This is a big, 3 yr old horse. An abscess kept recurring, and radiographs show early stages of PO. There is no known foreign body, although something could have penetrated the hoof. Radiographs show a drainage tract, slightly eroded coffin bone tip, and there is a palpable "soft spot" adjacent to the bone.
Is surgery always indicated? I'm pursuing second opinions but would like to hear from others who have experience with PO.
Thanks -- am in the process of getting a referral to New Bolton. I don't have x-rays but have posted his feet previously, was surprised that the responses weren't too bad. He is now on SMZs and stall rest, with a notch in the front of his hoof. While I can't show the x-rays, the erosion appears to be slight -- we were able to compared radiographs in March (first abscess) with those taken on 7/3 to determine the change.
This may not be enough to go on but I'm sure interested in any general advice or experience with PO.
? for you. His films are "on the way"? It takes just a few minutes to send digital rads to someone who knows more. When my vet sends film like this for a second opinion she sends them to Rich Redden at NCSU and he looks at them that day. When I had a horse who presented much as you describe, she took them there herself and waited to talk to him. So.. I am hoping this film is digital? Because if it's not it will be much harder to tell what is what and the delay could be problematic. If they are digital I'd be wanting to know what is taking so long! If they aren't, I'd be finding out if you can just take him wherever he might be going and have them do digital film and make a decision then/there.
I don't think the question is, should it be surgically *drained*, unless I am missing something... The question is more likely, does the coffin bone need to be debrided?
FWIW, after my horse had a septic coffin bone he was casted rather than shod. Shoes would not have protected the big missing chunk of toe wall. Casting certainly did and he was able to be turned out in the spring with all the wet and slop with no problem.
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--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
Uhm, how would shoes help in this situation? Please elaborate.
Uhmmmm lets see.... .let me count the ways....maybe protect the already damaged coffin bone solar margin from further damage? Or maybe add a hospital plate to cover up the hole they may need to make in a the surgical clean up ? or maybe protect the probably thin sole from more trauma? or maybe ease breakover all around the foot to reduce stresses on the bone and surrounding soft tissue structures? or maybe help hold a genetically weak foot together?
Or how about this one ....... help this lame domesticated horse that does not have the rock solid 20mm thick sole of a feral mustang ?
When the vet came, she met the farrier and they looked at him together. He now has bar shoes that have a little makeshift pad that inserts into the toe area (which is now notched). I've been sticking icthamol into the notch with cotton, taping it, and booting it with a soft nylon boot. And he is on stall rest w/handwalking until further notice.
I didn't say he was "shod" b/c I consider this more of a medical situation.
I had a horse with pedal osteitis. We did a lot of things to make him comfortable but nothing ever made him totally sound. He wore bar shoes with pads and seemed pretty good with those. At the time we didn't have money for expensive treatments so I searched the internet for some alternatives.
One website I went to said to turn the horse out barefoot in a rocky paddock. I personally thought this sounded cruel but I thought I would pass it on to you. It said that after a while the foot would get tougher and the sole would get thicker.
I asked my vet about this and he said it was worth a try. We never actually did it as I ended up selling him as a trail horse to some very nice people. I know this is not a lot but hopefully it helps.
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