I am new here and just now getting my bearings so I apologize for any oddities. I recently adopted a 3 year old TB from an OTTB rescue. The horse had very good conformation, a great sane mind and an eagerness to learn, all of which impressed me. When I mentioned the prepurchase exam to the rescue owner she urged to me try a vet in the area who I will keep unnamed. She is a family friend and she knew that I had mostly leased horses and not owned and I had not needed to get a vet out for a good sum of time. Despite a bad gut feeling about using a vet that knew the seller I moved forward after reading many good things about the vet and asking around. He was 3 hours late to the appointment and preformed the flexions in the light from his truck headlights. After flexions the vet informed me that he felt the horse was .5 off in his front left. Knowing he was raced recently and young I moved forward and had radiographs taken of his front legs. The vet noted no major problems other than a small non-acute bone spur on the front of his right P1 that would never cause him any problem. He then went on to tell me that my horse likely had a strained collateral ligament strain. Being that you cant see soft tissue in a radiograph I decided that this vet was not giving me information that made much sense. The rescue owner then informed me that many other parties were interested in the horse and if I wanted him I would need to make a decision. With his good conformation and temperament I decided to take him with an agreement that if a vet of my choosing found anything concrete I could return him.
Once at the new barn he seemed to settle in extremely well. My farrier noticed some sole bruising in the foot he was off on in the prepurchase so we decided to apply venice turpentine to his feet every couple days and shoe him in the front but not the back. Fast forward two weeks and he was looking almost 90 percent sound. The vet had me get on and ride him at the walk trot and we decided that he was still a teensy bit off. She advised another set of radiographs so we went ahead and had them done. After looking at the radiographs she diagnosed him with the very very small start of PO. At that diagnosis I am not worried. She feels with corrective shoeing he will be just fine and that once his sole is thickened the inflammation should be reduced greatly (he has half a cm of sole). The good news is that his navicular bone is picture perfect, all tendons taught and cool and there seems to be no other limiting factors. I was wondering if anyone had a horse come back from PO? So many articles describe it as a career ending disease. Being 16 I am worried that my dreams of retraining my first ottb will not work out. I want to be my horses best advocate, provide him with the best care possible and not expect more than is fair of him and his feet.
I have read every hoof care book in my public library and palpated every joint on his body to make sure nothing else could be causing his pain. He has been cleared for individual turnout with soft footing.
Sorry for rambling but I hope you can provide some help.
Most of my TBs have had some degree of pedal osteitis, which I attribute to thin soles and chronic bruising/inflammation. I would try the generic wide-webbed shoes with sole relief and pads (maybe with some anti-inflammatory hoof packing for good measure, such as Magic Cushion), perhaps with some systemic anti-inflammatories initially (obviously, all with the go-ahead from your vet) and see what you get. The horse may need to be maintained in that type of shoeing long-term if he is a flat-footed, thin soled type.
Pedal osteitis doesn't worry me much if it is minor. Good luck.
As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.
Our mule is 21 and has moderate pedal osteitis which was diagnosed 2 years ago, most likely from many years of wear and tear. Prior to the diagnosis he was barefoot and in full work doing dressage and jumping. Now he wears shoes with pads in summer, plain shoes in winter. He is in moderate work at this time and sound.
I should think that a 3 year old would have good capacity to heal with time and the help of some good shoeing and careful management (soft footing, rest, etc). As my vet told me "what the body can do, it can undo" in the sense that the coffin bone tip was likely demineralizing in my case due to getting too much of a pounding. We'll be taking new radiographs soon to compare and see if any changes have taken place either way.