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Check ligament surgery

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Foaling and Immediate Post-foaling Issues » Check ligament surgery « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 212
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 01:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Suggestions would be great.

"Buddy" is almost 4 months old. Over the past few weeks, he has started getting a bit clubby in his front feet. Per vets instructions we have monitored, used Surpass, and filed his heels. While this may have helped some, vet exam yesterday determined it would be best to proceed with surgery.
Vet recommends having the check ligaments released. Buddy is considered very mild, but at over 13 hands at 15 weeks, the vet believes that it is only likely to worsen w/out intervention. He is mild, and most people would not probably notice...but I do, and the vet did as well.

My vet consulted with Texas A&M orthopedist and have scheduled him for surgery on Thursday. He will be seen/worked on by Dr. Jeffery Watkins. I have been told that he is a "surgery god". He was nice enough to call me today and go over everything.

While I have been told that this isn't a big deal...a routine procedure, etc I still have concerns.
Another thought. Weaning. My colt is almost 4 months old. I have been working with him slowly and he is now quite independent. I hesitate to wean him now, before a stressful event...but doing a full weaning afterwards? I have been told that he will be under 3 weeks of hand walking.
With a person around, he is quite content w/out his momma...so perhaps supervised while she is turned out a few times daily during his recoup time?
 

Cindy Moore
Nursing Foal
Username: Chorse_1998

Post Number: 19
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 07:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


I realize your colt is getting to be a big boy now, but wait on the weaning until after he can be by himself, or with another horse. I had this surery done to one of my studs that had a hoof injury as a yearling. The surgery itself is no big deal. His leg will have to be wrapped tho until the incision heals, with a colt that should be no time at all. Yes he will need to be confined for 3 weeks to a month. Bu
}t I would really wait on the weaning until he gets released by the attending vet.
Cindy
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 213
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 07:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Cindy,
That was where I was leaning. This is going to be stressful for him, and I think weaning would be a bit much. I can "hang out" with him while the mares are outside...or put a pony in the stall next to him to keep him company.
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 214
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cindy,
How well did your horse do post-surgery? Any problems? Scar tissue, etc?
 

Cindy Moore
Nursing Foal
Username: Chorse_1998

Post Number: 20
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 10:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


No problems at all - only a tiny little bump where the tendon was split. I had both front check ligaments done - he had a crippling accidnet when he was 10 months old - pulled off his left front hoof - and both front legs were compromised. He live for 5 and a half years and the front legs and subsequent problems finally got to him. But he sired 24 foals - I have the last filly born - and they are turning into really nice horses. Just do as they say and keep with the stall rest and handwalking and I don't think you'll have any problems, especially in a 4 month old colt. Good luck and God bless....Cindy
}
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 215
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 13, 2006 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cindy,
Thank you. You have helped give me some piece of mind. He will get the best of care, and I will do whatever I need to do for him. My biggest concern has been the long-term effects of this procedure...but it appears that there are few, and my understanding is that it does not limit their future performace career. Please correct me if I'm wrong...anyone.
Once again,
thank you
 

Hope Parr
Nursing Foal
Username: Hope26us

Post Number: 11
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 12:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Our colt had the same surgery 2 weeks ago, he is almost 2 months old now and is 11.3 hands.

he is doing great, feet look great, runs and plays, kicks bucks, acting normal. I can show you some pictures if you want. We took more today.

Hopw
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 216
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 12:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hope,
So good to know your colt is doing well after this procedure. Sure makes me feel better!
I would love to see the pics, and am even more interested to know if he had the procedure done for the same reasons (as my colt).
Was this the colt you posted pics of a while back?
I'd like to know when I became a nervous foal owner....I used to be so matter of fact about these kind of things :-)
 

Hope Parr
Nursing Foal
Username: Hope26us

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 01:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

His feet were not getting clubby, but we had concerns about him being up on his toes still at 30 days old so took him to the vet and th surgeon said he was contracted, he said there was a few other things we could do but he could not guarantee the outcome, he said we could do the surgery and he was sure the front feet would be back to normal. He said we couldnot wait to long, the longer we wait the less likly he was to be 100% normal so we did the surgery. Took him in the other day for his 2 week checkup and the surgeon was very happy with the results. He said we would not notice anything and that he would not be limited in any performance, that if he does not make it to a dressage horse it will not be cause of the surgery.

here are the pics from today
http://www.avalanchefriesians.com/5-13-06/index.html

and from last week, 5 days after surgery out playing with his mom
http://www.avalanchefriesians.com/5-7-06/index.html

He will be 2 months old on the 20th.
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 217
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 14, 2006 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hope,
:-)
Your vet is right. If he doesn't make it in the dressage world, it's not because of the surgery....it's because the dressage world would have to be BLIND!
He is a glorious colt, and stunning to 'watch' in the photos. Dressage folks around here would be chomping at the bit to get one like him!
You have no idea how much better you've made me feel about this ordeal.
This morning, I'm looking at my colt and wondering...as mild as he is...I hate to do it, but I hate even more to wait.
Your colt has obviously done well, and I hope that mine follows his lead.
My biggest (as yours I'm sure as well) concern is his future performace career...since he was bred out the whaaa-zoo to be a mover and shows every indication of being that and more.
I don't want anything to get in the way.
 

Kris Moos
Breeding Stock
Username: Kris

Post Number: 761
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hope
is this the same surgery that would be done to a foal with bucked knees?
 

Hope Parr
Nursing Foal
Username: Hope26us

Post Number: 16
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 09:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Kris,
I don't think so. If it's some leg deformity you may need casting or whatever a good vet suggest. Make sure you do it while the foal is still very young. If you wait to long then whatever is wrong will be permenent.
 

Betty Ann Sullivan
Neonate
Username: Spottedbutts

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi. I have been a lurker on this site for some time and have found the posts to be very helpful. I had previously read the comments regarding check surgery on foals. I have a 4 month old colt that was born with great legs but is now getting clubby. I am hoping that trimming will correct this, but with my luck and the price of hay, I doubt it! My vet is here on a regular basis, and I will have her check him on her next visit. My question is regarding the cost of the surgery? What did it cost to have this performed?
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 258
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Betty,
I got quotes from several surgeons in my area. They varied from $300-$700. I took my colt to the veterinary university and paid a little over $700 for the ck ligament sx. That included the hospitalization, anesthesia, pain medication, bandages, etc. He had another procedure done to repair the extension on his umbilical area (still had some of it there), so that tacked on quite a bit more on top in addition.
ps. if you don't get improvement soon with trimming, have the procedure done. waiting too long can lead to boney changes in the hoof.
it's a pain to do (and I had a lot of anxiety about it), but worth it to know that you are avoiding future issues.
 

Betty Ann Sullivan
Neonate
Username: Spottedbutts

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 03:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Heather, thanks for the information. I stopped into the clinic last night (my vet is also my neighbor) and spoke with her about him. I have decided to bypass the trimming attempt and go straight to surgery. My colt is moving the wrong direction fast, so I am setting it up for later this month. The vet in Pilot Point does the surgery for 564 one leg, and 654 for both. This vet does the proceedure about half way down the cannon bone. I know some do the cut behind the knee, but I hear that is more difficult and costly. I really think he needs them both done but will do as the surgeon advises.
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 259
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 11:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Betty,
Your quotes sound rather in line with what I got, and reasonable. I too, opted to go ahead with the surgery vs waiting...as I started noticing my colt changing in the wrong direction. He still was considered mild (worse in one foot), but I just didn't want to wait around until he got worse.
The surgeons at Texas A&M did my colt the same way you described. The surgical area is about 1/2 way down the cannon, on the outside part of the leg. The suture area was very small. They did both of his legs, even though one leg may have conformed with trimming...it just seemed prudent. But, like you, I left it up to their discretion.
It is my understanding that doing it on the exterior part of the leg is the most accepted way, with less complications and a faster recoup time.
My colt was done at the end of May. He had 3 weeks of stall time. Some say less time, but the vets insisted that the longer stall time decreased the likelyhood of scar tissue. My colt still has lumps there...so I am undecided about that...but time will tell.
Let me know how things go for you.
 

Ruth
Neonate
Username: Rooty

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is check ligament surgery easily done on the farm? We have a yearling who had been responding well to corrective shoeing, but changed her mind this spring and I am now thinking she will need the surgery. My vet told me that it will be effective up until 18 months - which is November.
Money is an issue, I can pay for the surgery, but if I want to take her to a clinic (which would be my choice if I had the money) we are looking at about $1,000 for trailering. Am I being over concerned about this being done by my local vet? He has said he can do it, and I do have a tendency to be a worrier. As I said to a friend of mine, maybe it isn't any worse to do in the barn than a castration, it may be just that I am making more of it than it really is because I've never had to have it done before.
Anybody know?
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 287
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 11:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Ruth,
You've certainly got your lap full, lots of question.
I know of people who have done this surgery at their barn. They swear by it, and have never hauled one in for it. But, the vet that did this is a personal friend, and also a board certified orthopedic surgeon (guess it's good to have strings to pull).
When my colt had his done, my concerns were as such:
1. WHO was doing the surgery. Are they qualified? What technique would be used?
2. Anesthesia....this is done under general anesthesia...and my concerns about safety are BIG.
3. Monitoring. Who monitors the horse while under anesthesia? Are heart/oxygen/bp monitors attached to keep track of vital signs. This kind of goes under the g. anesthesia catagory.
4. Sterile technique...making sure that measures were taken to reduce surgical complications.
5. Post-surgical recovery. Making sure my colt recovered safetly and got to his feet.
6. Pain control...

As you can see, I am a 'worrier' too :-). As I have learned, this is a "routine" procedure...
The friend of mine who has had the procedure done at her farm is fairly non-chalant about it. They lay 'em down, shave the legs, use a drape, etc, cut the ligaments, bandage the legs...
The foals wake up in a stall (monitored). They stay confined for about a week and then get their bandages removed and tossed back out in the pasture.
Had my colt been a bit older when his were done, I probably wouldn't have been so uptight...but he was only 4 months old.
 

Ruth
Neonate
Username: Rooty

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Heather!
1. I don't know if he has any extra-special qualifications, but I doubt this would be his first check ligament surgery, LOL. I will ask about technique. Do you know much about the different techniques yourself or where I might be able to find such information? I did not find much that was really helpful by Googling.
2.Of course anaesthesia is always a risk - he gelded my colt on his back under a general. All was well.
3. I don't believe when my yearling was gelded that they did use monitors, I will ask about that too.
4. I am always impressed with this vet's concerns about sterility.
5. He does stay until the horse has recovered.

Again thanks for all your information!
 

Betty Ann Sullivan
Neonate
Username: Spottedbutts

Post Number: 3
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 06:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HI. Wanted to post that my colt had his surgery on Thursday. He came thru fine and seems fairly unaffected by the whole thing. His confinement seems to burden him more than his wrapped legs! It was hard to subject him to the procedure, but I dont think the "trim, wait and see" option would have been in his best interest. I am glad it is behind us.
 

Heather Kutyba
Breeding Stock
Username: Heatherck11

Post Number: 289
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 11:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Betty,
I too couldn't see taking the "wait and see" approach. Seeing how those little coffin bones were in jeopardy, I made the surgical appt. asap.
Opposite from you, the leg wraps were the hardest part for me.
Confinement...not an issue. Buddy just considered it one loonnnnggg nap, but he's exceptionally mellow...almost strangely so, but it's just him!
Uhhha, BUT, the wraps were aweful!! The surgeons put 2 layer elasticon pressure wraps from his knee to his coronary band. I can do anything to this colt, but ripping his hair off with every pull of the bandage was NOT ok by him.
Having to take them off and re-apply them was a joke. Poor colt.
After 2 weeks, they let me start using regular cottons and standing bandages...hallaluya's went out on that day.



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