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Negative palmar angle

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  • Negative palmar angle

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    This is currently my horse’s right front foot. I’m looking for critiques, opinions, suggestions, etc, on how to fix this negative angle, as the horse is not sound. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    My horse had a similar degree of NPA last February. My farrier put plain steel on his hinds with a 2 degree leather wedge rim pad. That really helped him a LOT. His entire hind end was getting sore from the NPA (and what we discovered later, chronic Lyme as well.)

    He's still in steel behind but we switched to a rubber/plastic 3 degree wedge rim pad. The leather compresses over time and loses its degree angle, and the rubber/plastic one does not. He's doing really well in that set up.

    Hope this helps!

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd get the shoes off and keep the toe back and let the hoof fix itself. And I'd do it yesterday.

      Comment


      • #4
        From the radiograph, there's quite a bit of toe that can be backed up. That's the first place I'd start.

        Have you talked to your farrier? What are they saying about their plans to help get this horse sound? If your farrier does not recognize that this horse's foot is very unhealthy (and it didn't get there by itself or overnight) then I would be in the market for a new farrier.

        Fixing this is going to take time, probably the better part of 18 months to 2 years, but it can only happen if the person trimming and shoeing the horse "wins" EVERY time they trim - meaning they have to trim in such a way that they get the horse a little bit more backed up and appropriately angled and get him to stay that way for the entirety of the time between trims.
        Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

        Comment


        • #5
          First, wedges won't work long term. Your farrier needs to apply something that "floats" the heels so that they can grow down, rather than run under and be crushed.
          Yes, backing the toe up is a part of this.

          What plan did your vet say? Will your farrier go to the vet with you, so that shoeing can be done with imaging guidance?

          My mare is NPA in the hind. She is on a 4-week cycle, and has been for over a year. She spent the first year in a shoe called "flip flops". We took films every 6 mos to see where we were. Now, she's in full steel shoes BUT -- the farrier flattens the ends and also uses leather pads (not wedges). So the heels are still a bit floated, the sole is supported with the packing inside the pad, and so far this is working. Her heels are not reverting back to the way they were. The other thing my farrier has done is rocker her toe. Yes, her hind feet. And not the shoe, the hoof itself. It's working.

          Comment


          • #6
            For starters.. I'd be finding a different farrier. I would not keep using this one. There isn't any reason to let a horse get this bad - and this is something you would be able to see with a naked eye, in terms of whether it is a fundamentally healthy hoof (it's not).

            Chances are, his other three hooves are much the same in terms of being grossly unbalanced.

            I would try to alleviate his discomfort while you find professionals that can do better by your horse. It might be worth it to get your hands on any sort of farrier literature you can, and read up on the pathologies of an unhealthy hoof so next time, you can recognize them before they get this bad.

            It is really disappointing - we put so much of our faith and trust into professionals that they are doing things correctly... sadly been on the receiving end of that and learned to develop my own eye rather than trust the opinion of another.

            I went through something very similar about 3 years ago. It was hard to break ties with the farrier I had used for over a decade, but I did it and my horse's feet have significantly improved. It also takes time, months of correct trimming, to get that hoof back to where it needs to be.

            One thing that helped my gelding while we were going through this was that the new farrier had him in rim pads up front and steel shoes (he was barefoot) behind. The reasoning for this was his sole had become extremely thin in the process, and he needed a little clearance from the ground while working on his other issues. My farrier was very conservative each trim, as he had seen a lot of farriers correct things too swiftly and cause issues.

            When the angles are as bad as that x-ray, you probably have a horse that's sore all over. When toes get that long and the heel that underrun it forces the pastern down which causes a lot of stress to the tendons & ligaments in/around the hoof and limb. That creates body soreness by default: if you can get this horse on something like Previcox, and keep him moving around so there is not too much build-up of inflammation, I think you'll have a better shot at keeping him comfortable.

            Good luck!
            AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

            Comment


            • #7
              You've gotten good advice, however, you should be getting your advice from a vet in this case. If your horse is lame, there is a chance of soft tissue involvement and a wedge pad might be needed to give the soft tissue structures the relief they need right away.

              Yes, the toe needs to come back a lot, which will help, but if there is a potential for tears in the DDFT, you need immediate action to prevent it from getting worse. Have your vet recommend a farrier, and be willing to drive to the farrier every 4-6 weeks for quite some time to get things sorted.
              "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

              Comment


              • #8
                You definitely need a new farrier. Xrays or not, NPA or not, the foot itself is not in good shape. Either the farrier can't see that, doesn't know how to fix it, or doesn't care

                I agree the trim is the first thing that has to be fixed, and then see what you have with the first good trim. Maybe it will be enough to stand the foot up enough that it can start healing *with frequent, proper trims*. But maybe it will still be too low in back, and in that cases, wedges are the best way to immediately correct that angle.

                Over time, as frequent enough, proper trims allow a healthier foot to grow in, the wedge can be reduced and then eliminated. Only time will tell how fast that happens - part of that relies on the skill of the farrier, but part relies on the genetics of the horse.

                I would not pull the shoes off this foot right now.

                I would not be afraid of wedges. they are not automatically a long-term thing, but they ARE something that can provide immediate alignment of P1-3 if the trim alone can't do it.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agreeing that a new farrier is needed ASAP. Whomever allowed this to get to this state is Not to be trusted to remedy that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
                    Agreeing that a new farrier is needed ASAP. Whomever allowed this to get to this state is Not to be trusted to remedy that.
                    For sure, let's blame the farrier without actually knowing anything about how the hoof got this way. It's okay, they're used to it.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      The horse has been shod by this same farrier since January 2019. Last May, he started to improve significantly, and stayed sound until August. He was being shod in an aluminum wedge shoe. Then the farrier switched the shoeing and horse went lame again. This radiograph was taken January 2020, 4 weeks into the shoeing. Horse currently has on a thick pad and a steel shoe with bar across the heel. Seems to have helped the angle but horse is still not completely sound. Horse is seeing both the vet and farrier in 2 weeks. Just wanted to get some input until then.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                        For sure, let's blame the farrier without actually knowing anything about how the hoof got this way. It's okay, they're used to it.
                        So you'd let the farrier who allowed the foot to get this way, stay on board? Who else allowed the foot to get this way?

                        Originally posted by huntseat3 View Post
                        The horse has been shod by this same farrier since January 2019. Last May, he started to improve significantly, and stayed sound until August. He was being shod in an aluminum wedge shoe. Then the farrier switched the shoeing and horse went lame again. This radiograph was taken January 2020, 4 weeks into the shoeing. Horse currently has on a thick pad and a steel shoe with bar across the heel. Seems to have helped the angle but horse is still not completely sound. Horse is seeing both the vet and farrier in 2 weeks. Just wanted to get some input until then.
                        A year later, and the foot looks like this - yes new farrier. This is s a foot that has not had a good trim, on a regular basis, for quite a while.

                        This didn't happen overnight.

                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post
                          So you'd let the farrier who allowed the foot to get this way, stay on board? Who else allowed the foot to get this way?
                          We don't have enough information to know, but by all means fire that farrier because farriers are never hobbled by vet or owner limitations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kande04 View Post

                            We don't have enough information to know, but by all means fire that farrier because farriers are never hobbled by vet or owner limitations.
                            Well, the OP is actually on this thread so why don't you ask the questions that would find out those answers, rather than defend the unknown vet from anonymous people on the internet?

                            E.g.:

                            OP - how frequent are the trims? What does your farrier recommend for frequency?

                            Have there been any other limiting injuries or issues in this horse?

                            What did the feet look before this farrier started - were they worse? Was this a rehab case? (Perhaps this NPA is getting better with time and the farrier has the horse on the road to recovery?)

                            Have there been any other reasons the farrier has not been able to keep this horse on a regular schedule?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The op already said that the horse was sounder in the aluminum wedges the farrier tried first, and then was switched to a thick pad and steel bar shoes, which may have been to try to further support a very weak hoof. Only trouble is, that the hoof was already weak so protecting it further likely just made it weaker.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, I am going to pull a true CoTH classic response: while the farrier likely shares some responsibility here, this is the OP's horse, it happened on the OP's watch, and thus OP has some responsibility here as well.

                                One of my first posts on CoTH years ago was about my mare, who was lamed up by an inexperienced farrier that flexed her too tightly - and then fought with her when she tried to pull her foot away - as she was recovering from a hind suspensory injury. I should have had a flame suit on: the responses were all basically along the lines of "your horse, you let this person work on your mare, it's your fault". I was obviously defensive at the time, but yannow what? My horse, my responsibility. Yes, we sometimes have to rely on people who know more than we do, we sometimes take the recommendations of others because we trust them, and we sometimes defer judgement to people we think are doing what is in the best interests of our horse. At the end of the day, however, if you own the horse and you pay the bills, guess whose responsibility it also is to safeguard your horse's care?

                                We are all armchair quarterbacking at this point - OP is doing the right thing by looping the vet in with her farrier. From what little information we have it sounds like the horse started off a mess, started improving after a few rounds of hoof care and then got switched to what the farrier thought would be the next step up to support the foot and regressed. I still have concerns about how much toe is on that foot: again, a farrier needs to know how to trim in a way that "wins" every time and KEEPS the horse moving towards slightly better alignment with each trim. I trim my own horses, so I know what to look for and how to get a balanced foot and I just don't see how or why that toe is allowed to get that long.
                                Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  He gets trimmed every 6 weeks.

                                  Over the 8 years that I’ve owned him we’ve been to 5 different farriers. He was sound for a couple years, then he started having issues with not wanting to pick up his right lead. I don’t remember the exact timeline off top of my head, but basically led to numerous chiro visits, injections, pills, supplements, etc. He’s had on and off lameness and soreness which current vet and farrier believe is stemming from this foot.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Click image for larger version

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                                    Here is the horses foot right before current farrier started working on him

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      So you've had 2 lousy or lazy farriers in a row. Same problem w/ old farrier but newer farrier let it get a tad worse.

                                      As others have said your horse has had terrible footcare for several years, it won't correct overnight but start ASAP with

                                      a skilled farrier. Ask around, get recommendations from knowledgeable people. Most horse people and many vets know

                                      very little about the hoof or proper farriery until their horse goes sore.

                                      I have a hunch that the other 3 hooves also need some attention even if they don't seem sore at this point.
                                      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Is his left front high? Just curious. I haven't had any rads done of an Arabian I recently acquired who has high/low syndrome. Fortunately he is just coming 4 this year and not yet under saddle and no hurry for him to have to be. So I am keeping him barefoot and letting Dr. Green and frequent farrier visits hopefully improve his angles as much as possible. In between farrier visits, I rasp back and keep the toe rolled on his low right front, his rear hooves and occasionally take a little bit off the heel of his high foot. 3 farrier visits in, there is improvement but it generally takes a year to appreciate a major change. Good luck.
                                        Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook

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