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Please share your success story on managing pedal osteitis

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  • Please share your success story on managing pedal osteitis

    I would love to hear from you if you have successful in getting your horse sound and comfortably back to work, following a lameness relating to pedal osteitis (inflammation/demineralization of the coffin bone).

    How did you do it?

    My vet is recommending shoes with gel pads and possibly a regional treatment with Tildren. From my research so far, it looks like rest, with anti-inflammatories, is the first step.

    I have already searched the web and this site, but I especially am interested in hearing case histories, both what worked and what did not for your horse.
    Last edited by Helicon; Dec. 16, 2010, 10:08 AM. Reason: Change title
  • Original Poster

    Bumping.... would love to hear your experience.


    • #3
      Not my horse-but a very good friend of mine managed her gelding with a great trim & corrective shoeing, bute after shoeing and coffin joint injections later in the disease. She did not jump anymore, just flat work.


      • #4
        It's been awhile, so I'm not sure if I have the details 100%, but my mare had a flare-up of pedal osteitis in late 07'-early 08'. Her LF was the only foot affected and the sporthorse specialist I took her to basically told me it was due to bruising and "twisting the hoof" in the pasture. She had very thin soles at the time; in that foot especially.

        Anyway, she came up 3 legged lame in mid-December 2007. We thought it was an abscess and soaked for a week with no results. Called regular vet out, who still thought an abscess and he pulled her shoe and packed her hoof with poultice. She was less lame, but after Christmas I trailered her to the best sporthorse lameness vet in the area. He did an X-ray and diagnosed pedal osteitis due to the demineralization to her coffin bone. Told me it wasn't chronic in her case, just a fluke due to the inflammation from the concussion to her thin soles.

        He recommended 2 grams of bute 2x a day for a week + surpass applied to the coronary band on that hoof 2x a day. Stall rest for 10 days. Farrier came out and put leather pads on her with neoprene underneath to let her soles rest. Recommended the pads stay on for 3-4 cycles, but I was paranoid and basically kept them on for a year. Vet told me to start riding her after a few weeks if she was sound, but I waited two months just to be safe, then started her back slowly at the walk.

        Anyway, she is now 100% sound and we are still jumping around 2'6" to 3" with plans to move back up. She still tends to have thin soles in front, but I'm just very careful not to pound her on hard ground. She will always have a tiny piece missing from her coffin bone, but she's never sore or lame. It's not always a career-ender. Keep your chin up!
        Last edited by acking01; Dec. 16, 2010, 12:45 PM. Reason: can't spell today


        • #5
          This was about a decade ago, so apologies for lack of details, but I had an older TB who I was able to successfully compete at 2nd level dressage (as well as hit the trails regularly) after being diagnosed with pedal osteitis. Both fronts were bothering him, so initially it was tricky to pinpoint what was going on.

          Treatment required teamwork between me, my farrier, and a lameness specialist vet who diagnosed the condition and gave me an outline of what to do.

          We switched from plain steel shoes in front to wide-web aluminum eggbars with wedge pads -- these provided immediate relief. Immediate.

          Gradually, we stepped down to a lesser degree wedge pad, then to a regular flat pad, then no pad at all (except for rim-pads to keep from snowballing in winter.) I kept him in eggbars for the rest of his life. Well after lameness resolved there were a couple times we tried steel eggbars instead of aluminum --farrier preferred support of steel if I recall correctly-- with no change in soundness.

          On the conditioning end, we did lots and lots of walking on the trails to build fitness, making good use of hills. I was careful to avoid pounding on hard surfaces. I chose not to jump anymore.

          We may have had a brief course of bute after diagnosis --I can't remember-- but I certainly didn't keep him on bute for any length of time nor did I feed any special supplements outside of his balanced diet.


          • #6
            My event mare was diagnosed with pedal osteitis fairly early in her career. She had some time off, probably with bute (this was a looooong time ago, don't recall many details). But she eventually returned to work and eventually evented through training level (including once in early spring at a schooling trials in Southern Pines, barefoot). She evented until her hocks got creaky, and then a friend had her for several years as a trail horse. She lived into her mid-20s and was sound when she died.

            Sorry I don't remember many of the treatment details, but it was nothing more elaborate than rest and anti-inflammatories. We didn't have anyone in the area who did joint injections and I don't think Tildren was anywhere on the scene back then (early 80's). Basically, if you can get it to "cool off" and there isn't too much dammage to the coffin bone, your horse has a good chance of making a recovery. But, as always, these things are individual, so YMMV. Good luck!
            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

            Spay and neuter. Please.


            • #7
              Our 19 year old mule does dressage and jumping and was diagnosed with mild pedal osteitis in November 2009. He had been barefoot and in full work for a number of years. We put him in shoes with plastic pads and he initially had about 3 months off and was given bute for about 2-3 weeks. After that he was sound and was very, very gradually returned to work on a soft surface.

              So far he has remained very sound and is back to dressage and jumping. He placed 2nd in his first beginner novice event in September.

              We just pulled the pads after having them on for a year. He is doing great.

              What we've noticed is that we have to be careful about him doing a lot of work on hard ground, ie, we avoid taking him on trail rides on hard surfaces like fire roads as it makes him sore. He is also schooled less frequently over fences and we avoid doing a lot of schooling on down banks as this seems to make him a bit sore as well.

              Overall, ours is a success story!


              • #8
                My guy is pretty mild. I avoid work on hard footing and make sure he's well-shod. He had about six months of light work due to a suspensory injury diagnosed at the same time, came back into work, and touch wood, had no problems relating to the pedal osteitis. No corrective shoeing is needed for him right now. If the vet isn't worried, the farrier isn't worried, and most importantly the horse isn't worried, I'm not worried.
                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you all for taking the time to share your reports. I am definitely feeling encouraged!

                  Rest, great shoeing and avoiding concussion seems to be the common theme.

                  I am curious about different shoeing methods. I can't comprehend how metal shoes reduce concussion. But the alternative shoes like Easywalker (remember them?) don't seem to catch on.

                  Also if anyone out there tried the Tildren, please tell how it went or pm me if you prefer.

                  Thank you!


                  • #10
                    I have a gelding who has PO and he has been fine since being diagnosed 8 yrs ago. We used titanium shoes w/pads making sure his foot was absolutely level with heel support. We also do not work him on hard footing. Never had to give him bute, injected his hocks, and adequan/legend.


                    • #11
                      I have a 13 year old home grown TB mare who has had PO for the last 5 years. At this point I have given up all hope of ever riding her and am just trying to keep her comfortable. Due to the demineralization of her coffin bone, she broke the wing on her coffin bone two years ago ( that took jumping out of the picture).

                      We have alternated between aluminum wedges with equithane pads to steel shoes with a wedge pad.