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  1. #1

    Default Pedal Osteitis... Help!

    Hello forum! I'm curious to hear your thoughts on my horse's situation. Here's a novel! My OTTB is a jumper who has had lameness issues in his front left foot after an abscess in the front right. My initial vet (who was out several times to help with the diagnosis) Took X-rays and determined he had essentially "twisted his ankle" (in simplifie terms for the owner) compensating for the pain in the right. The result was an avulsion on the front of his large pastern. He got time off, was approved sound, and went back into work- slowly. He was sound until we got back to full work, then he was not. He went through a few months of off and on lameneherald we had another vet check him a while later to get a second opinion. We blocked him after he showed tenderness in the hoof. She took extensive X-rays of the area and told us he had pedal osteitis that needed to be managed (and said nothing about the avulsion... Yay!) She talked to my farrier about corrective shoeing. He was shod par her instructions with aluminums and Equi-pak or something similar. He was given a month off then slowly brought back. He was sound once again but when we got back to normal work, he was lame. We had another vet out (3rd opinion!) and gave him the X-rays. He reccommended coffin joint injections to reduce the pressure/inflammation. We did so, and the horse seems better, but not 100%. What would be your next step in diagnosing/treating this? I hate seeing my horse uncomfortable and sitting in a stall when I have done extensive research to try to help him! I'm running out of ideas. Any advice? (the vets have seen no arthritis, laminitis, or navicular syndrome. He had been jumped high and hard on terribly hard footing previously AND has raced. So the pedal osteitis makes sense. Unfortunately, we can't make him comfortable!) I can try to include X-rays if anyone is curious to see. Thank you!



  2. #2
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    I'd try about 6 months of "Dr. Green."--24/7 turnout on a very large pasture, with his shoes pulled and trimmed short. Visit www.ctnaturalhoof.com to see what I'm talking about for the shape. It's very, very different than trimming for shoes. ALL the flares and extra toe have to come off. He needs to be moving, walking, and improving his own circulation while this remodeling takes place--meds are not a substitute for biologically mandated function. Basically, he needs to get both feet functioning again after what sounds like a lot of accumulated trauma.

    We've had great success with this, and can usually always get them sound enough to hold up for flat riding--but his high-jumping days may well be over. Sounds like he's earned a career change!
    Last edited by SwampYankee; Jun. 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM. Reason: typo



  3. #3
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    The impact of the hoof needs to be minimalized. Is your horse in a full pad? Is the footing of turnout area soft, free of bumps, and of even ground?

    I had a horse who developed this from pawing. Was not lame but it showed up as a training issue. I thought the issue was in the diagonal hind. Horse blocked to front foot. Xrays showed very mild pedal osteitis.

    This is what vets recommended: soft full pad between hoof and shoe. Fill hoof with soft impression material. NO more turn out on anything but soft ground. NO hard summer pasture turn out.

    Good luck!



  4. #4
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    It's very, very different than trimming for shoes. ALL the flares and extra toe have to come off..
    removing ALL the flares and extra toe is no different than for CORRECT shoeing....

    AS well, correct shoeing will enhance the break over all around the foot and thereby ease stresses internally even more than barefoot can do. Unfortunately many farriers and vets idea of correct shoeing is not even close to correct and therein lies the problem, in whih case barefoot may be better as the foot can correct itself.

    I for one would like to see the Xrays particularly to see if they were taken in a manner to help assess internal hoof balance.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  5. #5
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    This is what vets recommended: soft full pad between hoof and shoe. Fill hoof with soft impression material.
    What about the trim in preparation for the shoe? What kind of shoe? ...with eased breakover ? rolled edges? .Maybe full roller motion? was INTERNAL hoof balance assessed via X rays? All those factors should be considered, missing one of them is often a reason for failure of a therapeutic shoeing.
    As well a very new helpful procedure to assist in getting lame horses sound is 'leverage testing'.
    www.krosscheck.com.
    Using it as part of the lameness evaluation helps the horse tell the farrier or vet what makes it feel better. Even without a full diagnosis,
    a more effective shoeing can be designed around the results.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    I'd try about 6 months of "Dr. Green."--24/7 turnout on a very large pasture, with his shoes pulled and trimmed short. Visit www.ctnaturalhoof.com to see what I'm talking about for the shape. It's very, very different than trimming for shoes. ALL the flares and extra toe have to come off. He needs to be moving, walking, and improving his own circulation while this remodeling takes place--meds are not a substitute for biologically mandated function. Basically, he needs to get both feet functioning again after what sounds like a lot of accumulated trauma.

    We've had great success with this, and can usually always get them sound enough to hold up for flat riding--but his high-jumping days may well be over. Sounds like he's earned a career change!
    This advice is very dangerous advice for a PO horse.

    Jeez this advice could founder most horses.

    Just sayin



  7. #7
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    Jul. 28, 2004
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    My dressage horse had pedal osteitis in one front foot. It was intermittent at first until he was a grade 2 lame and it went on for about 18 months. I tried a "barefoot trim" with a really skilled trimmer for several months, and time off, but he did not improve. The vet wanted to do an MRI and then a tildren treatment. The costs and the risks were too scary, so I decided to try my own approach.

    What worked for us was Epona shoes and the herb jiaogulan, which increases circulation to the feet. He also had chiropractic treatment to help address the movement pattern that caused him to land harder on that front foot. I used to do a lot of galloping and conditioning work with him, but I now am more cautious about the kind of footing I will ride him in. When we work I try to make a lot of direction changes. I would be hesitant to jump him at this point. Knocking wood, he has been sound for more than a year now!



  8. #8
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    ^ THAT^ is good advice!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    I'd try about 6 months of "Dr. Green."--24/7 turnout on a very large pasture, with his shoes pulled and trimmed short. Visit www.ctnaturalhoof.com to see what I'm talking about for the shape. It's very, very different than trimming for shoes.
    No, its not. And those case studies show some really impressive ham fisted hoof butchery and ignorance.
    We've had great success with this, and can usually always get them sound enough to hold up for flat riding--
    "Usually"? What's your excuse for those that you don't get 'sound enough to hold up for flat riding?"

    Pedal osteitis is a serious and often career ending pathology. To date, I have not read of any verified successes in remediating it by leaving a horse barefoot.



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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helicon View Post
    and the herb jiaogulan, which increases circulation to the feet.
    Have any studies been done that show that circulation to the hooves is actually increased by the use of Jiaogulan? If so, where might they be found? Even an abstract of the study(ies) would be helpful



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Usually always! Giggle.
    As opposed to "Sometimes never"............

    Imagine if the sentence read: "We've had great success with this, and can sometimes never get them sound enough to hold up for flat riding. Wouldn't be good for what they're selling, would it? LOL



  13. #13
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    Wow... Unfortunately, I could have written most of this.

    I have a 19 year old OTTB that was diagnosed with Pedal Osteitis when he was 9. He has barely been ridden since.

    It started the same as your horse, off track, abscesses, some trouble occasionally keeping shoes on. Off and on lameness started- tried 150 different shoeing variations, nothing helped. Took him to an equine clinic where he was blocked, evaluated, and x-rayed extensively. They diagnosed the pedal osteitis. It didn't mean he couldn't be ridden, but certainly meant no jumping.

    Unfortunately for him, none of the corrective shoeing worked well for him (he also has a somewhat deformed hoof on the right front). He would be sound one day, lame the next. Or just a little ouchy for like a week. It was all over the place. In heavy work, he will become lame. He is probably sound enough to go for an occasional trail ride, but unfortunately has never been a real beginner safe horse.

    I kept him on bute on and off until he was stable, and then switched to the B-L solution. At first I took him for an occasional hack, but eventually I took his shoes off and turned him out- no more riding for him.

    Good thing he's a good looking horse. He's a handsome pasture ornament.

    Sorry I do not have anything good to tell you But that was my experience.



  14. #14
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    I have not personally handled this condition, but from what I know and have learned over the years that it is likely that your horse can not handle a full work load any more. I think you are doing well to have him sound just for hacking, you don't say what full work is (I know you say jumper but some people have 2'6" jumpers and then there are 4' jumpers) but it wouldn't surprise me if you horse can not jump anymore. Good luck, I think what you have done has been fairly good, you have gotten him sound for light work, that is more than what many people get out of this condition.



  15. #15
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    Jul. 28, 2004
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    Rick,

    I don't know how to attach the link, since it downloads as a document, but try googling this paper:
    USE OF THE HERB GYNOSTEMMA PENTAPHYLLUM AND THE BLUE-GREEN ALGAE SPIRULINA PLATENSIS IN HORSES Eleanor M. Kellon, V.M.D.

    She refers to some studies including her own field trial. I like Dr. Kellons work and I consider her to be credible source of information, (which I realize is not the same as proof, but my vet was not providing me with any proof that Tildren would work either). Dr. Kellons conclusions were enough to convince me that it was at least worth a try. She has studied Jiaogulan specifically for treating laminitis and also dsld, so it was a stretch for me to try it on pedal osteitis. It may be that the improvement in my horse is soley due to the Eponas, but I am afraid to stop either the herb or the shoes now, since something is working!

    Also, interestingly, I recently had a complete thermographic study done of my horse along with seven others the same day (so similar conditions). His front feet showed more heat than the other shod horses. The two other horses with warmer front feet were barefoot at the time of the scanning.

    I do not know if this means my horse still has some inflammation in his front feet, or if the eponas inspire more circulation than steel shoes. He is barefoot behind and had cooler hind feet, which were interpreted as more normal. I would expect the jiaogulan to have the same effect on all four of his feet.

    My farrier grumbles every time he has to put the Eponas on, but I really like the concept.



  16. #16
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    Thank you for the information.

    I find hoof thermography to be more voo-doo than science and the results of a scan are dependent on too many outside factors not the least of which is the skill or lack thereof, of the instrument operator.



  17. #17
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    I have to agree with Ruth. My gelding was only 6 when diagnosed. We could not ever get him sound. He too became a very pretty lawn ornament. Hope you have better luck
    Lilykoi


    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare



  18. #18
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    I have a PO horse too, and am contemplating making him a permanent lawn ornament. He's had about a year off and is quite happy out at pasture. Of course we have the added issue that when his feet are bothering him, he also gets exceptionally and dangerously girthy, which is a secondary management issue (even when it calms down and his feet are comfortable, he anticipates and so it is always a concern/issue)

    It's really depressing because when the vet blocked him during the diagnosis process (which took a lot of time and money, four vets and a nuclear scan) he was SO beautiful. And he's SO great to ride with a fantastic work ethic. :/

    We managed it for a while with very careful shoeing (I say shoeing but it was more about a very careful balanced trim first, bringing his heels down being a primary goal), pour in pads, and injections. That made him much more comfortable but never got him quite 100% either.

    The vet who diagnosed him also highly recommended very limited turnout, and on soft/good footing. Unfortunately this was not possible for us, the horse would have to be medicated for the rest of his life to deal with limited turnout (not only would he be mentally stressed but he had a habit of banging the door with his foot - of course the lamer of the two front feet, probably exacerbating the problem)

    I decided early on no more jumping (again, a shame because he was pretty good at it) in hopes that even if I could keep him sound jumping, it would cause more damage/concussion and shorten his useful life.

    I may try another round of injections but then shoe in eponas, might as well try it. I don't want to do much but would like to enjoy at least some riding.

    Sorry I'm rambling, I'm tired which makes me go on and on. haha.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinated View Post
    Of course we have the added issue that when his feet are bothering him, he also gets exceptionally and dangerously girthy, which is a secondary management issue (even when it calms down and his feet are comfortable, he anticipates and so it is always a concern/issue)

    I took a bodywork course with Jim Masterson and learned there is a 'hoof point' that runs along that girth line-you can use it to determine if a horse is hoof sore.

    Just a side tidbit of information that relates to your observations.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    I took a bodywork course with Jim Masterson and learned there is a 'hoof point' that runs along that girth line-you can use it to determine if a horse is hoof sore.

    Just a side tidbit of information that relates to your observations.
    I actually began using his response to girthing as a barometer, because he often would start getting more sensitive to that before we'd notice real changes in his movement or obvious lameness. When I noticed him getting worried about girthing again I'd stop riding and call the vet. My initial theory was just that he started standing differently to protect his feet, and that caused tension or soreness in his pectoral muscles. But I'm no anatomy expert
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



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