Veterinarians Discuss Limb Deformities
They first described approaches to managing rotational limb deformities, which primarily include inward or outward rotation of the front limbs. Bramlage explained that foals, with their narrow chests and wide base for stability, normally rotate out some at the toe. “As the foal ages, that outward rotation tends to correct,” he said. “The chest broadens, and the elbows move out more than the shoulders.”
He noted that Thoroughbreds, however, tend to toe in at the fetlock, which might be a byproduct of breeding. “Thoroughbreds used to be more angular and narrow-chested,” he said. “Now they tend to toe in, which may be linked to a selection for speed; faster horses tend to toe in.”
When managing foals with these types of deformities, Bramlage suggested squaring their toes early to encourage correct breakover. Applying lateral extensions to the outer hoof walls of horses that toe in can help prevent the outer hoof from wearing too fast
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