I need help. The current problem 'seems' common, but I want to give a brief history in case there are any other ideas in this WEALTHY resource!
I have a 6yo OTTB with crappy feet. Last year, I had difficulty keeping shoes on him. My farrier recommended sigafoo shoes (on the front). I THOUGHT THEY WERE MAGIC. We put them in August '08. By spring of '09, his feet were looking good. But, my farrier didn't want to take them off just yet. (I think we went through 4 - 5 pair in total.) In May, my horse came up lame on his LF. My farrier said it wasn't the foot, my gut said it was. I had a vet block his heels - that was the problem. He said to get the shoes off.
I switched farriers. The new farrier took the shoes off, there was fungus in his left heel and his heels had rolled under. He had to cut back his heel quite a bit. He put my horse in leather rim pads. My horse was very sore for about a week. I wrapped him in Magna paste at night, it helped a lot. Then, we were back in action. The next time he was shod, the farrier put full pads on him packed with something that he said would help soreness. The packing was similar to the impressions packing, but I'm not 100% that's what is was. Regardless, it worked. (He was still tender for the first couple days after being shod.)
Then I moved and had to switch farriers. JUST before my new farrier appointment, my horse pulled both front shoes. UGH. (It had been 5 weeks) The new farrier kept the full pads and packed him with something different; a brown paste.
Things have been pretty good. He has remained being sore for a couple days after being shod, but has always gotten better.
Just before the third shoeing, my horse was very lame on his LF. His heels were VERY VERY soft. The footing around here has been VERY wet. His left heel was pretty low to the ground. He has a digital pulse in his LF. The farrier came, pulled shoe and my horse has a stone bruise on his outer side of his sole on the left. He didn't seem overly concerned about it, said to give it a few days. It's been two weeks.
The horse can parade around the paddock, tons of cadence, looking 100%. Then, put him on a lunge line to the left - nearly three legged.
What should I do?
I have tried:
Bute - no real difference
Pushing magna paste under the pad - didn't work
I am just starting to soak in Epson salt, but I worry about how soft his heels are. Should I be?
I am worried about having the farrier come pull the shoe & add impression packing because the fewer nail holes, the better. But my gut says to do this.
I have him on Farriers Formula (since @ June) and I just started using a brush on product called Farrier Barrier. Before that, I was applying Rain Maker a couple times per week.
His feet look good. (Well, for my horse!!)
Any advice is MOST appreciated. I only have a little bit longer until winter sets in...
Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown
Let me get this straight. The farrier came, pulled the shoe, diagnosed a stone bruise and put the shoe back on?
In my experience I've always treated a stone bruise like an abscess -- pulled the shoe, soaked the hoof, packed with magnapaste and kept the shoe off until the horse was sound. I'm surprised that your farrier would have shod the horse with both a visible bruise and a digital pulse because to me those are indicators that an abscess was brewing..
From what you describe, it *sounds* to me like your bruise now has developed into an abscess. You should probably have the shoe pulled ASAP otherwise, if it is an abscess it will travel up the hoof and out the coronary band. That can sometimes take more time to heal and take longer to resolve.
My dad always said "Misery loves company" and it sounds like we have a similar problem. So I wanted to say I'm sorry for what you're going through and you are not alone. My boy has been wearing glue on shoes for about two years now. We use the Equilox with the fiberglass fibers mixed in. I have always heard that sigafoos could only be used short term because they break down the hoof wall. Anyhow, I digress. I moved my horse to a new farm in August and he went lame in the front right. We did coffin joint injections because when the vet blocked his heals there was 90% plus improvement. He had a small bruise when the vet pulled his shoes to do the digital xrays, but both the vet and farrier felt that it was not the problem. We did leave the shoes off for a few days before glueing back on. The injections and isox helped, but he has had bruises the last three shoeings. The farrier never sets the hoof down once he cleans it off before applying the glue. We cannot figure out how he is getting bruised with all that padding. There are hardly any rocks on the farm. There is never any heat and no sign of abscesses. We too have been having alot of rain and I have wondered if this is part of the problem after two years of drought.
As far as supplements go, I can tell you that the farriers formula has worked best for my horse after trying many other supplements. I once took him off it and my farrier could tell the difference within one shoeing cycle. The best hoof hardener that I have found is Keratex. Yes, it is expensive, but when all the other horses hooves are breaking apart, his look great. I am pulling the glue ons at the next shoeing and using heart bars. I'm sure he could use the additional support of an egg bar, but he promptly removes them himself.
Two days ago when I put him on the lunge he seemed off again, and I'm just betting there is another bruise. He is not seriously off, just gimpy. If you discover anything new, let me know. I have retired this boy from jumping because I feel he'll stay sound alot longer if he's just ridden on the flat, but now with the bruises, I'm just waiting for the next shoeing to try something new.
I think I would hold off on soaking if it really is that wet. What does your vet say about that? Good luck!
I say bar shoes on front. sore heels are much more common then many people thing- at least IME.
You would have to use bell boots of some sort, and be careful on slick footing, but it made a world of difference in my event horse. I also have used them behind- as strange as that sounded, it was what that horse needed and suffice to say, it worked. I am sure that once they grow enough heel, they'd be fine but until then? I'd use em.
I also like Keratex- may be expensive but really seems to work. I also used something on their soles- white lightning I think? that helped.
I used the sigafoos shoes for a long time- and loved them. I also have used the shock tamer pads, and they are great, too!
His heels were VERY VERY soft. The footing around here has been VERY wet. His left heel was pretty low to the ground. He has a digital pulse in his LF. The farrier came, pulled shoe and my horse has a stone bruise on his outer side of his sole on the left. He didn't seem overly concerned about it, said to give it a few days. It's been two weeks.
why on earth would you let a horse with such continual foot problems even get his feet wet ?
stone bruises turn into abscesses,it's what they do and sometimes they take weeks to do it in...
My horse was off like yours left front, thought it was an abcess. Had the shoe pulled and soaked and packed with ichtymhol for a week. Farrier came again and still couldn't find an abcess, so I stopped soaking and made an appt with the vet. The vet did x-rays and he has bruising towards the heel, some wall separation, and possibly a hairline fracture on P3. Had to have the coffin joint injected to relieve excess fluid there. He is on stall rest for 5 days and then very limited turnout for the following 2 weeks (20-60 minutes per day in a small area). He is also on isoxoprine. Once I can remove the bandages from the injection, I'll start using something to harden his hooves. Vet said not to put the shoe on until he jogs sound on grass. Also said a bar shoe would do more harm than good. Bottom line, I'm glad I got the x-rays done, because I was turning him out everyday and soaking, which was opposite to what needed to be done.