Residual Problems from a Contracted Tendon - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-14-2020, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Residual Problems from a Contracted Tendon

hey everyone. i have a foal who was born with contracted tendons in both front feet. he was given tetracycline, and his left front corrected itself while his right front went the opposite way and he was walking on his knuckle.

he was taken to the equine hospital where he stayed for one week. he was casted for 2 days and then splinted with a PVC pipe that went from his toe all the way up to his shoulder (I've attached a pic of the splint I received).

I brought him home quite distraught by the fact that there wasn't a whole lot of improvement (the first pic is his first day home from hospital) not to mention he couldn't bend his knee with this splint on, yet without it, he went right back to walking on his knuckle. I was also concerned about pressure sores. the PVC splint also did very little to help stretch the tendon.

I did my own research and ended up finding dynasplint, and I ordered one from the states, it was here in 2 days. pictured is his first time with it on. within 3 days, the angle of his foot was drastically improved (2nd pic) and he was finally able to be turned out for short periods to help build his strength. he is becoming less and less sore on it every day. these past few days it has been so nice to see him happily trotting around on all 4 legs.

so here's my issue. we have been left with swelling and lumps that i don't know what to do about. the vet has already examined the leg. banamine is not helping, nor is increased turnout (she figured he may just be slightly stocked up). but there's just no way that's all it is.

he was also given an antibiotic injection of ceftiofur to prevent a septic joint. he was supposed to receive a second injection yesterday (friday) but we didn't go through with it because of how badly he reacted to the first one.

his fetlock has such a hard lump on it that it almost feels like bone. the dynasplint consultant believes it may be a pressure sore from his previous PVC splint.

there is definitely some heat and an increased pulse in the fetlock. there is also a small lump on the inside of the cannon bone that pretty much looks like a splint. the swelling in the knee has actually gone down a bit and theres no heat there anymore.

does anyone have any ideas of what this could be, or what i can do about it? i'm really trying to minimize the risk of permanent damage.

should his leg be xrayed or ultrasounded again? his leg was xrayed by a vet PRIOR to his visit to the veterinary college, and she saw nothing abnormal at the time. although it has been a couple weeks and a lot of changes have happened since then. any advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-14-2020, 10:40 AM
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-14-2020, 11:15 AM
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Very interesting.

I too have had foals born with contracted tendons, fortunately the tetracycline was successful with one but the other not so much.

We didn't go the splint route but instead used a (plastic) shoe with a strip of metal fixed to it at the toe so that the filly was unable to knuckle over.

I would have it Xrayed to see if it is bone changes. I would also have him on turn out as much as possible.

He looked like a little power machine. My advice would be to not feed him any grain or balancer, let him grow on his dam's mild and grass.

I would love to see the plates if you do have them done.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-18-2020, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Got xrays. Vet said everything looks normal. The lump is neither bone nor fluid. And she believes it may always be there but he'll grow into it. The swelling on the outside of the knee is soft and appears to just be a ruptured lateral ligament which she says because he's a foal it will just heal in time.

She also did a joint tap of the fetlock and the joint fluid is also normal 🤷‍♀️ I'm so confused about the heat and the significant pulse in the fetlock. I guess all I can do now is wait and see what becomes of it. Not sure what else to do for the little guy. Xrays attached. Do you guys see anything that my vet may have missed?
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