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Older Horse Losing Sole?

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  • Older Horse Losing Sole?

    I have a client whose elderly gentleman is losing sole. Down to 7/8 mm from 11/12 three years ago. Rads are good quality and I trust the vet who is taking them to be accurate.

    Nothing about this horses life has changed. He had a episode of soreness two years ago that is presumed to have been a low grade laminitic episode. At this time he does not appear to have any laminitic issues but he is suddenly toe sore, which is why x-rays were taken.

    Overall he has good quality feet and is remarkably -until this week-sound.

    Thoughts? I will be equipacking and casting him this week. I never touch this horses sole with a knife and his trim has been the same conservative "level the heels, roll the toe" for five years...
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2
    4mm over 3yrs is probably pretty easy to go unnoticed from trimming to trimming. That's less than a 1/4".

    11 to 12 mm sole depth isn't all that much to start with and if the horse is old and not growing much foot I guess something like this is bound to happen at some point if the conditions are right.

    It will be interesting to see how the feet react to casts and equipak.
    Eric Russell CJF

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Eric. I remember when we took the first rads and we all thought it wasn't much/a lot but the horse was remarkably sound for his age so we all did that funny shrugging thing you do when it doesn't make much sense

      Yes it will be interesting, I am thinking about using the new pink soft equipack. I will report back as to how he does...
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      ---
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

      Comment


      • #4
        I assume he is bare?

        If so, for how long?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Hmmmmm... At least six years now.
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          ---
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

          Comment


          • #6
            My 2 cents based on my experiences and what I have been recently learning.

            Gravity seems to be a pretty tough competitor for horses in work long term barefoot.

            I did the same thing with Hugo and Milo-rads showed sole thickness about the same as yours-they seemed fine so I didn't worry.

            Then they starting getting thinner and thinner...so it seems less than maximum sole thickness (whatever that is) combined with riding can end up with some long term issues...

            maybe...maybe not-just something to consider.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Horse is essentially retired, hacks around once in a while... It's not work related for sure! Maybe lack of work LOL
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

              Comment


              • #8
                Without knowing if the soles were TOTALLY cleaned of ALL dead material without removing any "live" or waxy material in the process both times the radiographds were taken, you can not compare them because dead flaky sole varies in thickness.
                As well, to determine if the coffin bones are descending inside the foot, you would also need to compare the thickness of the horn laminellar zone on the dorsal surface of the foot AND acurately mark the hairline and measure the vertical distance from that to the top of the coffin bone. And the hairline markers would have to be placed in exactly the same place both times.
                So basically, if the horse is sound, don't worry about it. If he is not. maybe shoes are in order.
                Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                www.hoofcareonline.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LMH View Post

                  Gravity seems to be a pretty tough competitor for horses in work long term barefoot.
                  TOTALLY disagree with you there Leah. I know you're on the "barefoot is evil" kick right now, but this statement is just not true. I know way too many horses who have been totally barefoot for way too many years and are doing absolutely FINE to believe this statement.

                  I trim a lot of elderly working horses who have been barefoot their entire lives, or at least for the last 10 or 15 years and they have great sole depth, good feet, and absolutely no soundness problems.

                  There is absolutely no reason why all working horses need to wear shoes just to "overcome gravity."

                  I understand that you've had a lot of problems with your thin soled, laminitic, lame horses. You now shoe them in Eponas and the horses go like rock stars. That's excellent. I'm glad you've found something that works. But there are plenty of horses out there that do not have the issues that your horses do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll not say it quite so emphatically but I agree with A2 on this one. I also know a bunch of barefoot older horses who have not lost sole...one is my own 21 year old stallion who did a lot of jumping mostly barefoot and is definitely not sore in his old age.

                    I suspect if there has been any loss of sole it is related to the laminitic episode or perhaps a result of metabolic issues. I have another old boarder here that I trim who increased sole the last few years now we got his IR/Cushings issues at bay.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                      Without knowing if the soles were TOTALLY cleaned of ALL dead material without removing any "live" or waxy material in the process both times the radiographds were taken, you can not compare them because dead flaky sole varies in thickness.
                      As well, to determine if the coffin bones are descending inside the foot, you would also need to compare the thickness of the horn laminellar zone on the dorsal surface of the foot AND acurately mark the hairline and measure the vertical distance from that to the top of the coffin bone. And the hairline markers would have to be placed in exactly the same place both times.
                      So basically, if the horse is sound, don't worry about it. If he is not. maybe shoes are in order.
                      Patty - you can go as deep as you wish. Most people measure from the bottom of the bone to what ever he was standing on. It may not be the most accurate way of doing things but it works. If you're on to something with the way you do things you should publish it. But for this post, it looks like the horse lost some sole depth and is sore footed.
                      Eric Russell CJF

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A2 what got in your wheaties? I am not on the barefoot is evil kick-I am on the barefoot sold a bunch of goods to everyone claiming everything next to a sinus infection would and could be cured by barefoot.

                        I feel terrible for owners I see-owners with lame barefoot horses-owners terrified to put a shoe on Dobbin for the same reasons I was afraid to. Thankfully EqT is not one of those

                        I never said all barefoot horses would be lame-I never said losing some sole over life would cause a horse to be lame. Though, she did post because the horse IS sore.

                        BUT THAT IS NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD...so let's not derail it so quickly, hmmmm???



                        I said gravity is a tough competitor.

                        If a horse had a weak foot-weak digital cushion, etc...is it not even POSSIBLE that over the course of life gravity could have an impact?

                        If gravity is not a competitor then why does any horses ever sink at all? If gravity was not a factor, horses would not sink.

                        So, if you say it is not even POSSIBLE-please tell me why.

                        For those saying you have older sound horses-so did I-Polo was the hardiest horse on my farm-pounded the ground over sharp rock....

                        HOWEVER I have no earthly idea if he had ever lost sole thickness-I don't have rads of him over his entire life-but could it be POSSIBLE?

                        So for everyone in horror, shock and disbelief at the frightening thought that this could be-do you have progressive rads of these horses showing sole thickness remained consistent? A2??? You claim to know several with thick soles-since none of us have xray vision, could you provide rads-on a separate thread?

                        OR do you just know them to be sound therefore assume thickness remained the same?

                        That would be more likely-I don't know many of us with enough funds to run around radiographing our sound elderly horses.

                        Actually-I think a study on it would be incredibly intersting. Elderly people lose bone density and get shorter....

                        Horses get to the end of the tooth-so why not lose sole depth with age?


                        Or maybe there is a thickness at which things go downhill faster? Maybe over 10 if you are careful it can stay, but under it gets so thin it wears even faster....who knows? But dang it would be interesting and helpful in horse management.


                        Heck-who would have ever thought there would be a million page thread on summer gnat allergies and neckthread worms-someone looked outside the box and a topic that has helped horses was born.

                        So let's not be so quick to dismiss thoughts.

                        AND might I remind those waiting in the woods to label me anti-barefoot and implying Kim is my new guru:

                        EqT ASKED FOR THOUGHTS...she did not ask for the-answer-without-a-doubt...she did not ask for double blind studies in a neutral foreign country with 7 gurus from all areas of hoof care present and sworn to silence AFTER quoting something funny in 3 languages.

                        She asked for THOUGHTS...I provided one. There is a way to disagree (as DB did) without personal commentary.

                        And if you want to know the truth (Sorry Patty)---it actually freaks me out MORE that a farrier is not freaked out at 7-8mm sole depth on a horse-assuming the depth is accurate.

                        Especially 7 mm on a sore footed horse.

                        If I posted rads of one of my horses with soles that thin, farriers would be crawling all over me to shoe my horse and trimmers would be standing in line to sell me boots and pads...strasser trimmers would be lowering the poor horse's bars.

                        I understand not to be worried because the horse is sound (on one hand) but it still freaks me out. Especially since he is recently sore. Again...sorry Patty...to disagree.

                        I really don't think my thought scarred EqT for life.


                        EqT-good luck with your horse. Next time I will email you as I did with the articles.

                        Hope you find a reason and the horse gets comfy again soon.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Yes... I posted because I would like some insight/clues as to WHY. I certainly am not antishoe, heck, one of my own is in steel right now.

                          This horse may very well end up in shoes.. Which does not change his sole depth... Even if he is instantly sound in shoes, his soles are still remarkably thin...

                          I am cool with a bandaid but that's not the same as a cure.

                          And I am the curious type.

                          My fear of course is that the horse is a low level laminitic and is slowly sinking. I should hear from the vet tomorrow, she will be comparing rads then.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          ---
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Patty - you can go as deep as you wish. Most people measure from the bottom of the bone to what ever he was standing on. .
                            Therefore most people measure inaccurately.
                            It may not be the most accurate way of doing things but it works. If you're on to something with the way you do things you should publish it. But for this post, it looks like the horse lost some sole depth and is sore footed.
                            Then Eric according your premise I could radiograph a foot that has a lot of dead flakey sole and then measure it and say that tghe measurement is true sole depth. Then Ican take my hoof knife , lightly just flake off all the loose stuff and instantly he has lost several mm of 'sole' and now has thinner soles. Do you see the problem? We can NOT determine if the functional (attached, growing) sole has gotten thicker or thinner unless we are measuring that without any dead crap piled on top.
                            So without the HLZ and hauirline -extensor process measurements it is IMPOSSIBLE to say if the sole has actually gotten thinner and the bone sunk, or instread if the sole just shed off some loose dead stuff before the Xray was taken.
                            Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                            Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                            www.hoofcareonline.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              EqT-if I understand your timeline correctly you don't know when his sole became thinner?

                              In other words, you have old rads from 3 years ago, then a laminitic episode 2 years ago, now soreness and current xrays.

                              So (correct me if I am wrong), it could have happened 3 years ago or after the lammie episode two years ago or been recent?

                              He could have had 7/8 mm for up to a little less than 3 years ago?

                              I think with all of that information it may be impossible to satisfy your Curious Georgia nature

                              It seems like there is just to much in the mix to know why?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I am so sick and tired of the tit for tat barefoot/shod arguments I want to puke. Leah, your horses do fine in Eponas. That's great. Other horses do fine barefoot. That's great too. Leave it be.

                                EqTrainer - I too would suspect laminitis, as someone else already mentioned.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                                  This horse may very well end up in shoes.. Which does not change his sole depth... Even if he is instantly sound in shoes, his soles are still remarkably thin...
                                  Proper shoeing and pads CAN improve sole depth, sometimes in a few months. We tried to keep my chronic founder mare barefoot for two bleepin years. As LMH said, I was promised the horse would be cured by a proper barefoot trim. Never happened.

                                  In Aug (04) the trimmer noticed my mare was leaking serum for a soft spot right under the coffin bones on both front feet. I called the vet. There was virtually no sole depth and she was close to penetrating. At that point I hired a competent farrier and vet (from out of state which cost a lot of $$$). They placed her in the EDSS system.

                                  She was digitally radiographed before each shoeing. By October, her sole depth was 16 - 17mm in both fronts. Huge improvement!

                                  My trimmer who was curious and showed up unpaid a few times for these shoeing sessions, suggested this was false sole. The vet invited him to check. The trimmer was totally amazed. Oh and the horse was more comfortable than she'd been in years.

                                  Guess what? Shortly threrafter, the trimmer learned how to shoe. First with polymer shoes glued on, later with regular steel nailed on (not everyone can afford $250 for fronts only which is what the glue-ons with equipak cost).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                    I am so sick and tired of the tit for tat barefoot/shod arguments I want to puke. Leah, your horses do fine in Eponas. That's great. Other horses do fine barefoot. That's great too. Leave it be.

                                    EqTrainer - I too would suspect laminitis, as someone else already mentioned.
                                    I have no earthly idea what you are talking about.

                                    But thanks for trying to add a little drama! You are consistent!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                      I am so sick and tired of the tit for tat barefoot/shod arguments I want to puke.
                                      You know, it's not always good to hold things in. Tell us how you really feel!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Rcloissone, thanks... I hope this horse does indeed develop more sole depth after casting, shoeing, whatever happens...

                                        My concern is, since we don't know WHY this is happening, that it may continue, no matter what is put on the bottom of his feet.
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        ---
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                        Comment

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