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Shuffly Knees

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    Posted: 25 Feb 2016 at 3:38pm
A horse yesterday pulled up with "shuffly knees". I have never heard this term before, can anyone shed any light on this injury?

Race 6 - LADBROKES LIVE PLAY HANDICAP - 1000 metres:

Snappy Esprit - jumped away awkwardly. Rider Patrick Moloney reported his mount hung in badly and did not feel right in its action. A post race veterinary examination revealed the gelding to be shuffly in the knees and will require a veterinary clearance prior to racing again.

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DD I subscribe to The Horse, receive an email from them almost every day, and find the site of huge assistance.

Here's a link to an article that might assist with your query:

The following is a short extract:

Chronic Pain

Some horses stumble because of chronic foot pain. It might be hard to detect lameness (since he is not favoring one foot more than the other), but he might travel stiff and short-strided on his front legs. If both front feet hurt equally, the horse will not show an obvious limp, but might tend to stub his toes as he carries himself with guarded movement.

A horse with navicular disease in both front feet, for instance, will have a shuffling, stumbling gait. Both front feet hurt in the heel area, so he tries to land on his toes, keeping as much weight off the heels as possible. He travels awkwardly and tends to stab his toes into the ground. About 85-90% of horses diagnosed with navicular syndrome improve to comfortable levels (if not complete soundness) with correct shoeing, according to Tia Nelson, DVM, a farrier/veterinarian near Helena, Mont.

Some of the other causes of soreness in both front feet are laminitis, ringbone, thin soles that bruise easily, and inflammation of the coffin bone. A horse which begins stumbling should be checked by a veterinarian.

Stumbling is often the first sign of an obscure lameness affecting the heel area of one or both front feet. In an attempt to avoid the discomfort of landing heel first, the horse shortens his stride and tries to land on the toe. Soon the lameness becomes more noticeable, but some horses will stumble for a year or more before lameness becomes obvious. A good farrier or veterinarian can recognize this kind of stumbling as the first sign of navicular disease. Use of a hoof tester might not reveal pain in the heel area at this early stage, but nerve blocks (one foot at a time) can be revealing. When one foot is deadened, the horse will generally show a distinct lameness in the opposite foot. With both feet deadened, the horse has a natural gait with no stumbling.

Shoulder lameness can be another cause of stumbling; the pain in the shoulder makes it hard for the horse to fully extend his forearm. Consequently, he takes a short stride to try and protect himself from pain, and the resultant choppy stride makes him more apt to stub his toes.

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