odd leg movement? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 12-01-2010, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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odd leg movement?

I've noticed Charlie walks strangely on his back left leg, his hock twists outwards when he puts his foot down. He doesnt seem lame in anyway though. He also trips alot. Any idea what could be causing it?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-01-2010, 01:25 PM
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do you have a picture of him standing square and evenly on his back legs? Also one from behind when he is standing square? That way we can see how he's built. It might be just a flaw in his conformation.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-01-2010, 05:08 PM
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Is he slapping his hoof on the ground in the affected limb when he steps forward in addition to the hock twist?

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-01-2010, 07:52 PM
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Just today we had the vet eguine chiropractor out for similar issues. She said that it was arthritus in the hock, most likely. The horse can't or won't bend at the hock as much as they should and compensate for the lack of bending while stepping under and pushing off by rotateing the foot , kind of swiveling it on the ground and rolling the hock outward. This horse trips a lot, too, both front and back but more in the back. He has very upright hind legs called "post legs". Does this sound like your horse?
She recommended Adequan injections.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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SugarPlumLove -
I can't get any pictures at the moment because I can't get up there because of the snow. I could get some by next week & i'll post them on here.

Tralauney -
No he walks completely normal apart from the hock twist when he pushes off that hoof & the tripping.

Tinyliny -
That does sound alot like charlie. Arthritis would make sense to me because he's not exactly young lol I hadnt really noticed him being post legged or anything like that, but then I havent really been looking for it so I don't know.

Oh and another thing, he over reaches alot. Could that be something to do with it aswell?
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 07:16 PM
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I agree with Tinyliny, arthritic changes can start at younger ages depending on the horses history and development, also conformational issues as well of course. I would suggest getting a Certified Equine Therapist or Vet Chiropractor out to get a more definitive idea for what is going on. The problem may also be origionating from the femur attachment at the pelvis as well, possibly causing or due to a pelvis rotation. A tripping horse is sometimes caused by referal of weight forward (carrying too much weight on the forehand). A horse tends to carry 60% + weight on the forehand and this % can increase due to how downhill they are built, ect. When there is an issue in the hind end, they will refer more of their weight onto the forehand to compensate for the issues behind which tends to result in many things, tripping being one of them. Having said that, arthritic changes in the hock can also cause this forward compensation to occur.

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tralauney View Post
I agree with Tinyliny, arthritic changes can start at younger ages depending on the horses history and development, also conformational issues as well of course. I would suggest getting a Certified Equine Therapist or Vet Chiropractor out to get a more definitive idea for what is going on. The problem may also be origionating from the femur attachment at the pelvis as well, possibly causing or due to a pelvis rotation. A tripping horse is sometimes caused by referal of weight forward (carrying too much weight on the forehand). A horse tends to carry 60% + weight on the forehand and this % can increase due to how downhill they are built, ect. When there is an issue in the hind end, they will refer more of their weight onto the forehand to compensate for the issues behind which tends to result in many things, tripping being one of them. Having said that, arthritic changes in the hock can also cause this forward compensation to occur.
Sorry I misread your comment to Tinyliny...LOL, "he's not exactly young", not he's young :) 20 is more than reasonable for arthritic changes and osteoarthritis...

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tralauney View Post
Sorry I misread your comment to Tinyliny...LOL, "he's not exactly young", not he's young :) 20 is more than reasonable for arthritic changes and osteoarthritis...
Arthritic changes in any horse who has been under hard working conditions (ranch horses, showjumpers, dressage horses, reining horses, racing horses, etc..) are not uncommon as early as 8 years old. This is because horses are not designed to do what we do with them. They are supposed to spent 98% of their awake time walking and grazing and the other 2% running away from predators. Horses in the wild live to be about 20, maybe, because they are picked off by predators.
For our horses who are put to work at least an hour a day carrying things (which is hard on their skeletal structure as well), trotting and cantering for extended periods of time and who are expected to do this well into their late teens and early twenties, we need to give them some relief.
I would recommend the horse be outside 24/7 in a large field that encourages him to walk, a lot. Adequan injections are very beneficial, along with IV Legend to increase the quality of the intra articular fluid. If generic arthritis treatments aren't working to correct the problem, then you know something else is amiss.
For any horse, I recommend arthritis preventative treatment, if your pocket book allows for it. Starting any young horse on Adequan once a month can tack years onto their comfortable, useful life.

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 07:47 PM
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Good post Anebel!

One of our old TWH did what it sounds like your horse does. He was pretty cow-hocked and didn't have the nicest legs in the world. Most of his problems resulted from being starved at a very young age (under a year). He didn't trip and was sound in all but one leg until he died at 27. He had a twisted foreleg that caused problems if he was ridden heavily, though he was fine for light trail rides.

My old mare, Flame also did something similar towards the end of her days. She had a decent amount of arthritis in her back legs and her back, which appeared to be the cause of the difference in her gait. She also had a problem with tripping. When she was younger it was more than likely caused by poor farrier work, the old "no heel, long toe" type of job.

The point of all that rambling is to say that if it is arthritis it would be beneficial to get him on an arthritis treatment. If you cannot afford injections some people have had luck with oral supplements, but many of them are just painkillers so don't really address the root cause. You should also take a close look at his hooves and see if that is worsing the problem and the tripping.

A video would help for us to see exactly what you're talking about.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-02-2010, 10:30 PM
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Is it a twist or a "wobble"? A very slight twist or wobble can be caused by the foot not being properly balanced. I would call your farrier and have him/her come out and look at it next time s/he is nearby.

If you're farrier can't see anything wrong with the trim or foot itself, then I'd call the vet. It could be early signs of arthritic changes, or a muscle/tendon issue higher up.
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