The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Posts
    346

    Default Shoeing/Not Shoeing the Stifle Injury

    Long story short. Lameness in left hind on my special mare. Had vet out and he took X-rays of both hock and stifle. X-rays were clean. Vet suspects soft tissue injury to the stifle though this particular vet doesn't have the diagnostics available to him to pinpoint the actual ligaments involved.

    I have the farrier coming tomorrow and had planned to pull her shoes for her imminent rest period (I'm told 4-6 months) with the vets blessing. What is the best for a horse with a ligament injury of the stifle? Vet told me to keep her heel as long as possible but that shoes can come off. Is this the best in your experience? I like to get as many opinions as possible. Vets are great but I also value a group of people who have already lived through what I am now going through. Opinions please?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,183

    Default

    I would certainly be concerned with asking the horse to hold the leg up for shoeing at this point. When we did IRAP in my mare's stifle, the vet chose to wait until AFTER she was trimmed to do the first injection, because she did not want her standing for any length of time with the joint flexed--and that was just with some stubborn inflammation and soreness, but the structures in the joint looked very nice on ultrasound.

    When we first evaluated my horse's stifle (radiographs and ultrasound) we located a strained MCL. The vet told me to give her time, and did not make any requests with regard to her feet. She was barefoot behind at the time, but shod in front. (Time wasn't effective at resolving the lameness, so we went to IRAP.)

    Are you treating the joint at all? Steroid, HA, IRAP? It's quite important to shut down the inflammatory process. A significant amount of cartilage is lost quickly if the inflammatory process is not addressed. Can you get a vet with an ultrasound out to evaluate? A blown joint capsule is different than a slight strain.

    If you'd care to send me your email address, I have an interesting article on treating stifle injuries I would be happy to forward.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Posts
    346

    Default

    Thank you for this input Simkie. I didn't know about the inflammation of the joint. Joint palates normal. So do you think she could still have an inflammatory response? She is very mildly lame. I'm hoping to do anything I can to be proactive here and give her the best shot at being a sound and productive girl. Is a regular ultrasound machine suitable to look at the joint or does it need something diagnostically extensive?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Mine go barefoot behind when I can get away with it. I asked my vet about shoes once for my older gelding, with the thought that maybe shoes would help his hocks and stifles. My vets "adage" was that the higher up the leg issue, the less difference shoes make.
    friend of bar.ka



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
    Posts
    2,121

    Default

    I'm kind of in a similar place with my horse. He's just starting to rehab from a stifle strain. He's totally sound now in walk and in in trot is slightly uneven in the hips but stepping up well underneath, but he does drag the toe a bit in the soft arena surface. We're doing 30-minute walking rides at the moment to help strengthen the stifles. (And boy is he happy to go) I've talked to my vet and farrier, and for now, we're keeping him barefoot behind and taking care to bevel the toe to assist breakover. We have talked about Natural Balance shoeing, which my farrier does, as a possible step, however.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by About Time View Post
    . . . Vet told me to keep her heel as long as possible but that shoes can come off.
    Might want to ask your vet how increasing the duration of the caudal phase of the stride is going to help the stifle.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by About Time View Post
    Thank you for this input Simkie. I didn't know about the inflammation of the joint. Joint palates normal. So do you think she could still have an inflammatory response? She is very mildly lame. I'm hoping to do anything I can to be proactive here and give her the best shot at being a sound and productive girl. Is a regular ultrasound machine suitable to look at the joint or does it need something diagnostically extensive?
    It's just a regular ultrasound and someone who is at least reasonably skilled at evaluating the images.

    If she's lame and there's an injury to the stifle, then there is an inflammatory response.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Location
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
    Posts
    9,627

    Default

    My trainer's lesson horse appears to have some sort of old stifle injury. He actually swivels the hind hoof quite a bit at all gaits. He seems to be more comfortable with no shoes behind. However, this is a chronic issue, definitely not an old injury.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2008
    Location
    Delaware Valley
    Posts
    1,517

    Default

    My mare had a torn collateral ligament and avulsion fracture of the stifle 13 years ago. She was diagnosed via ultrasound at New Bolton using the kind of equipment no regular vet would have. We kept her shod exactly the way she was - nothing in back at that time, shoes in front. After 3 1/2 months of stall rest, I was allowed one month of hand-walking followed by a month of walking under saddle (thank God for ace ). She returned to work after that (with shoes all around for most of that time) and was sound up to the point I retired her last year.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,499

    Default

    If the vet says the heels needs to be "as tall as possible", then that needs to be quantified, as that's very subjective.

    You also need to find out exactly why.

    Not all horses grow heel that grows up and down So, allowing heels to grow is either going to run them forward but still be tall, or run them forward and crush them. Neither is healthy for the foot or leg, and certainly not for stifles.

    I know of a horse who sustained a really, really awful gash right above his coronet, and while I don't know the whole story, though I suspect it's related to the stress of healing such a high motion area, the horse is temporarily wearing a "stiletto" shoe - big ol' honkin' block on the heels to proper the foot up so he can bear weight on it without tearing things apart. Don't hammer the messenger here, I don't know details, only know he's wearing a shoe like that.

    My point is, if the heels truly do need to be "high", then shoes may be the only way to go.

    But you need lots more info. If all the vet means is "don't let his heels crush", then that's simply good trimming

    Maybe it means a short term bedding situation that's very deep, fluffy shavings so his toes sink a bit, "raising" his heels.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    . . .
    I know of a horse who sustained a really, really awful gash right above his coronet, and while I don't know the whole story, though I suspect it's related to the stress of healing such a high motion area, the horse is temporarily wearing a "stiletto" shoe - big ol' honkin' block on the heels to proper the foot up so he can bear weight on it without tearing things apart. Don't hammer the messenger here, I don't know details, only know he's wearing a shoe like that.
    . . .
    That implementation would be called a Patent Bar shoe.

    Examples here: http://michaelporterdvm.blogspot.com...horseshoe.html

    My point is, if the heels truly do need to be "high", then shoes may be the only way to go.
    Most of the stifle problems I encounter seem to be linked in some way to excess heel height in the hinds with the medial heel being significantly higher forcing lateral torque on the limb.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,499

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    That implementation would be called a Patent Bar shoe.

    Examples here: http://michaelporterdvm.blogspot.com...horseshoe.html
    I went back to look at pics of this other horse's set up and yep, that's it.

    Most of the stifle problems I encounter seem to be linked in some way to excess heel height in the hinds with the medial heel being significantly higher forcing lateral torque on the limb.
    I agree, hence the caveat that the OP needs to find out exactly what " heel as long as possible" means, because with the "but the shoes can come off" comment, that seems to make no sense
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Posts
    346

    Default

    I've made a second vet appointment with my vet since I've brought the mare home last evening. She was at the trainer over an hr away so I couldn't use my vet to begin with. My vet is going to try to get a more detailed diagnosis so I can figure out what to do next. Since I have the farrier coming today, I plan to have him remove her shoes and trim normally. I made a call to the first vet's office to send the X-rays to my vet. So that's where I'm at right now. I will also talk things over with my farrier who is wonderful and has much expertise in corrective shoeing to help various lameness. Thank you all for your input. It has been most helpful!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    . . .
    I agree, hence the caveat that the OP needs to find out exactly what " heel as long as possible" means, because with the "but the shoes can come off" comment, that seems to make no sense
    The history provided by the OP does not indicate that radiographs where used to asses phalangeal alignment - and such radiographs need to be done specifically for that purpose: Lateral and A/P views with both feet elevated on blocks, horse standing square, image plane exposed perpendicular to ground plane with the center of the image plane projected across the horn bearing surface. This protocol is well documented in the equine podiatry texts, but IME very few veterinarians outside of sports medicine or podiatry specialists use it.

    That said, I would question any treatment protocol that requires changing how the foot is trimmed and/or shod when;
    1. There is no definitive diagnosis regarding the specific lesion.
    2. The existing conditions of phalangeal alignment have not been assessed with anything more than "rack of eye."
    3. The practitioner cannot make a prognosis based on the outcome of multiple case histories having good results under the same conditions and treatment regiment.
    4. The practitioner does not have specialized training and significant clinical experience in podiatry. This stuff is NOT part of the AVMA accredited graduation requirements for a DVM.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,499

    Default

    Well, no disagreement here!
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  16. #16

    Default

    As long as her feet are going to hold up, then go for it. My horse sustained an injury that made it impossible for her to pick up her hind legs to be shod. The farrier managed to get her to stand with her leg resting so that he could get her shoes off without making her pick her foot up off the ground. She went barefoot for about 8 weeks and her feet completely fell apart. Now I am dealing with a lot of foot soreness and just went through a battle with an abscess, probably caused from her going barefoot when she isn't used to it. Of course I'm in New England and just after she got her shoes pulled, we had a lot of snow and ice and the moisture did a number on her feet along with the hard ground.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Discobold View Post
    My mare had a torn collateral ligament and avulsion fracture of the stifle 13 years ago. She was diagnosed via ultrasound at New Bolton using the kind of equipment no regular vet would have.
    Just curious--what equipment was this?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Well, no disagreement here!
    Indeed, I'm bored to tears.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,192

    Question What ever happened to diagnostics?

    From the OP's statement. I understand that a veterinarian came out to see a lame horse. On the basis of radiographs which appeared to be normal, diagnosed soft tissue injury of the stifle. Recommended angle changes, in the feet.

    What ever happened to diagnostic nerve blocks, and ultrasounds?

    The OP needs another veterinarian ASAP.

    She needs a diagnosis !!!!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,130

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    Might want to ask your vet how increasing the duration of the caudal phase of the stride is going to help the stifle.
    That made me go ?????? too.



Similar Threads

  1. Hot shoeing verses cold shoeing
    By Fharoah in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: Dec. 14, 2012, 09:18 PM
  2. Shoeing on a horse with stifle problems
    By hunterrider33 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Oct. 31, 2010, 01:00 PM
  3. Shoeing/Trimming for stifle weakness?
    By Heinz 57 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jan. 26, 2010, 02:33 PM
  4. Hot Shoeing vs. Cold Shoeing
    By missysnarky in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Oct. 17, 2009, 03:43 PM
  5. Shoeing causing stifle issues?
    By Jack16 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Oct. 14, 2009, 12:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •