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Late summer hoof crumbling

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    Late summer hoof crumbling

    My horse has challenging hooves that I try to carefully manage. He is high/low in front, but his hoof quality is also poor.

    Last summer his feet really fell apart and were very damaged from losing shoes. In early October last year, I had my vet assess due to the severity. We drew blood - came back borderline low Vit. E, which he now receives. He also receives double dose of Smarthoof. He is on good quality grass pasture 12+ hours and receives hay when inside plus senior grain.

    So its now September and my horse has a hind hoof that has crumbled. Suspecting moisture from night turnout to be a factor, my farrier added some glue over the nail holes. This seemed to help through the summer but a piece of glue came off and the shelly hoof beneath is completely crumbling. I have attached a photo.

    What do I do with this? I sent a picture to the farrier and farrier thinks adding more glue to let this grow out a bit and keep the shoe on may be the way to go. Any other ideas? I’m worried.



    Last edited by MapleLeaf; Sep. 21, 2020, 11:30 AM.

    #2
    We deal with crumbling hooves every summer. Fall is coming. Soon, our hooves will be back to normal. Over the years, we have had a lot of summertime lost shoes and hoof epoxies. I am always eager for the hooves to go back to normal in the fall.

    Comment


      #3
      What's the rest of this guy's diet?

      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        AM -- 1lb Nutrena senior and 1 lb Nutrena Maintenance (low carb) and first cutting hay.

        Just switched to day turnout -- the recent bit of rain has made my pastures much more green. He's out about 12 hours.

        PM -- 1lb Nutrena senior and 1 lb Nutrena Maintenance (low carb) and first cutting hay. Vit E (UltraCruz) and Smarthoof in evening feed. Basically free choice hay when inside.

        Edited to add -- just recently he is looking a bit overweight, so I am considering a grazing muzzle. He's 17 hands and beefy, but I think we may be nearing an unhealthy weight all of a sudden.

        Comment


          #5
          You might try some of the hoof sealers, sole paint products to keep hoof from absorbing moisture. Some need daily application, while others are good for several days.

          Add in mowing pasture to a 5 inch height so it will dry faster and not letting him on the pasture until dew is off during the day.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Over the summer, I applied the "kevlar" hoof sealer (alternating sometimes with Hoof Heal and Keratex) multple times per week when morning dew seemed at its worst. He also wears fly boots to eliminate the stomping. I also have only hosed him off about 5 times all summer, just using a sponge instead. I think these efforts majorly helped as last summer was a battle to keep shoes on him all summer. Thankfully, this is the first hoof issue we've had this summer.

            Comment


              #7
              I would take a look at this guys diet. If he's beefy on 4lbs of feed a day switching him over to all forage and a ration balancer or a forage balancer might really do him some good. If you can test your hay and balance from that would be ideal. Then specifically look at the iron in the diet. That will help you determine how much copper and zinc you need to supplement.

              and treat him for white line disease.

              https://www.hoofrehab.com/Diet.html
              https://www.hoofrehab.com/WhiteLineDisease.html

              here are directions on how to use Oxine AH to treat white line. It works great and is much cheaper than using CleanTrax.
              https://www.healthyhoof.com/articles...Revisited.html

              save any hoof sealers for after the feet are healthier, then I would only use Keratex if you're in a wet environment.
              Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
              Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
              "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

              Comment


                #8
                I would say your farrier is the issue here - that is a very long toe, without zero heel support. The crumbling is in light of that. I'd also suggest a course of WLD treatment. That farrier is doing your horse no favors.
                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                  I would say your farrier is the issue here - that is a very long toe, without zero heel support. The crumbling is in light of that. I'd also suggest a course of WLD treatment. That farrier is doing your horse no favors.
                  I will second that the farrier does not seem to be helping things.

                  MapleLeaf when was the last reset?
                  Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                  Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
                  "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Reset was 3 weeks ago. I noticed he looked particularly long toed and low heeled behind this past time too. I did not connect that with the problems of crumbling.

                    I have spent a lot of time focusing on his front feet but this is the first summer I’ve noticed his feet looking this way. I think I actually need to do xrays of all four and try to get everything balanced again. This horse lives in a one degree wedge on low right foot and pad and pour-ins on fronts.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for the diet info! Some thoughts:

                      **Not sure which Nutrena Senior blend you're using, assuming the "Safe Choice" line, since that's what you're feeding for maintenance.**

                      Diet Wise:

                      - The "Safe Choice" Line is such a misnomer. The SC Senior has an NSC of 20% and the SC Maintenance has an NSC of 25%! That's a lot of sugar. Even for a horse who may not be specifically sensitive to dietary sugars, e.g. a metabolic horse, 20% to 25% is really very high. I like to see an NSC of no more than 10% for "normal" horses - lower than 4% for those with metabolic issues. It really bothers me that Nutrena markets this line as safe for sensitive horses.

                      - High sugar and other dietary imbalance is a huge contributor to fungal and bacterial issues in the hoof. Horses are naturally colonized by the organisms that *can* cause WLD, Thrush, etc. There's nary a horse alive who doesn't have those bacteria and fungi living on their hooves - it becomes an issues when the tissues of the hoof are compromised such that they create an environment conducive to those organisms proliferating out of control. A classic example of this is a caudal hoof that is contracted + a high sugar diet, which conspire to create a tight, deep central sulcus that thrush-causing organisms set up shop and thrive in. Weakened laminar connection is also a common effect of a high sugar diet, making it very easy for the walls to get crumbly as pathogens invade that space.

                      - High iron can be a big problem - it will inhibit the absorption of key minerals like copper and zinc. Even if it's not listed in the feeds you're giving, it can be present in very high amounts in hay and/or water. That being said, if testing and figuring that out is an obstacle, starting with drastically reducing sugar will not hurt.

                      - There's a reason you've chosen to feed a "grain" (by which I mean a hard feed instead of hay only). If you struggle to keep condition and weight on your horse and aren't confident or comfortable doing hay-only (and FWIW, same! my two both need more than hay to stay in condition), you still have good options for providing extra calories: molasses-free beet pulp, and/or soaked hay pellets/cubes make for great extra meals and a base for any supplements. Lots of folks like flax for added calories, as well. I use hempseed which not everyone loves, but it has served me very well. One of my horses is a young, athletic, 17.3hh ISH/TB/DWB mix and he looks like a million bucks on a "no grain" diet - if he can, I think anyone can!

                      - SmartHoof isn't the worst supplement out there - but it's definitely not giving you much bang for your buck, especially at a double dose. If you're willing to spend the $1.46/day that the SmartHoof is costing you, I'd highly recommend switching to any of the following: California Trace Plus, KIS Trace, Vermont Blend (regular or pro), Arizona Copper Complete, or MadBarn Amino Trace+. Those will cost you between $1.10 and $1.35 per serving, and will give you significantly more value than your double dose of SmartHoof. When choosing a supplement, you need to know whether your hay (or any other feed) provides selenium. Even if you can't test your hay, as long as you know what geographical area it comes from, you can generally figure out if selenium is in the soil. Your local ag. office can likely help, and your local vets will probably also have a good sense of this. Selenium deficiency and toxicity is no joke, so don't ignore this one!

                      - Your BEST bet, for sure, would be to test your hay, and use a service like Equi-Analytical to understand what gaps exist, and custom-fill from there. But if that's not realistic, any of the above supplements can do an excellent job.

                      Trim Wise:

                      The image, for whatever reason, will not display when I click on it, so I am squinting It's not possible to give a ton of useful critique based on one picture, but from what we can see - Beowulf is correct. Very long tall heel, long toe. This will not help your cause. The best diet in the world can't overcome inappropriate trimming/shoeing. Where in the trim cycle was that picture taken?

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        So much helpful info - thank you all.

                        I buy hay from a broker, but I buy a year supply at a time. I’ll look into testing it.

                        I had selenium and iron levels checked last fall and they were normal. Vitamin E was the only thing slightly deficient. I will look more closely at this though.

                        Definitely will treat the white line. Farrier mentioned thrush and I honestly had not treated it yet - just started being sure to pick feet daily.

                        Question - the immediate concern is that he has a huge chunk of broken hoof. Farrier likely will want to cover with glue. I’m guessing sealing in that moisture is not advisable. However, keeping that shoe on is probably keeping him sound. Should I pack the broken hoof with something anti-fungal. (I used to do a copper sulfate vinegar solution in a spray bottle, but got lazy about it. Ugh.) I welcome ideas.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The white line treatment I posted also works wonderful for thrush

                          It's likely that he's already getting more iron than he needs from hay and water, so limiting added iron in feed/supplements is a good idea. If you can estimate his daily iron intake that will help determine how much copper and zinc you need. The ideal ratio of iron/copper/zinc is 4:1:3 but anything between that and 10:1:3 is beneficial.

                          kashmere posted a lot of good information and supplements for you
                          Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                          Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
                          "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My go-to treatments for thrush/WLD are White Lightning or CleanTrax soaks. If you're in the states, save your pennies and get some Oxine AH to soak with - here are good instructions for doing that safely: https://www.healthyhoof.com/articles...Revisited.html

                            for packing, Red Horse products - Hoof Stuff or Artimud, depending on how tight the crevice is (if very tight/narrow - hoof stuff, if more shallow/wide - artimud), are excellent.

                            I don't feel like I could advise for or against using an epoxy to repair the wall and hold things together - sometimes ya gotta, sometimes it's best not to. Super helpful, I know! But those treatments above will be helpful in fighting any fungal or bacterial gnarlies you've got going on.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MapleLeaf View Post
                              AM -- 1lb Nutrena senior and 1 lb Nutrena Maintenance (low carb) and first cutting hay.

                              Just switched to day turnout -- the recent bit of rain has made my pastures much more green. He's out about 12 hours.

                              PM -- 1lb Nutrena senior and 1 lb Nutrena Maintenance (low carb) and first cutting hay. Vit E (UltraCruz) and Smarthoof in evening feed. Basically free choice hay when inside.

                              Edited to add -- just recently he is looking a bit overweight, so I am considering a grazing muzzle. He's 17 hands and beefy, but I think we may be nearing an unhealthy weight all of a sudden.
                              You need to look at how much of the feed is required to meet your horse's daily needs. Your horse is getting 4 pounds of feed, and just making a very general example here, if your horse is 1000lbs, and your feed bag says 6 pounds of feed provides a 1000lb horse will all his daily V&M needs, then he is only getting 2/3 of his nutritional needs met, and you would need to top it off with a quality ration balancer to get him to his 100% daily requirement.

                              You mentioned he's on Smarthoof, which has a generous does of the Zinc/ Copper which helps with quality hoof growth, so you are probably good there. And like others suggested, look at your feeds, they may be higher in starch/ sugar than you realize.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by MapleLeaf View Post
                                So much helpful info - thank you all.

                                I buy hay from a broker, but I buy a year supply at a time. I’ll look into testing it.
                                Yep, if you want to go whole-hog in the diet thing, that's a great idea. Is the hay all from the same field and cutting when you do buy it? If not, do you know that these X bales are the "same, and those Y bales are the "same"? If will make a difference how you determine your bales to sample

                                I had selenium and iron levels checked last fall and they were normal. Vitamin E was the only thing slightly deficient. I will look more closely at this though.
                                To determine real iron status you need the blood ferritin test from Kansas State. You really can assume the die is unbalanced in the fe/cu/zn area, it's just a matter of how much.


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

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Nova2000 View Post

                                  You need to look at how much of the feed is required to meet your horse's daily needs. Your horse is getting 4 pounds of feed, and just making a very general example here, if your horse is 1000lbs, and your feed bag says 6 pounds of feed provides a 1000lb horse will all his daily V&M needs, then he is only getting 2/3 of his nutritional needs met, and you would need to top it off with a quality ration balancer to get him to his 100% daily requirement.
                                  She indicated he's actually too heavy now, so my vote is (also) for dropping down to just a ration balancer

                                  You mentioned he's on Smarthoof, which has a generous does of the Zinc/ Copper which helps with quality hoof growth, so you are probably good there.
                                  100mg and 400mg cu/zn isn't bad, but it's really common to have to add double that to get the fe:cu:zn ratios down to an acceptable level.

                                  And like others suggested, look at your feeds, they may be higher in starch/ sugar than you realize.
                                  Yep, way higher than I suspect she was aware Not low carb at all What's worse than just not "low carb" is the starch levels on these feeds are really high, and that's a bigger issue than sugar. 20% starch (on the Maint) is really high. The Senior (also assuming SafeChoice) is better at 14% starch, but even that is pretty high.

                                  For context, if you had an IR horse you'd want starch <= 4%
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Yes, hay seems to be from same field and it's local hay from Western PA. It's very consistent in quality/type. However, this broker sells from over 10 farms, so it won't be consistent from year to year. Do you think it's worth testing hay each year. Not sure I have dedication for that . . .

                                    I'm looking into the ration balancer -- can you give me a recommendation? Or would that be wholly dependent on hay quality? Also, horse does mid-level dressage work 3-4 times per week. I've always found protein to be important for topline development at this stage, so that will be a consideration I am also trying to include.

                                    Also, if I buy a mutli-vitamin like the Vermont Blend. Do you think I just cut the smarthoof? I used the Feedxl website for a couple years, but my membership has lapsed. I suppose it might be time to play with that again.

                                    Update on the hoof -- equilox was used to try to hold things to together for now. A different glue was applied over the nail holes during the last shoeing, and I really think that glue has contributed to the breakdown of the hoof underneath. Each place applied the glue is in terrible shape. Live and learn (then cry). Farrier also thought white line soak is a great idea and asked that it be done one week before next shoeing (so I'll soak next week). Does that sound like a reasonable plan?

                                    I have so much to learn! Thank you all for providing such thoughtful posts and information.


                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      If you have a year's worth each year, then 100% worth testing each year. Growing conditions can vary wildly from year to year, so even the can be quite different. Not usually, but definitely possible

                                      What brandss of feed can you get? Triple Crown is my preference, as it has lower iron and higher cu/zn than a great many others.
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Triple Crown 30% would be an excellent choice for a ration balancer and yes, if you choose VB or even the CA Trace Plus you can drop the smarthoof.

                                        Unfortunately FeedXL has really raised their prices. I had my brother make me a spreadsheet in excel so that I can keep track of my 3
                                        Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                                        Quiet Miracle 2010 16.1h OTTB Bay Gelding
                                        "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

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