Fetlock subluxation is a traumatic condition of the fetlock. It occurs when one of the collateral ligaments becomes damaged or ruptures resulting in instability of the joint. Diagnosis is based on a palpation and radiographic examination. An ultrasound may be needed to fully evaluate the collateral ligament damage. Treatment consists of stabilization with a fiberglass cast for seven to ten weeks. During this time, the collateral ligament can rest and heal forming scar tissue, thus adding to the side to side stability of the joint. A heavy bandage is then placed on the leg after the cast is removed. Prognosis for soundness is likely if the condition is addressed in a timely mater.
David Schwinghamer, DVM