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  1. #1
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    Question thin soles

    We've taken on ( I know...I said no more last year but hubby actually wanted to do this)
    a 12 y/o arabian mare that foundered a couple years ago. Our first stop after picking her up was the clinic, where she spent a month being evaluated. RG's show 14 degrees rotation in her left front, 7 in her right and lots of old abcesses. Vet did a partial resection on her left hoof which is now growing out well. She's being trimmed every three weeks by a farrier knowledgable with founder cases. All her blood work was normal.
    We've changed her diet from straight oats to free choice orchard grass & timothy hay 24/7 with a small amount of Safe Choice 2x a day and free choice salt/mineral.
    My question is; what can we do/use to help her soles get thicker? The farrier suggested powdered milk as a top dressing. Her lameness is improving by the day and she is happy being turned out 24/7 (unless the weather is really nasty) Poor thing was stalled the past few years which I think contributed to her issues with healing.
    Why did we taker her on? Well, we were her only option for the former owner, other than euthanizing. I know we're taking a chance, but we fell in love with her.
    Anyone out there had success with a similair situation?



  2. #2
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    Nov. 2, 2007
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    Two of my horses had really bad feet when I got them, and now I'm working on another with bad feet. Just from keeping their hooves trimmed and balanced the soles improved.
    "Humans will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple,
    or more direct than does Nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci



  3. #3
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    It is really hard to recommend a treatment without seeing the mare's feet. I'd be really careful with what you feed her if you don't know what triggered the founder. If she's IR all that free choice hay could be very bad. From what you describe that she was on straight oats and still having issues, be really careful that the NSC of that hay is under 10%. Check out http://www.safergrass.org/ for tons of good information.

    One of the best things I've ever used for thin soles was Equicast. However in this case, her founder is most certainly contributing to the thin soles and it may take quite some time for the hoof to remodel with good trimming. I'm going to link you to a good article on the equicast and some of the applications of it. You might discuss it with your farrier.

    http://www.hoofrehab.com/hoofcast.htm

    If Equicast is not an option, I'd have her booted for exercise to protect the bottom of her feet. If you use the comfort pads (12mm) inside of a boot, that will cushion her hoof providing support to P3 as well as help provide stimulation to her soles and help her to thicken her sole also.

    www.easycareinc.com

    Good luck and thanks for helping this mare.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhorse7 View Post
    My question is; what can we do/use to help her soles get thicker? The farrier suggested powdered milk as a top dressing. Her lameness is improving by the day and she is happy being turned out 24/7 (unless the weather is really nasty) Poor thing was stalled the past few years which I think contributed to her issues with healing.
    Why did we taker her on? Well, we were her only option for the former owner, other than euthanizing. I know we're taking a chance, but we fell in love with her.
    Anyone out there had success with a similair situation?
    As someone else already mentioned, restoring proper hoof balance...emphasis on coffin bone balance...should allow the hooves to return to health. I've seen it happen time and time again.

    I will ask where the thin sole is located? If it's beneath the coffin bone tip then it's possible that the coffin bone is being maintained with a palmar angle. If the palmar angle can be reduced some more, that would likely help. If this is tried and she still grows more heel than toe, then I would look at the depth of her collateral grooves. If they are quite deep, the bars need to be addressed and this should help her weight the heels.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 1, 2008
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    Smile thin soles

    Thanks for the links! This mare is not insulin resistant, and we did a complete panel of blood work on her as well. The former trainer told us her maternal line seems to be "genetically pre-dispositioned" to founder around the age of 8 I've never heard of such a thing?
    This mare was shown hard from what the owner told us and IMO, well, I guess I'll keep that to myself.
    Farrier thinks it was mechanical founder and she has done 100% better just with correct trimming.
    I've had my hay tested so that's not an issue. She appears to be an easy keeper so far and is delighted to be able to roam. She's turned out on a flat area/dry paddock. This mare spent the past few years stalled ALL THE TIME. So, she has some other issues as well. She's very aloof and is slow to trust. She also bonds with ANY horse she is put with. Glad to have friends at last.
    Thanks again as any suggestion is appreciated!



  6. #6
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by redhorse7 View Post
    Thanks for the links! This mare is not insulin resistant, and we did a complete panel of blood work on her as well. The former trainer told us her maternal line seems to be "genetically pre-dispositioned" to founder around the age of 8 I've never heard of such a thing?
    What exactly was tested? You will need a ratio between glucose and insulin to determine if a horse is IR. If you don have that, you cannot tell! See Yahoo Equine Cushings group for more details!

    Most horses that are prone to IR tend to be fine with higher levels of sugars and starches until they reach maturity, because they use the excess for growth and then boom, all of a sudden , around maturity, they have their first laminitis attack! I believe this is what the former trainer experienced, except he/she does not understand the true root cause of the problem.However this would concern me because it means that your mare might be a lot more sensitive to sugars in her diet (more of an easy keeper), than other genetic lines!

    Arabs tend to be rather easy keepers (land of origin!) amd are notorious for developing IR and tend to have a higher incident of Cushings too!

    Farrier thinks it was mechanical founder and she has done 100% better just with correct trimming.
    Although possible, I sort of doubt it because this is very rare. I rather suspect your horse is IR.

    I've had my hay tested so that's not an issue. She appears to be an easy keeper so far and is delighted to be able to roam.
    Easy keepers are more prone to laminitis and founder if not correctly controlled. Does she get anything else besides her hay?



  7. #7
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    ---"Arabs tend to be rather easy keepers (land of origin!) amd are notorious for developing IR and tend to have a higher incident of Cushings too!"---

    Any studies to prove those as facts?

    My understanding is the opposite, but it is hearsay and experience only.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    ---"Arabs tend to be rather easy keepers (land of origin!) amd are notorious for developing IR and tend to have a higher incident of Cushings too!"---

    Any studies to prove those as facts?

    My understanding is the opposite, but it is hearsay and experience only.
    I think the problem arises when people don't recognize easy keepers and over feed them. It doesn't seem to matter what breed they are....their diet isn't suited to their needs.



  9. #9
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    We switched hoof supplements to Grand Meadows Hoof Pellets with 5 grams MSM and are very happy with the results. Our barefoot app/tb is on much the same diet as your mare, and had tender soles and chipping feet. We did the painting with Venice turpentine, supplemented regularly with a good biotin product, along with a good vit/min supplement, checked with the farrier to make sure the trim was appropriate for the horse, and he was still tender-footed. Suggestions for us to pursue included different sole products (Durasole, Keratex) and changing to specialized barefoot farriers.

    Then I got sick of the chipping, painting and ouchiness and, on the advice of a friend, changed over to Grand Meadows pellets. The MSM has sulfur in it that strengthens hooves, builds sole and strengthens mane/tail/coat quality. We are now 6 months past the change and the horse has been moving though all gaits pain-free with chip-free hooves since early in November. I am happy with the results, and the horse now moves well barefoot.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    I think the problem arises when people don't recognize easy keepers and over feed them. It doesn't seem to matter what breed they are....their diet isn't suited to their needs.
    Yes, but the "lighter" the breed, the less apt they seem to fall into those metabolic problems, for what I have heard and seen and according to our vets.

    Saying that, the only young cushinoid horse we had was an arabian.
    That is why our vet could not believe it at first, as for what he knew, as we did, arabians as a breed were not that apt to have those problems.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 19, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhorse7 View Post
    We've taken on ( I know...I said no more last year but hubby actually wanted to do this)
    a 12 y/o arabian mare that foundered a couple years ago. Our first stop after picking her up was the clinic, where she spent a month being evaluated. RG's show 14 degrees rotation in her left front, 7 in her right and lots of old abcesses. Vet did a partial resection on her left hoof which is now growing out well. She's being trimmed every three weeks by a farrier knowledgable with founder cases. All her blood work was normal.
    We've changed her diet from straight oats to free choice orchard grass & timothy hay 24/7 with a small amount of Safe Choice 2x a day and free choice salt/mineral.
    My question is; what can we do/use to help her soles get thicker? The farrier suggested powdered milk as a top dressing. Her lameness is improving by the day and she is happy being turned out 24/7 (unless the weather is really nasty) Poor thing was stalled the past few years which I think contributed to her issues with healing.
    Why did we taker her on? Well, we were her only option for the former owner, other than euthanizing. I know we're taking a chance, but we fell in love with her.
    Anyone out there had success with a similair situation?
    Some are a little too quick dismissing mechanical founder. The farrier may have (partially) based his conclusion on the "lots of old abscesses".

    I have never heard of the powdered milk as a top dressing, but heck, it couldn't hurt to try.

    Are her soles hard? If not, you can help that by using Venice Turpentine. To protect the soles she has, I'd put her in boots when she's the most active, i.e. if she's a "dayhorse", use them during daytime.

    Yes, 2 of my horses had a similar problem due to mechanical founder (it isn't all that rare). This happened 2 years ago; 1 died last year from kidney failure but with good, hard feet. The other one will probably never get thick soles back, and she'll be 32 in 4 months - sound as can be. Thanks to boots.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    ---"Arabs tend to be rather easy keepers (land of origin!) and are notorious for developing IR and tend to have a higher incident of Cushings too!"---

    Any studies to prove those as facts?

    My understanding is the opposite, but it is hearsay and experience only.
    Yeah, the fact that out of the 14 Arabs I know, 9 had issues with IR and/or Cushings (all were IR and at least 5 had also Cushings)! I'd be a fool to ignore this just because there's not an "official" study backing it up! Plus the fact that Arabs evolved in a desert environment to be hardy - they are not used to rich diets - even pasture grass can bee too much for many. Also, all of those horses generally improve on a low NSC, high fiber diet with adequate exercise!

    I missed one - make that 15 Arabs, with 10 having IR and 6 with Cushings too!



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    Yeah, the fact that out of the 14 Arabs I know, 9 had issues with IR and/or Cushings (all were IR and at least 5 had also Cushings)! I'd be a fool to ignore this just because there's not an "official" study backing it up!
    It is more foolish to believe, based on this small group of Arabians of your acquaintance, that the situation is the same across the population. Given that your exposure is, by your own admission("I have 78 horses in my custom")limited(and here I am being generous), your statistical analysis is rather skewed and immaterial.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Yes, but the "lighter" the breed, the less apt they seem to fall into those metabolic problems, for what I have heard and seen and according to our vets.

    Saying that, the only young cushinoid horse we had was an arabian.
    That is why our vet could not believe it at first, as for what he knew, as we did, arabians as a breed were not that apt to have those problems.
    I don't go along with that idea though (the lighter the breed). The majority of IR cases involve "light" breeds. Have you ever been over to the yahoo group for cushings? Check it out and note the types of horses that are IR over there.

    I think your Vet can only speak according to what they've seen in their practice. That would not speak for all cases though. Vet's are often surprised by things they're not expecting.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    I don't go along with that idea though (the lighter the breed). The majority of IR cases involve "light" breeds. Have you ever been over to the yahoo group for cushings? Check it out and note the types of horses that are IR over there.

    I think your Vet can only speak according to what they've seen in their practice. That would not speak for all cases though. Vet's are often surprised by things they're not expecting.
    Do you have any figures on the percentage of people that use the internet as part of those that own horses and which kind of horses?

    The truth is that we don't know, unless someone can provide us with some properly conducted studies on metabolic problems and the kind of horse and all other factors that may be part of those.

    This mare happens to be an arabian, or so it is believed, but what kind of founder or reason for it seems to be in question here.

    As for making soles thicker, well, some horses just don't have thick soles, no matter what you do.

    For general hoof health, including sole, you need to be sure your mare has not only the minimum, but all the protein she can safely use and that it be a good quality protein source, like alfalfa, if it is indicated for her.
    Then you can see how her new hoof growth is coming along.



  16. #16
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    Dont want to hi-jack this thread, but Im interested in that powdered milk theory. I've heard that before. How much do you use and how often?



  17. #17
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    Also keep in mind that soles can be overly thinned by a hoof care provider which unfortunately seems to be common practice:

    [LEFT]
    The sole of the foot is the most abused and misunderstood part of the domestic horse (with the possible exception of its digestive system). I’ve been guilty of it, too. As a horseshoer it always seemed necessary for me to routinely cut the sole at the toe, and in my early days as a barefoot trimmer I thought it was desirable to thin it at the back of the foot. When I began both professions, I was taught to view the sole as an idle passenger; trimming the hoof wall to certain parameters and then trimming or relieving the sole to match. Now I see the sole as the ultimate guide for hoof trimming; keeping the bars and walls 1/16 inch above the natural callused sole plane. (See the "Heel Height" article for exceptions.) When I think back on the past and compare it to my results now, I shudder at the comparison. My own learning curve has been a long one. I hope to shorten it for you, here.
    http://www.hoofrehab.com/horses_sole.htm[/LEFT]



  18. #18
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    Default thin soles

    In answer to the amount of powdered milk, the farrier said a "heaping" tablespoon sprinkled on.

    Also, over the month she was at the clinic, her glucose levels were checked several times and are normal. So, no IR. Nor does the vet see any signs of Cushings. Her hormone levels were normal for this time of year. I [I]do[I] have a TW with Cushings...

    My other arabian mare, age 10 is the easiest keeper I've ever had and has rock hard feet. I swear she could live on air All our horses go barefoot with natural trims. Our farrier never touches the sole and we're hoping just being turned out and able to move about will get some more blood flow going and help with healing.

    Thanks again to everyone!
    mary



  19. #19
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    If I remember well, powdered milk is what Calf Manna is made of and it worked great for our weanlings or any horse in need of extra nutrition, like after being sick.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Do you have any figures on the percentage of people that use the internet as part of those that own horses and which kind of horses?
    Do I need to? Simply put, no.

    If you own a horse with metabolic issues, those studies aren't going to tell you much but you could add your horse to the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    The truth is that we don't know, unless someone can provide us with some properly conducted studies on metabolic problems and the kind of horse and all other factors that may be part of those.
    I agree and as far as those, who are in the throws of dealing with horses having metabolic problems, those studies will be of little help.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    As for making soles thicker, well, some horses just don't have thick soles, no matter what you do.
    Often times, thin soles can be linked to hoof form/coffin bone conditions.



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