery is one if you want to go down that path. The ligaments can be cut which frees the joint up, but can cause bone chips and some arthritis down the track.
Another option is to inject cortisone and a lubricating agent into the stifle to allow the ligaments to run more freely over the patella.
It is actually better to have him out in the paddock, if it is true stifle lock, keeping him moving will help to free the joint up. Paddocking him on a slope would be ideal. Much like arthritis, the more he moves around, the more lubricated the joint will become.
     
    10-14-2011, 12:53 PM
  #6
Started
He feels better today since I left him in. Our soil is clay like and when it rains, even with my muck boots, I still slip and slide. I have a gameplan. Get the vet to do x rays, put him on hyalun, and then get a chiro out
     

Tags
horse, locking, standardbred, stifle, track

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