Where is a horses stifle joint?

The stifle is the area where the tibia, the bone that forms the gaskin, meets the femur, the bone that extends upward to the hip. The stifle is analogous to the human knee: When you pick up a horse’s hind leg, the joint bends forward, just as your knee does as you climb a staircase.

How do you tell if a horse has a stifle problem?

When stifle trouble strikes, the symptoms include heat, swelling and lameness as well as back and croup soreness, which are similar to those of hock problems, initially making diagnosis difficult, says Dr. MacDonald.

Can you ride a horse with stifle problems?

And while mild cases may appear vague (with only a slight lameness), there are ways to make your horse sound again, often without invasive procedures. However, if left untreated, horses that display a regular locking stifle may be unsafe to ride and may require surgery.

How do you check for stifle injury?

X-rays and ultrasound are the most useful techniques for diagnosing stifle problems, but bone scan, and in some large equine hospitals MRI and CT can also be used. The stifle is a high motion joint which is prone to injury at high speed or when jumping.

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Can a horse recover from a stifle injury?

Kaycee Monnens. In the past, an injury to the stifle joint of a horse may have certainly ended his or her career or usefulness. Now, with the ever-evolving science of veterinary medicine, afflictions to the joint have a much higher chance of being treated or even healed.

How do you treat stifle problems in horses?

“Rest, anti-inflammatory medications and maybe stem cells if we can locate and access the damaged area,” says Frisbie. “These are all things we can try, and if we’ve caught it early and the injury isn’t too severe, they might work, and the horse doesn’t look back.”

What causes a horse to drag his hind feet?

Horses drag their hind feet for many reasons, but the main influences are the rider, the horse’s conformation or shoeing problems. … Low limb carriage, which can cause dragging of the toe, can be due to low heel, long toe foot conformation. Excessive toe wall thickness can also be a contributing factor.

How many days off after stifle injections?

Stall rest ONLY for 24 hours after injection. After 24 hours, turnout is permitted. We recommend not exercising/ riding the horse on the day of treatment as well as one day following treatment (i.e. a total of two days).

How do you treat a stifle injury?

Treating Stifle Injuries

  1. Intramuscular Adequan injections at an early age to improve cartilage development;
  2. Injection of anti-inflammatory medications such as hyaluronic acid and corticosteroids directly into the joint;
  3. Rest with light, but controlled exercise; or.
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How do you strengthen a horse’s stifle?

Step 1: I flex the horse’s hip and stifle by lifting the hoof upward and forward. As you flex the joints, help the horse maintain his balance by keeping the lower leg toward the midline and the horse’s weight centered over the supporting leg. Each stretch should be held for 10 to 20 seconds initially.

What does a locked stifle look like?

Identifying Locked Stifles. Look for a stiff leg. The horse’s stifle is akin to a human knee, and it usually bends forward. A horse with a locked stifle will likely hold its hind leg stiff and straight, unable to unlock the joint.

How does the stifle joint work?

An elaborate twisting movement of the patella allows the stifle to ‘lock’ in extension when the medial portion of the tendon is ‘hooked’ over the bulbous medial trochlear ridge of the distal femur. This locking mechanism enables these animals to sleep while standing up.

What causes a horse’s stifle to lock?

The exact cause of locking stifles isn’t known, but it’s thought it could be due to conformation factors such as straight limbs and a weakness of the quadriceps muscles (those found near the top of your horse’s hind legs). It’s most often seen in young horses that are growing rapidly.

How do you treat hock injuries in horses?

For OA in the horse’s hock joint, the usual course of action is the injection of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, directly into the hock joint (intra-articular injections). Your horse will need to have a couple of days rest afterwards and then slowly ease back into work.

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