The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I was perusing on local craigslist ads and came across this gorgeous Shire mare. Picture the horse from Brave. The owner described her as everything that I have been looking for- a slow kid/beginner safe trail horse that is super slow and calm and gentle- and a plus is that she is a drafty. :) I can deal with fact that she may not be great at loading and has no papers. She was/is a rescue and thats fine as well. (although they are not sure on her age- they say between 10 and 15 from the look of her teeth)

But I am really concerned about the fact that she has low hind end pasterns. I've never dealt with this kind of conformation fault before but I know that it is NOT good at all for the overall health of the horse- horses live on their feet- no feet no horse. The owners say that they dont know if its from being malnourished/starved before she was rescued or if its genetic.

My concerns are that maybe she is slow because shes in pain? They say she has not been lame while they've owned her but that may still not indicate if she is hurting.

Another fear is that if she is older, like 15 , are her odds of this trait degenerating into non-use going to happen much faster? Please dont misunderstand but my view is if you put the money into purchasing/caring/feeding a horse, you'd prolly want to get the most use/time as possible with them before retiring them. I know that I could buy a 20,000 dollar show horse one day and it could keel over in a week due to some unforeseeable circumstance but in this case I see a posing threat but do I take the risk- woud it be worth it? I see it going two ways- Either I get burned with only a very short time of use and then a lame horse that cant/shouldnt be ridden ever again and need special treatments for the rest of her life or need to be put down to end her pain OR i get some fantastic years with her and have one of the best horses I ever had the pleasure of owning with no to little issues? I know no one can make the decision but me but still what are others thoughts? Does anybody have any experience with horses with this trait and their quality of life?

Also they are asking $1,000 for her but that seems pretty high for a conformation fault like that, and that she is grade- no papers and is a rescue but if she is as bomb/kid proof as they say she is is that a fair price? What would be a reasonable offer for her if not? Should I ask her to be checked by a vet-PPE and have her tested for those low pasterns? To find the cause before I buy her?

There is no plans yet for me buying her- I still have to find time to go out and meet her- but hopefully soon. :) So this is all just hypothetical. But I am crazy about her... just not her pasterns-call me crazy I guess lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,060 Posts
If she has made it 15 years without a problem, then I doubt it will be in the future, however if you do consider buying her, I would get a vet check as I would with any horse I would consider purchasing. I highly doubt the horse is travelling slowly under saddle because she is hurting, when horses hurt, they limp or misbehave or both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
If she has made it 15 years without a problem, then I doubt it will be in the future, however if you do consider buying her, I would get a vet check as I would with any horse I would consider purchasing. I highly doubt the horse is travelling slowly under saddle because she is hurting, when horses hurt, they limp or misbehave or both.
Thank you, I will definitely ask for a PPE just to make sure she is sound all around- that is after I meet her, test her out, and get a good look myself at her pasterns and how she behaves and am still 100% interested. I dont know if is is 15 or if shes younger, I was just wondering that if age and the low pasterns get worse over time. I suppose her age could be checked out during the PPE as well- would be nice/good to know if I would have more prospective years with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
I just looked at a gelding with the same problem. He was nearly straight through the hocks and very horizontal in the pasterns. I didn't even try him, told the seller to look for a light rider/ child for him. Friend of mine had a broodmare, had her PTS at age 22 because she broke down, fetlocks touching the ground when standing.
I did read about it being a nutritional problem. I'll see if I can find the link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you deserthorsewoman!

Also I am wondering if I can post the picture of her? It would be the one from the ad so its not my picture nor would I claim rights to it. Or should i share a link? Its no good at really judging her conformation but I can see at least one hind pastern is definitely lower than it should be (left hind).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
I would pass. If the horse has DSLD there is no way I would pay money for him. I would consider it if the horse was free and I could afford having another retired horse.

My mare has DSLD. She was funny in the hind end for years before her legs swelled and it was finally diagnosed. Had to retire her at age 19- we go for 30 minute walks only. My friend's Paso has dropped pasterns and is fine for riding... For now. She is planning on retiring him if/when he goes lame.

Some horses go downhill fast. I know a saddlebred at age 17 who has a really severe case- onset in under a year.

My mare had an initial flare up over a year and a half ago and has been okay since. She is comfortable on pasture and once we got the initial swelling down she stabilized. At least for the time being. I was told that this is progressive and she will eventually get worse. It could be tomorrow or it could be 5 years from now.

My friend's Paso's pasterns actually look much worse than my mares (more dropped and swollen) and he's still sound. I'm not sure why?

All my vet said was that my mare probably has severe arthritis as well as the dropped pasterns.

DSLD/ESPA Symptoms, Diagnosis and Management

I would send the owners of the horse an email telling them that you are no longer interested and give them information on dropped pasterns. Encourage them to re-think selling and retire the horse. She could end up being put down if the new owners do not want to retire a horse like her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
But I am really concerned about the fact that she has low hind end pasterns. I've never dealt with this kind of conformation fault before but I know that it is NOT good at all for the overall health of the horse- horses live on their feet- no feet no horse. The owners say that they dont know if its from being malnourished/starved before she was rescued or if its genetic.

...Does anybody have any experience with horses with this trait and their quality of life?

Should I ask her to be checked by a vet-PPE and have her tested for those low pasterns? To find the cause before I buy her?
These are good questions. Low pasterns can be due to conformation but they can also be caused by injuries that were left untreated.

When you go to see her I would advise you to take a good look at her ligaments and tendons. Palpate them to see if there is any enlargement and/or thickening which could be due to injury. If the suspensories have been injured and have thickened and hardened there really isn't anything that can be done about it. It's not something that can be reversed.

The only way to really "see" what is going on inside is to have ultrasounds done. This costs a couple hundred dollars and is not included in a PPE unless you ask for it. Ultrasounds can tell you if there is damage or tears in the suspensory ligament.

As far as quality of life, I had a stallion who had horribly damaged hind legs. I bought him sight unseen and when I took my first look at him I burst into tears. I was sure I was going to have to put him down. (By the way, he passed a "vet check" done by a quack in Colorado). Long story short, I had him for 9 years. He was a sweetheart who enjoyed his life. In spite of the damage to his legs I never saw him limp or refuse to move. I never rode him, just loved him a lot and gave him lots of neck and wither scratches. He used to stand with his neck stretched up like a giraffe and he'd drool, he loved being scratched so much. I had to have him put down just over a year ago. He was 25. I still miss him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would pass. If the horse has DSLD there is no way I would pay money for him. I would consider it if the horse was free and I could afford having another retired horse.
I have no way of knowing if she does have DSLD unless she gets checked by a vet- and i doubt that since the owners are selling her, that they'd interested in paying for a vet to come out if they havent already done so but after reading the article it sounds like it is something that I would rather not get myself into, especially paying $1,000 to get into... and then some for paying hundreds on on PPE. If all she could really safely (for her benefit) be used for only as a pasture ornament or retired horse- I cant afford to be interested. Its just sad, that such a great horse has such a undesirable flaw. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
These are good questions. Low pasterns can be due to conformation but they can also be caused by injuries that were left untreated.

When you go to see her I would advise you to take a good look at her ligaments and tendons. Palpate them to see if there is any enlargement and/or thickening which could be due to injury. If the suspensories have been injured and have thickened and hardened there really isn't anything that can be done about it. It's not something that can be reversed.

The only way to really "see" what is going on inside is to have ultrasounds done. This costs a couple hundred dollars and is not included in a PPE unless you ask for it. Ultrasounds can tell you if there is damage or tears in the suspensory ligament.

As far as quality of life, I had a stallion who had horribly damaged hind legs. I bought him sight unseen and when I took my first look at him I burst into tears. I was sure I was going to have to put him down. (By the way, he passed a "vet check" done by a quack in Colorado). Long story short, I had him for 9 years. He was a sweetheart who enjoyed his life. In spite of the damage to his legs I never saw him limp or refuse to move. I never rode him, just loved him a lot and gave him lots of neck and wither scratches. He used to stand with his neck stretched up like a giraffe and he'd drool, he loved being scratched so much. I had to have him put down just over a year ago. He was 25. I still miss him.
Thank you, i am still up in the air right now but if i do go to see her I will check her legs- I'll educate myself a little more about palpating the tendons to make sure I am checking properly if/when I do. Thank you for the advice. I will also consult a few vets that I know about their experiences with horses with low/dropping pasterns and what they would suggest I look/feel for.

After that visit I will know better where to go from there, if she is sound for light riding and suitable to my needs/desire to be added to my herd or if I should pass. Thank you all for your comments and stories of your horses/ horses you know. I needed to hear those.

Sorry for your loss xlntperuvian, sounds like he was quite the character tho... I've never heard of a horse drooling from being scratched lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
I think it's fine if you link to craiglist, the pic is already around on the internet and not private.

Shire, so huge draft, means she's putting a lot of weight on those pasterns... if you decide you love her, have your vet check her and tell you an honest opinion. Of course it is you who'll pay the vet, even if you decide to not buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
I am sorry to see people linking the dsld page but I knew it would happen. My personal opinion is that a good many "dsld diagnosed" horses are actually horses that have suffered injuries and were left untreated. I think my stallion was one of those.

For what it's worth: Dr. Kellon's "study" isn't a study at all. It has no parameters, no study criteria and no control subjects. It's simply a bunch of people feeding their horses an herbal supplement that they buy from the women who run the dsld/equine yahoo group.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
I am sorry to see people linking the dsld page but I knew it would happen. My personal opinion is that a good many "dsld diagnosed" horses are actually horses that have suffered injuries and were left untreated. I think my stallion was one of those.

For what it's worth: Dr. Kellon's "study" isn't a study at all. It has no parameters, no study criteria and no control subjects. It's simply a bunch of people feeding their horses an herbal supplement that they buy from the women who run the dsld/equine yahoo group.
Posting that link was for informational purposes only, I believe the OP saw it that way. If you have better, proven sources, by all means, educate us. After all, we're all can only suggest based on our own experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
Peruvian- my TB mare has DSLD. There is no way this disease is related to an injury. Dr. Kellen is a fraud- using her yahoo website to sell some herbs with little to no scientific backing and no controlled studies.

The University of Florida and the University of Georgia are both studying this disorder. I spoke to the pathologist at U of G and they believe the disease is systematic based on tissue samples. Injuries usually occur on one leg- not both or all 4 as is with this disease. :-( Another researcher is working on determining the genetic basis so they can test for it. So far they have narrowed it down, but they still have a long way to go.

These horses do not respond to stem cell treatment, shock wave therapy etc. Best guess is that it is similar to Ehlers danlos syndrome in people.

Sadly people are continuing to breed these horses. I saw a WB stallion the other day with an obvious case. It is even found in some very popular TB bloodlines as well (Mr. Prospector).

I highly suspect Mr. Prospector had the disease as his racing career was ended due to ankle problems, his pictures show dropped ankles on both hinds, and at least one of his offspring developed the disease as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Peruvian- my TB mare has DSLD. There is no way this disease is related to an injury. Dr. Kellen is a fraud- using her yahoo website to sell some herbs with little to no scientific backing and no controlled studies.

The University of Florida and the University of Georgia are both studying this disorder. I spoke to the pathologist at U of G and they believe the disease is systematic based on tissue samples.
I want to reply to your post but I am going to have to do it a paragraph at a time. Some of the information I have is on my old computer and I will have pull it out of the closet to access the information.

If you are at all familiar with the dsldequine group on Yahoo you know that the main target of that group is the Peruvian Horse. These people claim that dsld is prevalent in our breed, that it is genetic, and that "no Peruvian bloodline is safe" from it. I have had Peruvian horses since 1995 so I am no stranger to this group or to the stories, rumors, and theories that have been posted there.

Contrary to some of the claims being made, nobody really knows what dsld is, what causes it, or if it is even the result of a disease. There are a lot of self-proclaimed "experts" out there - like the women who run the dsldequine yahoo group - who claim it's a genetic disease. Research has been underway for over 20 years. To this date the research has not identified any gene(s) that cause dsld; so there is no genetic test for dsld.

The research that has been done has led to contradictory results. Research done in 2006 concluded that dsld is an "abnormal accumulation of proteoglycans" in connective tissues. Further research done in 2009 by a group of medical doctors and veterinarians "found no evidence that DSLD is a systemic proteoglycan deposition disease." (I have links to both studies if anyone is interested.) Some of the "control" horses in the 2006 study had as many proteoglycans in their cells as some of the "affected" horses but the research completely ignores this fact.

There is a test that has been touted as a way of identifying horses that are in the early stages of dsld. The "nuchal ligament biopsy" is supposed to identify horses with excess proteoglycans in their cells. But if the 2009 research is correct and dsld is not a proteoglycan accumulation disorder, then testing for excess proteoglycans is useless. Further, nuchal ligament biopsies have resulted in false positives as well as false negatives, so the test itself is unreliable.

A nuchal ligament biopsy involves slicing into the ligament that runs along the crest of the neck to take tissue samples. The nuchal ligament is a big ligament that supports the head and neck and is constantly in motion. After being subjected to this test many horses have had problems healing. One woman on the Yahoo list who had this test done on her Paso Fino said her horse's neck had become infected and the horse was still having trouble healing 6 weeks after the samples had been taken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
I realize that it is a controversial diagnosis. I believe that there is a definitive disease process going on, even if it is not totally understood yet.

Why else would a horse who is not in work, within weeks have both hind legs swell up and drop? First one leg, than while the horse is rested for the first leg, have the second leg swell and drop?

Obviously it isn't injury related, so that means you have to have some sort of disease process going on. My horse was ultrasounded after the first leg swelled up- there were no tears or holes evident on ultrasound. Doesn't that exclude injury? Usually with injuries you have obvious tears on ultrasound examination. Now the ultrasound did show thickening of the ligament.

I don't see the point in doing extensive diagnositic tests. To me any horse who has dropped pasterns in more than one leg, probably has DSLD. Dropped pasterns, enlarged ankles, and a change in hind end comformation, all suggest DSLD to me.

Although a genetic marker hasn't been identified yet doesn't mean it won't be with further research.

"The genome scan identified five chromosomal regions where statistically significant differences were seen between affected and unaffected sample populations that could be indications of linkage to DSLD. Those chromosomes were: ECA 6, 7, 11, 14, and 26.

Further research needs to be conducted especially on ECA 6 and 11 since possible candidate genes are located in those regions based on the human comparative map.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top