How do you treat a common extensor tendon rupture in foals?

Posted on Friday, 25 May 2018

Veterinarian and farrier Dr. Charlotte von Zadow shows how to build an artificial tendon that can be applied during the healing process:

Foals – Flexural deformities

Common extensor tendon rupture:
A foal with a ruptured common extensor tendon shows swelling on the dorsolateral aspect of the carpus and an abnormal pattern of movement: The foal may fling the leg forward to move it or stand/walk on the dorsal aspect of the fetlock. The difference compared to a hypo-extension due to contraction is that the limb can be extended manually. If the foal is standing/walking on the frontal aspect of the fetlock it helps to create a toe extension on the foot. The extension is connected to a bandage by means of a rubber tube (Fig. 1). In this way, the foal develops a more normal way of moving and is often able to use its limb without the rubber tube after just a few days. After removing the rubber tube, I leave the toe extension on the foot for four to five more days. Only then do I remove it, too. Typically, no further treatment is needed.


Rupture of the common extensor tendon. As
the foal could not move the leg unassisted, a rubber
tube was used to create a kind of “artificial tendon”.
The rubber tube is often needed for only a few days.

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