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Bad toe bruise - lameness exam planned - what to do - cancel or keep, HELP!

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  • Bad toe bruise - lameness exam planned - what to do - cancel or keep, HELP!

    My horse has been having a mystery performance issue going for about 2 months now. We took him to the clinic about a month ago, but nothing alarming showed up, no real lameness.
    We injected stifles, because we have known for a long time he has locking stifles and we also injected back eventhough he had clear X-rays, but we did so therapeutically coz he looks as if backsore.
    Videos of him over the last few months do show him using his left hind limb in a weird way, but again he wasn't lame on the day of examination a month ago (and last shoeing feet looked good).

    Because I didn't have much improvement after the injections, we scheduled another work-up for next week Thursday at the clinic.
    Today my farrier was here, he pulls the hinds and we find quite some bruising at the toe underneath the left hind shoe and he reacted to the hooftesters.

    Now, I don't know what to do, postpone next week's clinic visit for fear this bruise may mislead the work-up.
    Or just go anyway, hope it's healed and in case not, just ask to have the bruised foot blocked prior to the work-up.

    In the mean time what can I do to speed up the healing??
    Farrier shod him with a pad and it's well packed with Magic Cushion at present.
    The idea was to ride him the days prior to the next clinic visit, so he'd be sore and we'd have an easier time finding the problem. But now he's got that bruise, I guess best to rest until Thursday?

    Can bruising be indicative of a possible abcess to follow? There was no indication of an abcess today however.

    Would love your thoughts. Thanks!
    Last edited by Lieslot; Oct. 22, 2010, 10:08 AM.

  • #2
    I'd put it off... But I also wouldn't have reshod him...
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks EqT, that's what I'm leaning towards, just postponing it.
      This of course couldn't have happened at a more unfortunate time.

      I know what you mean with "why shoe him with a bruise". But this horse has hindend stability isssues (shivers) and we shoe his hinds to keep him upright in turnout during slippery ground conditions (wet fall weather) so he wouldn't fall. He was barefoot in the past and that often let to him falling.
      Leaving the shoe off & boxresting him wasn't an option either, due to his locking stifles. It feels like I can't win, no matter what I do. Hence the shoes with pads & magic cushion.
      I just brought him in from turnout and he's clearly resting that foot.


      • #4
        Yeah.... It's tough. But a toe bruise usually needs to not have even the risk of pressure. I'd pull the shoe and wrap it or boot it with enough clearance under the toe to be sure there was no pressure. If he is resting it well... There's your answer...

        I have one of these special children, I feel for you....
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • Original Poster

          Aie aie,... you have a point, best to have no pressure at all -sigh-.
          Yes, he is "very" clearly resting it.

          I will discuss with farrier.
          Of course this will mean getting vet out for sedation again just to pull the shoe, coz he can't hold up a hindfoot without a sedation cocktail.

          Very special child, I love him to bits, but he does make me want to pull my hair out at times .


          • #6
            Hi Lieslot,
            if you trust the clinic, why not call them and inquire what they think you should do?
            Do they have a farrier at the clinic as well as vets that can examine him? and make recommendations?

            I would at least get their opinion to help you in your decision making.
            save lives...spay/neuter/geld


            • #7
              And FWIW IME hind foot bruises act very differently than front foot bruises... NQR is the norm rather than lame... One of mine had a hind heel bruise a few years ago and the only symptom was that he would not canter. $750 dollars later the vet finally decides to hoof test it again and only in one tiny spot does he flinch... 6 months in the field. Crazy huh??? Got back on him and the weird I Wont Canter was gone. 4th level horse so you gotta believe them, when they've never bullshit you before LOL

              So perhaps this is good news of sorts, better a bruise than a lot of other things!
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


              • #8
                Is he better, worse or the same after the shoeing and magic cushion?

                Unless he is sound, I would at least start with blocking. If it is the foot you will know within one or two blocks.

                And, let me tell you my FIVE month layup for a bruise that was suspected but never diagnosed. Two sets of xrays and vets could not identify the reason, but we knew it was a front foot from blocking. Three weeks ago out pops a huge abcess from the left heel.


                • Original Poster

                  I cancelled the appointment. This doesn't mean I won't get the foot dealt with by vet & farrier however. It's more that it didn't make sense to haul to the clinic (and tag along his companion) to be seen by a lameness specialist at this point now, when he's clearly bruised.
                  I still don't think the bruise is the cause of his previous unwillingness under saddle, but who knows, reading your experiences and hearing it took months to heal, makes me wonder however.
                  So I'll get the foot dealt with first here at the farm.

                  I still need to discuss with farrier what to do about the shoe now. I wouldn't want a vet to take that shoe off, because he's already difficult enough for an experienced farrier to deal with and that even under sedation.

                  To CAH.
                  Well he's definitely not short on the leg, doesn't appear lame, but since last week, he does this weird outweird swing of that limb and crosses it under a little when landing. Their has been a left limb oddety for a couple of months, but is just more obvious now.
                  This morning he continued to walk weirdly and just rests this foot at all times whilst stalled. So I'd say no, at present doesn't look like Magic Cushion & pads have helped yet.


                  • #10
                    For the five months I was dealing with the bruising my guy would "point" the front foot on occasion. Heat, no heat. Better some days, worse others. Feet have a way of making you think it is higher up - two people almost thought is was a shoulder lameness.

                    Def have your vet look and do some blocks. And I would not pull the shoe unless directed too by the vet.

                    One final question - do you think this could be related to the shivers?


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by CAH
                      One final question - do you think this could be related to the shivers?
                      Ah, that's the million dollar question....
                      No idea. Something changed in him this summer and it's hard to judge whether there's a link to his shivers.
                      There's definitely been a balance or unbalance issue with him lately moreso then in the past. He's also hesitant to go down (takes a few attempts), but has no issues getting up.
                      There's so little known about shivers, very little research, I wouldn't know what to look for or what to expect with it really .