Anterior deviation of the deep flexeral tendon??

I have a 14 month old Belgian colt. He is 15.8 hands and weighs close to 1,000 lbs. already- he was a very fast grower and now has severe problems with his legs. His legs buckle forward at the ankles ...I have a 14 month old Belgian colt. He is 15.8 hands and weighs close to 1,000 lbs. already- he was a very fast grower and now has severe problems with his legs. His legs buckle forward at the ankles ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Hi Doc,

I have a 14 month old Belgian colt. He is 15.8 hands and weighs close to 1,000 lbs. already- he was a very fast grower and now has severe problems with his legs. His legs buckle forward at the ankles and then at the knees (sometimes one or the other sometimes both). He shakes a lot at the knee and rests on his back legs propped against fences walls etc. His pasterns are straight up and down.

I have had three vets look at him and – I of course have three opinions. One vet (the most experienced) says to leave him out 24 hours a day because he is so large now, that stalling him (as recommended for most babies) would be wrong because of his size. He said if I stalled him his tendons would get worse and he would be more crippled than ever. Another vet said to stall him for three months and let the tendons go loose and relax??

The other vet said surgery is my only option..

I have found that this problem is very uncommon in draft breeds and all the vets say that since this was an onset at the age of 11 or12 months that the supplements vitamins and minerals, I was feeding, was the cause of this. The vets say that his bones and muscles grew to fast and that the tendon could not catch up. Can you please give your opinion?? I would appreciate it very, very much and so would my horse.

Thank You,
Tiffany Dettmann

Tiffany,

I agree in that the horse was grown too fast. Very often horses get too much grain and thus put on too much weight in the early stages of life. Without seeing the horse it is hard to say but the best option would be surgery and stall rest. If surgery is not an option then I would do stall rest and maybe splints.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder