Thoroughbred Low Fetlock - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By Rialto
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By 4horses
  • 1 Post By Chasin Ponies
  • 2 Post By loosie
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1
• Horses: 0
Thoroughbred Low Fetlock

I have a question regarding a low fetlock on my racehorse. The horse is a 7 year old mare who has been a good racehorse. She has earned over $100,000 in racing. My dad is the trainer of the horse and shes the first one that I own. Several months ago she got a spider bite on her back right leg. This caused her to keep it raised until we could heal the wound. The bite has been healed now for about 2 months but her fetlock has dropped. I know that there is a disease where horses fetlocks drop but I don't think thats what she has. My vet mentioned that her tissue would have to be rebuilt after the bite and that this may happen. My concern is that it has been 2 months and we have kept her turned out and the fetlock has not raised much. Is it normal for it to take this long for the fetlock to heal? Also, is there something I can do to make it heal faster? I was hoping to have her ready for the end of the Turf season but I don't think that is possible now. I would appreciate help from anyone who has dealt with this problem before. I will also talk to my vet again about the horse but I wanted to see what you guys thought first.

Thank You.
horseman1992 is offline  
post #2 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 04:57 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 21,130
• Horses: 0
I have no idea about your particular problem. I'm a little more familiar with racehorses being 'down on their bumpers' from race strain. Interested to hear what the vet has said. I imagine it may be to do with muscle wastage or changes above, or scar tissue inhibiting the tendon, and am thinking low impact exercise would be good... but as I said, no experience, so just a guess. What sort of spider? What damage did it do? Bleh! I hate spiders!
loosie is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 160
• Horses: 0
"Low" fetlocks sometimes indicate trauma or deterioration of the suspensory ligament that runs down the back of the limb. This structure is what helps to keep the fetlocks upright. Not sure if a spider bite could cause this (maybe a venomous spider?), but I would have the vet take a look to be safe.
Rialto is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 11:37 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11,179
• Horses: 0
I think you need to have more information first on what is/was damaged and how extensively...
Ultrasounds, MRI...or any other tests done to solidify the diagnosis and what exactly was the diagnosis...

A dropped fetlock could happen from many things even if it started from a "spider bite"...the question is what damages occurred during this time...

I would sure want a lot more information before putting the mare back to work.
At this point you have no idea what she can withstand or have any inclination of where she may come apart...
Personally, I would be looking for some tests to make a determination if she can ever go back to racing conditions and the stresses put on the body with that lifestyle....before going any further.

boots and Chasin Ponies like this.
horselovinguy is online now  
post #5 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 12:11 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,695
• Horses: 0
The condition you are concerned about is called dsld or degenerative suspensory ligaments.

I've never seen a horse recover once the fetlock drops with the exception of foals.

Mr. Prospector had the condition in later life. A foal of his developed it as a 2 yr old and was put down from it. I suspect the problem is much more common than most people hear about.

My thoroughbred has it. She has had lameness issues for most of her life, and it wasn't until her ankles dropped, that I realized what was wrong. First it was one ankle, than a few months later the other dropped.

I doubt your horse will return to racing sound even if it is not dsld. If the ligaments have weakened so much from the spider bite, they probably won't go back to normal.

If you want to use the horse for breeding purposes, I would wait a year to ensure it isn't dsld.

Do you have pictures?

Dsld is not uncommon. I know 1 paso with it, one qh, and 2 saddlebreds.

I know there are some better pictures of Mr. Prosecutor's back legs but I can't seem to find them.
Elana and Chasin Ponies like this.
4horses is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,287
• Horses: 2
This happened to an approximately 16 year old OTTS in our barn recently. He was raced into the ground because he had won over $200,000 and everyone wanted their piece of the pie. He passed from hand to hand being raced by cheaper and cheaper trainers until he was finally rescued and adopted.

Although he was very lightly ridden for years he became lame quite quickly and it was obvious that one of his fetlocks had collapsed. The vet prescribed turn out but only with supporting wraps for about a month to see if there would be any improvement. No such luck. He can now walk without too much pain but is markedly lame when he trots. The vet said he should not be ridden again so lives a nice life as a pasture pet.

Agree with 4horses, it is not likely that this mare will ever race again.
loosie likes this.
Chasin Ponies is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 09-10-2014, 08:23 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 21,130
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
Agree with 4horses, it is not likely that this mare will ever race again.
...Altho that's not a bad thing for her...
Rialto and Chasin Ponies like this.
loosie is offline  

fetlock , injury , racehorse , spider bite

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low Hunters/Intermediate/Low adult?? Hoofprints in the Sand Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation 6 09-17-2013 11:30 AM
Thoroughbred with a low back, I need training exercises for good top line! Jockeywannab Horse Training 22 07-04-2012 12:05 AM
Healthy, low cost, low sugar treats for horses BlondieHorseChic Horse Talk 11 03-21-2012 12:44 PM
My thoroughbred has a swollen fetlock. tb2008 Horse Health 11 01-11-2011 03:52 PM
Shorty got low, low ,low, low Dumas'_Grrrl Horse Pictures 1 05-16-2008 03:25 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome