"Clicking" fetlocks?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Elijah-Mar, May 19, 2017.

  1. Elijah-Mar

    Elijah-Mar Registered

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    My three year old fetlocks "click" when he's moving. It doesn't matter which gait it is.
    He's had a lameness test done via the vets. He's not lame. Doesn't feel any pain from it. Moves normally. He doesn't drag his hind hoofs or anything.

    He's on Tumeric, coconut oil, black pepper and salt. Which gets mixed in his daily feeds. He's had two scoops a day of the Tumeric which have made the clicking quiet but it's still there.

    Once he starts working and moving around his clicking only happens every so often during work, but after an hour he's back to clicking with ever step.

    Tumeric is the only thing somewhat working.
    Is it just something he has?
    I want him out showing next summer. In-hand and under saddle, But he won't make it far with the clicking.
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Your assumption is that clicking fetlocks always means there is something wrong with the horse.

    That assumption is incorrect.

    Clicking commonly occurs without any lameness, inflammation, arthritis or injury being present.

    Instead of assuming the horse's days are numbered, get a veterinarian who specializes in lameness to evaluate your horse for soundness. Ideally, all 3 year olds would be evaluated for soundness by a veterinarian before being started in riding or driving anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  3. Elijah-Mar

    Elijah-Mar Registered

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    He's been looked at by a vet. He's had MRI scans, lameness test, they've temp blocked nerves to see if he's in pain. He's been put on bute for two days, worked, took off bute to see if there was any difference and nothing.
    No heat is present. At all. He's never lame on the back end. He pulls up lame sometimes on the front end, but he does that out in the field since he's still in the "foal" field playing with other youngster.

    He's not ridden too much, mostly lunged twice a week, long reined, goes on trails or he'll sit in the field eating grass till he wants to come in (He won't stay out over night, jumps the fence and takes himself back to his stall)

    After all the tests, the vets are stumped. Told me to leave it till the end of summer, keep him on the Tumeric and stuff and see what happens. But is that going to do more harm then good if I keep working him and their is some problem going on with his legs?

    I don't want to mess this horse up. He's one in a lifetime, for his age he's laid back and enjoys learning something new.
     
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't work a lame horse unless I have a real diagnosis and am sure the lameness is one that is benefitted by exercise. I absolutely would not be long reining and longeing a lame horse that does not have a diagnosis. Instead, I would be working very, very aggressively to very quickly get a diagnosis and a treatment plan asap.

    Unfortunately, if the horse has been lame since he was a foal(unless you had the horse back then, you may be relying on 'seller's memory', lol, which is often more geared toward selling than informing....), a great deal of damage may already have been done. I really hope it is something that will still respond to appropriate treatment at this point after so much time has passed, but at this point, it may be too late to get the horse completely sound.

    What would make a horse intermittently lame since foalhood on into adulthood? Possibly some abnormality in the bones of the foot or the soft tissues(tendons, ligaments...).

    Possibly an OCD. That's especially possible when youngsters aren't raised under the best conditions(rocky ground, farms where crowding or poor management leads to injuries...or they're not fed properly (overfeeding, poor nutrition, etc). And OCDs just seem to be common in some breeds and lines within those breeds.

    And with an OCD, sometimes it will so change how the horse moves and balances, that he LOOKS lame or actually IS lame in front due to an OCD in a hock or stifle.

    Many of these can be surgically corrected. With the OCDs, sometimes there's a chip floating in the joint or a 'pit' with a loose but not broke off piece in it.

    Perhaps it's as simple as the horse is sore footed due to incorrect trimming or shoeing, though most people would not expect a foal to be lame due to incorrect trims as most foals never get trimmed.

    And I GUARANTEE that if you post pictures of his feet, a plethora of people here will tell you it's OBVIOUSLY his feet because the trim and shoeing on his feet is HORRIBLE and you ABSOLUTELY MUST start using their methods immediately.

    In some cases, trimming and shoeing IS the problem. There are a lot of bad farriers in the world. And a lot of owners who don't get their horses's feet trimmed and shoes reset on a sensible schedule.

    Sometimes it's the owner, 'what the owner wants' is just plain wrong for that horse....sorry to bring that up but it's true. For example, the very flat footed, low heeled horse (no the foot cannot always be remodeled and low heels made to vanish, no matter what a farrier does), could be getting its feet constantly bruised and traumatized, and the owner refuses to have shoes and pads put on the horse.

    And of course sometimes what farriers do to 'help' actually hurt a horse. For example, again, with the low heeled horse, many will put on 'wedges' which actually appear to crush the heels down even more. So caveat emptor.

    Some horses have longstanding foot abnormalities that can be managed but not made to disappear. For example, a horse can have a clubfoot. The some club feet never bother a horse, some are severe enough, that they can cause lameness...or...they may have formed in the first place because the horse is not putting weight on that foot for months because it hurts from some other cause (for example, coffin bone fractures, which are now found to be quite common in youngsters).

    Even a horse with a 'normal' shape of foot can get its foot badly bruised it it's worked or turned out on stony ground, or if the shoes are not reset frequently. And bruises can take months or even longer to heal.

    What do you mean, he 'pulls up lame'? Do you mean you're working him and he stops and refuses to go further and suddenly shows lameness? Usually that's what 'pulls up lame' means.

    THAT sudden stopping could point to some sort of metabolic or genetic problem that affects the muscles, though not all of these would show in a foal.

    How severe is this on and off lameness that is supposed to be in his front legs? On a scale from 1-10. And which nerve blocks were done? Down on the foot and pastern only? Which legs? Fronts only?

    Vets, plural? How many vets have seen the horse? Were any of them specialists in lameness?

    Why was an MRI scan done? That is a very, very unusual thing to have done.

    Who did the vet work? A local vet, or a big clinic like Rood and Riddle, or a specialist (and I really mean a specialist, not just someone who says he/she 'does a lot of lameness work' - every equine vet does 'a lot of lameness work').

    And what does the farrier say? Have you had the same farrier throughout this? At what age did the farrier start trimming this horse's hooves? How often is he trimmed?

    The first thing you need is a diagnosis. If a local vet or vets can't give you a diagnosis after weeks, months or years, the horse needs to go to a specialist.

    Generally, specialists go for very specific treatments, but those are based on a diagnosis. They can't treat without a diagnosis.

    Most good specialists will have some type of therapy for each specific injury or condition. Therapy could be shock wave, surgery, IRAP, stem cell, etc. Some surgeries can be quite expensive, and not all have a '100 percent guaranteed pain free with full active, intense sport horse use in future', but in some cases, surgery is that good.

    Generally, the horse will get that therapy, and then possibly have a short period of total rest(say, stall rest) and then a very careful, gradual, step by step rehabilitation.

    Getting a horse sound can be a lot of work. You would need to have the money for a real diagnosis, any possible therapy prescribed, and you need a place where the rehab can be done exactly as prescribed by the doc.

    And most people here would have a fit if you went to a specialist and he or she told you the horse needs X weeks of stall rest and a step by step rehab(say, starting with hand walking while stall rest continues). They'd have an absolute fit. Turn him out, they'd say. Well, the horse is getting turned out now, and he's lame. The definition of 'insanity' is supposed to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results...lol.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    iloverockies likes this.
  5. mrs.white8389

    mrs.white8389 Senior Member

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    Our TB that clicked in her fetlocks ended up not being rideable at 5 by anyone, just bad genes on her end and toed out. Our neighbor horse who clicks has ringbone in his left front he is lame lame and on meds manage it I can her him clicking while walking as i sit on my porch. There is many different reasons for clicking. But if a horse is pulling up lame, let him be. Or better yet, he is 3 he can stand to sit a little while longer while being worked up for the clicking/lameness issue.
     
  6. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    My 23 year old mare has "clicked" when walking for probably about 10 years now. Has never had any lameness problem or other issue from it. I don't ride her anymore, haven't for a long time now, but when I was consistently riding her she only clicked at the walk, and like I said she never had any issues come from it. That is just MY experience with it, so your horse may be completely different. If he comes up lame sometimes from playing out in the field then that may suggest there is a problem.
     
  7. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    That's a circulatory issue . Lack of proper circularion to the ankle joint, and thus the hoof with inadequate lubrication to the joints. It's something they're born with.

    You can do Adequan and see if that helps it, but this one is probably not meant for hard work, although some horses will grow out of it, it usually returns as they age.
     
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  8. WholeEquine

    WholeEquine Registered

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    It could be a lack of joint fluids or simply inflammation (since turmeric is working). Have you tried an herbal anti-inflammatory or a joint supplement with hyaluronic acid? HA encourages bodily production of synovial fluid- which is what the horse uses to lubricate its joints. I would recommend Hilton Herbs' Multiflex Gold or HylaSport OTC- I have had much personal success with the HylaSport product (my own horse's hip clicks and has some ringbone issues in his front hoof).
     
  9. RG NIGHT HEIR

    RG NIGHT HEIR Senior Member

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    Agree with manesntails.
    My now 14 year old had clicking without lameness he is on monthly Legend injection ,no more clicking.
     
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  10. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

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    My coon footed horse Clicked when he needed to be trimmed/ shod, or if he had just been done but not well. I had an Excellent farrier, and we actually weaned him off the degreed pads and caulked shoes he came with, and he was barefoot and Quiet for most of the time I had him (17 years.)
    Use or get a functional opinion from the Best farrier you can find. Mine made a point of going to professional seminars to stay current. Learn as much as you can about angles and action too. My mentor was a good farrier, and she and I had an idea about best angle that was Slightly different from the farrier's, but he was willing to try it, and it worked out Well, better than what was popular.
    I also had the horse on low level additives, Yucca mostly, which seemed to help. He never had a joint shot in his 25 yr life.
    My horse was @8 when I got him, done growing, so not much could be done to fix his issues, just alleviate them some.
    Your horse is still young enough to maybe respond well and permanently to a qualified professionals therapeutic actions. I hope you know or can find someone able to do it. Best wishes.
     

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