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Shoeing and lameness

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by IPEsq View Post
    I’m so confused. Is the issue in P2 or the navicular? Why no skyline image? No block?

    It may well be the horse is not tolerating this pad setup.

    isoxsuprine is not a supplement. It is a medication.
    I must’ve not been clear...He put him on Isoxsuprine and suggested a hoof (and joint) supplement.
    I’m not the vet. I went to the vet and told him my problem. He did his thing and told me what he thinks might be wrong.

    1st one is labeled “skyline” (on my original unedited version). You might it be able to see it since this forum won’t upload my iPhone photos and I have to edit them and resave.

    Of all the horses ive been around we’ve never had a lame one! All of this is very new to me...had I been more versed I could’ve asked more questions or had other things done.

    Trust me me when I say...I know WAY more now than when I started this journey.


    • #22
      I would second doing a block to confirm that you have heel pain. My horse was diagnosed with caudal heel pain, and while he does have mild navicular changes (left worse than right) — he had other stuff going on.

      He despised the generic wedge (like, front legs stayed stocked up), he needed an egg bar wedge and we brought the toe way back. My vet and farrier worked very closely together. He stayed in a 3 degree egg bar wedge for almost a year. Then he started having crushed heels. So we started transitioning him to a regular shoe with a leather rim pad (special horsey will also not wear a full pad) and have slowly backed him down to a 2 degree wedge. He’ll stay there as his heels look better and he’s sound..

      We also tried Isoxuprine at initial time of his diagnosis. It’s fairly inexpensive, but I saw no difference and discontinued after his initial prescription ran out (probably because my horse also had a soft tissue injury that needed to be addressed that we hadn’t found yet).

      Good luck!


      • #23
        The first image is foot skyline or view of P3. There is a different view that shows the whole navicular bone. It seems strange that if there is a question of an artifact on one image, a different view was not taken.

        Go on YouTube and search for a video titled “from hoof testers to MRI” will show you just how complicated it is to make a diagnosis when dealing with foot issues.


        • #24
          Sorry you’re on this mystery lameness journey! Someone else mentioned to do one thing at a time, good advice. You know he is more lame after his latest shoeing so that would be the first thing to fix. I’d recommend handling that one of two things. Either wait a couple weeks to see if growing out a little hoof makes him less lame as it takes pressure off the soul/frog or have him shod differently immediately.
          Also a little bute might help him be more comfortable.


          • #25
            Personally OP, the first thing I would do is take your horse to a different vet for a second opinion. He didn't bother to nerve block to isolate the most lame area; he didn't take adequate x-rays; and all-in-all makes me question him.

            First and foremost, I think you need to determine where exactly on the RF he is lame. Does he block sound at the heel? Ankle? Higher up? Does the LF front now become lame when the right front is now "sound" from blocking? Lots of things that can give your vet better information to make as close a diagnosis as possible or guide for any other diagnostic testing available such as ultrasound.

            Originally posted by Phaefner View Post

            I may have exaggerated by using the term “crushing” but from what I’ve read it is changing the point of pressure and increases the force that already caused the break down adding additional pressure to the coffin bone and supporting ligaments.
            It is true that you are changing the landing/loading dynamics of the hoof. Most horses are put in wedges in order to relieve heel pain. So you are directing the pressure away from the heels but yes, just ultimately putting it "somewhere else". And changing the stressors on certain tendons and ligaments. And tends to shorten their stride in front because you are "standing them up" more. That's why wedges are certainly not a cure and not without their own pitfalls, BUT if it is in the best interest of the individual horse for what they have going on, then you need to do it.

            Agree with the above poster that said you need to have a properly trimmed hoof no matter what, and that is true whether you do wedges or not.

            I have 2 of my 3 horses in wedges. Red wears a 3 degree pad with his shoe. He has had issues with heel pain in both front feet for the last 5-6 years although his LF is worse. X-rays are clean but we obviously know he is having inflammation internally that accounts for the heel pain. I've never sprung the money for an MRI simply because it wouldn't really change his treatment protocol (and I don't feel like driving 8 hours one way to get to one). He is also slightly pigeon-toed so we slightly offset the LF shoe based on the x-rays. My farrier prefers to do wedge pads with a shoe, rather than a wedge shoe, because for Red, that gives him the best frog support for his individual anatomy and conformation. The wedges don't solve Red's issues as I also give him Equioxx and even tried ProStride injections this year, but it helps to keep him managed and as comfortable as possible. Here's what Red's shoes look like.

            Dexter got put into a wedge this year (he's 13) This is the second year I've been riding him. We always suspected he was NQR in his front feet since we bought him and I finally sprung for x-rays of his front feet this year. He does have mild bony changes to the navicular bone. So based on his x-rays and anatomy, my farrier did a 2 degree wedge pad with a big triangular frog support with his shoes. For him, we don't want to go higher than 2 degree. And my farrier told me the "plain" 2 degree wedge pad isn't "sturdy" enough to give him enough frog support so that's why he went with this special one. Here and here is what his shoes look like. He was also put on Equioxx as well. I might consider injecting his front feet next year but we'll see. He seems to be doing okay but he clearly has an inflammatory process going on too, although it may have been due to his prior owners and the lack of hoof care.

            But again, I think you need a more definitive diagnosis that what you received on his first lameness evaluation. Which is why I suggested a second opinion.

            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


            • #26
              Originally posted by EmilyM View Post
              Frog pads (i assume that's what you mean by frog support) usually make horses with navicular disease more uncomfortable. they differ from wedges in that the bulk of the pressure goes to the frog. this has many benefits for other hoof issues, but i would stay away from that with navicular. Wedges, however, should help.

              apologies if i misunderstood and he does not have frog pads.
              Maybe I don't have the right terminology, but is this what you mean by "frog pads"?

              Because that's what my farrier put on my 13-year-old navicular horse. And he's doing well with it. If that is what you mean by frog pads, I'm not sure how the dynamics would actually put more pressure toward the frog itself. Of course, no matter what kind of wedge you do, it is VERY important to make sure the frog is supported and not allowed to "prolapse".
              It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


              • #27
                I am with beau159 on this one -- you need another vet. I have never heard of making a navicular syndrome diagnosis without doing a block first to confirm heel pain.

                Also, many articles that suggest "navicular" may really be a soft tissue injury. The on-off lameness happens because owners don't give enough time off for a soft tissue injury to heal, and doing an MRI to confirm soft tissue is expensive.

                If the wedges as put on aren't helping within a couple days, I would change to something else.


                • #28
                  We really need to see better hoof photos.