Tackling Club Feet Concerns

The latest thinking on handling this problem with foals highlighted the mid-January Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium

NO BEST WAY. Equine vet Ric Redden tells Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium attendees that he finds serious concerns with traditional club foot treatment methods.

Since there are varying types of club feet, Ric Redden saw the need for developing a meaningful grading scale that would lead to customized treatment strategies.The Versailles, Ky., equine veterinarian told participants at the recent Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium in Louisville, Ky., that while a counter-pull mechanical treatment plan can be effective on low-grade club feet,  it often creates a devastating sequence of events. In fact, he has found that the three basic treatment plans often used to minimize the high-heel-no-toe-growth syndrome found with club feet each have concerns. 

  1. Lower the palmar angle without decreasing the digital breakover. By lowering the heel in an effort to treat the high heel club foot, you significantly increase the amount of tension found within the network with all members being affected.
  2. Increase the length of digital breakover. The forces also increase within the entire network if you extend the toe with a shoe or composition material.
  3. Lowering the heel and extending the toe. This can extensively increase the tension on all structures.

Start Early

Redden says a grade 1 or 2 club foot is often found in foals as young as 1 month, although it is normally 4 or 5 months before a noticeable problem is detected.

“Newborn foals that have a significant deep flexor contraction are often up on their toes or even knuckled over with the more severe contraction,”…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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