Locking Patella or Stifle Lock - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Horses have three patella ligaments that do the same job, and these three ligaments make the horse's stifle stronger. This also allows the horse to lock its leg while standing by shifting its weight and rotating its patella so that one of the ligaments locks over a ridge on the femur. This enables the horse to hold itself up using a minimum of energy, and even enables the animal to sleep while standing...

Radiographic x-ray imaging of the equine foot. The radiographic examination of the equine foot provide the veterinarian and farrier with a wealth of information.

Unfortunately, this system doesn't always work correctly. Horses that are born with very straight, upright back legs and horses with poor quadricep muscling sometimes have stifles that lock, but which suddenly can't be released.

This condition can range from the very subtle-the horse shows a slight hitch to its gait, especially when going downhill-to the severe, with the leg locked out behind the horse, completely unbendable.

McDowells Suggestions

Along with McDowells Tendon and Bone, I recommend regular work that encourages even, rhythmic and engaged work. This part is particularly important, as the exercises encourage the horse to place the hind leg under himself, building up muscle and repairing the ligaments that are overly stretched.

McDowells Products

The problem can be fixed relatively easily by using our Tendon and Bone mix. This mix that supports the ligaments and attachment points from over stretching, which is what causes the locking patella.

Some horses particularly young may need to be on the mix for 12 months to ensure strength and balanced tendons and ligaments.

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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