[FYI: The vet has been consulted and will be evaluating Gus on Friday.]
Anyone know what could cause, or what the meaning behind, sudden lameness in a front hoof/leg would mean? [Cause I know everyone online is psychic and all.] Especially when it's presented with two to three (unsure exactly how many, as it was hard to clip the area) small puncture-wound like cuts?
Abscess was my first thought. As of last week, lameness was only visibly noticeable at the trot ... you can hear a "hiccup" when he's walking on concrete, but it's not readily apparent. In addition to the wounds/cuts, Gus also has some heat in that left front (fetlock area) and he's landing outside to inside (instead of heel to toe). He has otherwise been sound for the last few months (has major stifle issues/arthritis) and the only known issue with the fronts (least at the present time) is that we're shoeing him as if he has navicular. He's been sound since we starting doing that.
Two years ago Gus presented himself lame in the exact same scenario. I can't remember the outcome, but it took months to bring him around again - at that time it was nearly 100% due to trim/shoeing issues and likely laminitis (we're assuming this, after the fact). It took almost a year to bring his hooves back to what's "normal" - or at least in this case what works for Gus. They aren't textbook perfect, but they are (or had been until just the last week) working for him and allowing him to have a job of toting me around a few times a week.
Photos are available ... let me know if anyone wants me to post.
Some kind of bite snake or some other animal. Is he upto date on tetanus and rabies?
Yep. Had both done this spring (vaccines, that is). In our area, we do have snakes ... but they are the harmless garden snake variety, least for the most part. And they are NUMEROUS at the barn - never seen any in the paddocks though. I'll have to look into that (uggh and I HATE snakes!).
That doesnt look like any kind of bite maybe he cut him self on something.
Just wondering where in mn do you live? And who do you use for a farrier? Can PM me this info if you dont want it public. I would disclose where i live in mn and who i use for a farrier. Would PM you though dont care to have everyone knowing where i live. And who my farrier is.
If he doesn't, the OP sure has bigger things to worry about!
Haha. Yep, pretty sure he's got a pulse but pretty sure there isn't one present in the hoof (least not that I was able to feel). Still has what seems to be heat and swelling in the left front fetlock area. Looking at a map of tendons/ligaments, it's like the area of where that superficial digital flexor tendon meets the annular ligament, on the back of the fetlock. Seems to be a slight amount of fluid buildup in that area (less yesterday though the what the BO/Trainer felt on Monday when she lunged him to see how he was looking). I guess we'll see what the vet says.
We're now leaning towards the possibility of a sprung shoe (or attempts were made to spring the shoe). He's VERY MUCH lame now on that left front, but still (thankfully) only at the trot.
New photos do seem to confirm that too much of a gap is present between the bottom of the hoof and the top of the shoe. The other shoe lies flush. So, who knows? Now we're curious as to if a small piece of gravel/sand/dirt/debris worked up into that area between the sole and the shoe and is causing issues. In his older age, Gus is becoming more and more sensitive.
Perhaps he caught his foot somewhere and the shoe is now 'sprung".
Normally would suspect possible abscess with sudden lameness. but The cuts and scrapes may suggest something other than abscess unless they are exit places - have you tried pressing your thumb in them.
Those cuts (punctures?) are in the hairy part. According to the rules, calling your vet was the right thing to do.
The rules are:
If it's hairy, call a vet.
If its horny, call a farrier.
Might want to investigate your paddocks and stalls see if you can find some kind of suspicious sharp object that your horse might have caught himself on. Nails have a tendency to "grow out" of fence/barn boards over time. I've seen numerous injuries to lower limbs as a result of this phenomena.
Is there any heat in the area and does he get upset if you mess with it?
I would suspect more is going on here looking at his feet and shoeing package. Long toes/underrun heels and from what I've read... someone please correct me if I'm wrong... Putting a horse with underrun heels in an eggbar shoe can put more pressure on them exacerbating the issue.
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason "Once you go off track, you never go back!"
Putting a horse with underrun heels in an eggbar shoe can put more pressure on them exacerbating the issue.
Nothing personal, but . . .
If you (the rhetorical you) put the egg bar shoes on the feet it may/might exacerbate the issue. If I put the egg bar shoes in the horse it will help the issue. Difference between attaching shoes to feet and shoeing horses.
Well, vet was out yesterday and by the time she saw Gus, she had used up all her film (small practice, still shoots old school rads). So she was only able to get one lateral shot of the LF. That one view showed a potential lip at the top of the P1 (not sure what that means ... waiting to hear back from the vet again).
Per her email, he tested negative to the hoof testers (yea!) but reacted strongly to flexions in the fetlock (was fine with flexions at the knee and higher).
So, it's possible that it is just a soft tissue injury (as evident with the swelling/heat at the back of the fetlock) cause by who knows what. But it's also possible that something else is going on.
Anyways, I asked the vet a billion more questions about if she sees any changes in the P1 from 2010 -2012 (I've had x-rays done of the LF in May 2010 and January 2011 - granted they were hoof x-rays, but still showed the P1) and what her thoughts are. Next step is to give him some bute for a week or so, to see if that makes a difference at all.
I'm still thinking the shoe and the scraps on the coronet band have something to do with this whole situation.