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Hoof cracks & Pigeon Toes
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Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2013 10:08 pm
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Dr. Bennett: We met at the Equine Affair. At that time, you thought it best to send pictures (Attached). My question was, is it likely his pigeon toes are hitting the coronet band causing this recurring crack? This is the second crack in the same spot which begins at the coronet band, grows out, then occurs again in the same spot. For the past 1 1/2 years, my farrier has been doing corrective shoeing to get the hoof to strike flat in an attempt to correct rigid gaits and stabilize the crack. Last week, my vet took x-ray of the right front hoof. The vet states the crack is superficial, but the horse has developed upper and lower ring bone. The vet states the problem being he is a 1300 lb horse on too small of hooves; he will never strike flat; and I should just ride him at a walk or trot - no canter. Now my question is, Is there any more we can do or do differently for this horse? He has had very little riding his whole life. What would you recommend? Thank you. Sherri Willison

Attachment: DSCN1081.JPG (Downloaded 573 times)

Last edited on Fri Mar 1st, 2013 07:43 am by DrDeb

ozgaitedhorses
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 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2013 10:45 pm
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Hi!
Two quick questions:
What's the horse's diet?
Have you ruled out thrush? Since you say the horse is not landing flat....
Cheers,
Manu

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Mar 1st, 2013 07:53 am
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Sherri -- First and foremost: NEVER EVER post your telephone number in this Forum or in any other place on the Internet. This is basic Internet common sense. Your telephone number is linked, in about a million different places easily accessible to thieves and thugs, to your street address, your driver's license number, and ultimately to your social security number. You may figure out from there what could happen to you as a result. I have done you the kindness of deleting it.

Second: You did not meet me at Equine Affaire -- I don't work for that outfit. Rather, you met me at the Pomona Horse Expo, three weeks ago in southern California.

Third: your vet sounds very sensible to me. Too big of a horse on too little feet is an excellent "background" reason for your difficulties.

I think, however, that what you're really after is a more specific set of reasons "why" this horse continues to be only semi-sound, semi-rideable, with stiff, restricted gaits or way of going.

So, to get at this aspect, I will need two other photographs:

(1) A view taken from directly behind the hoof. The horse should be stood up on cement or other smooth pavement. Have a handler mind the lead rope and the horse, while you with the camera walk around behind him. Pre-focus the camera on the heels of one of the front feet, and use the telephoto function to zoom in to where the area from the horseshoe against the ground up to just above the ankle joint would fill the height of the frame. Then wait for a moment when the horse is standing firmly on this foot, and take a good in-focus picture. (The telephoto lens will allow you to stand far enough behind the horse that you'll not be too close to the hindquarters, and out of kicking range).

(2) A view of the sole of the foot. Pick the foot up and clean it out with a hoof pick. Then have an assistant pick the foot up and hold it so that the sole faces more or less upwards, while you position the camera lens directly over the sole and take a nice in-focus photo.

These two images will have far more to tell us than the hoof crack. I don't myself believe that the hoof crack is "superficial"; I think it goes all the way down to the sensitive laminae, and I also think your animal probably has a white line disease infection. But it may not be so, and the views I've requested of you will help us to decide. -- Dr. Deb

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Fri Mar 1st, 2013 03:34 pm
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Hi! Apollo is fed (2 or 3 times daily) three-way hay, Renew Gold, and Farriers Supplement. We are in desert climate, sandy ground and pick up manure daily.

AdamTill
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 Posted: Fri Mar 1st, 2013 08:22 pm
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How old is the shoeing job?

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Tue Mar 5th, 2013 03:57 pm
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Hi Dr. Deb! Thank you for your reply. Attached is a photo of the bottom of the right hoof (taken same day as others at 4 weeks from last shoeing). The Farrier comes tomorrow, so I will take more photos of the unshod hoof. Let me know if and which additional photos would also be helpful.

Attachment: DSCN1091.JPG (Downloaded 456 times)

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Tue Mar 5th, 2013 04:09 pm
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Hi Dr. Deb! Attached is photo of the heels taken earlier. I will take another photo tomorrow, after shoeing, of the heel of one foot against cement as you request. I thought perhaps sending these photos prior to the farrier visit might provide opportunity for recommendation to farrier. I also notice Apollo seems to be leaning left slightly. Your comments are absolutely correct in that Apollo has such stiff, restricted gaits, I can barely ride him 20 minutes - then I have a sore back for 4 days. Most importantly though, my wish is what is best for the animal.

Attachment: DSCN1092.JPG (Downloaded 453 times)

Jeannie
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 Posted: Thu Mar 14th, 2013 07:25 pm
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Hi Sherri,
 When you post some photos of the horse's feet unshod, maybe you could post a photo of the whole horse so we could see his size in relation to his feet.
 
                         Jeannie

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 07:23 pm
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4/02/13 - Attached is photo of Apollo. The handler shown here is only 5' 5".

Attachment: DSCN1099.JPG (Downloaded 324 times)

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 07:36 pm
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Attached is one of the photos as requested by Dr. Deb - After recent shoeing.

Attachment: DSCN11501.jpg (Downloaded 314 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 10:34 pm
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Sherri -- thanks for posting photos. Can you put one in of the unshod sole view that is a bigger image? Also, you previously stated that your vet had taken Xrays; could you obtain copies of those from him (usually no problem, as they come in digital form on a CD disk, or if they come as negatives, then you just go into his office, have him hang them on the light box, and then you stand back with your digital camera pointing directly at the light box and take a digital photo of the XRay). If you could post the XRays that would be big help.

What I am trying to determine first is whether the horse's heels are sheared, as a source for the stress that is maintaining the big hoof crack. The rear views you have supplied seem to indicate that the foot is not sheared. However, a bigger solar view would also help. The image needs to be about 8 or 9 inches wide X 72 dpi, not the 2 inches that it currently is.

Certainly, the fact that the horse stands pigeon-toed is not the cause for the hoof crack. The tissue appears from the photo to be entirely separated, in other words, the portion of the hoof to the rear of the crack is entirely separate from the portion ahead of it. The crack appears to go all the way through the thickness of the horny wall, all the way from the surface down to the laminae.

This can occur as the result of the foot being allowed, at some earlier period, to become severely run-under, so that the animal would have been standing on buttresses that were curled underneath the foot. This will tend to deform the outline of the foot so that the rear part of the quarters flares out sharply, making the foot appear like a three-leafed clover.

So, the next thing I need to ask you is how long you've owned the horse and whether, at any earlier time that you know about, his feet were allowed to get severely out of antero-posterior balance, i.e. to get severely "ski footed" or severely run-under (all three are the same thing).

Another possibility is that the horse has, or has had, white line disease. This is why I need a better sole view -- we need to look for separations along the "white" line, i.e. between the sole and the hoof wall -- as well as the form of the buttresses.

As to his size and weight, he certainly does not weigh 1300 lbs. If your handler in the side photo is 5-foot-five, then the horse stands about 14:3 at the withers. As he is of Quarter Horse type or grade Quarter horse, that will translate into a bodyweight of about 1100 lbs.

His lower limbs and feet are not tremendously small. As with almost all Quarter Horses, they are "somewhat" small, i.e. they do not measure up to the ideal of 8 inches of bone-tendon circumference per 1,000 lbs. of weight. He's probably got 7 1/2 or 7 5/8ths BT. Another measure of distal limb substance would be to measure the widest part of the foot. If you were to lay a ruler across the sole of his feet, I think you would find that the widest part of the shoe would measure about 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 inches wide; this will be 1/4 to 1/2 inch wider than his actual bare hoof.

The trimming and shoeing job you are receiving is neat and professional, and for a horse with one hoof which is trying to fall apart, the bar shoes are appropriate. I take it from what you have written that the horse is not sound at the canter, is that right? But he is sound at the trot and walk? Is he more lame going one direction? Please clarify on this point. You have stated above that the vet told you the animal has ringbone -- so it is neither his pigeon-toed stance nor the size of his feet that are making him lame, I want to emphasize that again, but rather that the foot that is coming apart, and possibly his other front foot also, are giving him pain. Ringbone is painful by itself, but you may have more going on than just that.

As to the ringbone -- the first question there is where do you ride this horse, or on what kind of footing does he spend most of his time? Does the arena where you ride him or the enclosure in which you keep him have loose, dry sand for footing? Dry sand that is more than a couple of inches deep is a major cause for the development of ringbone, so if you have sand your very first step would be to get him off of it.

Another thing I need to know is how long the animal has had the ringbone condition, and how severe it is. Seeing the XRays will answer the latter question pretty much. If the condition is not too severe and he has not had ringbone very long, he may be helped by a regimen of IM injections of glucosamine hydrochloride. When you write back we can discuss your options on this.

I would, however, still like to figure out why the hoof should continue to grow out in chunks -- something is maintaining that. So help us out here, Sherri, with some more photos and information and we'll do our best to help you get the horse the help he needs. -- Dr. Deb

 

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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2013 01:57 am
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Dr. Deb, I was just viewing the photo of the bottom of the unshod foot. Hopefully the shoer is not finished with the trim. The photo is small but the bars should have been addressed by this point in the process.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Apr 3rd, 2013 02:50 am
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Indeed, yes; and there also appear to be peculiar bulges in the anterior sole. But let's see what the larger photo may show. -- Dr. Deb

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 04:13 pm
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Attached is a larger size photo of the sole. Hopefully I did this correctly. To my knowledge, the shoe was applied without further trimming. Forwarding the X-Rays also

Attachment: DSCN1144.JPG (Downloaded 262 times)

Sherri Willison
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 Posted: Thu Apr 4th, 2013 04:14 pm
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X-Ray of left front.

Attachment: DSCN1152.JPG (Downloaded 256 times)


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