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Discuss Popping a curb? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Does anyone know what "popping a curb" means? All I know is it's a tendon ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    central Ohio

    Popping a curb?

    Does anyone know what "popping a curb" means? All I know is it's a tendon thing, but someone said it's like a splint in the hock. How do you take care of them? What does it mean for the horse, are they useless or will the be able to be worked like before when they heal up? How long does it usually take to heal?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Not sure if "popping a curb" is the same thing as just plain ole' curb, but if it is . . .
    Curb indicates desmitis (inflammation) of the plantar ligament.

    Typical causes for curb include severe flexion of the hock (such as with extreme exertion) or direct trauma. Horses with poor conformation such as sickle or cow hocks are predisposed and Standardbreds have the highest incidence.

    Diagnosis is typical made utilizing palpation and flexion tests (will be positive to hock flexion). Ultrasound may also be utilized as well as radiographs to rule out other causes of disease.

    Clinical signs, treatment, and prognosis depend on the duration of the lesion: acute (recent) or chronic (relative long time).

    In acute cases, there is typically inflammation in the area and the horse is lame on the leg (refuses or reluctant to place heel on the ground). If it is a chronic condition, there is typically a hard swelling in the area and the horse may or may not be lame. If it was caused by trauma, a wound may be seen in the area.

    Initially the injury is treated with cold packing, steriod injections, stall rest (potentially up to 6 months), and DMSO. If the condition has been present for a while, it is often difficult to treat as the ligament has already undergone scarring. There is belief at many race tracks that counterirritants (firing, blistering) are useful, but in reality there efficacy is questionable at best (probably worthless IMO). If a sequestration has formed, surgery is necessary.

    Horses tend to have a good prognosis if they have normal conformation; their prognosis is guarded at best with less than good conformation. However, the ligament will frequently still remain enlarged and appear thickened regardless.

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