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Geriatric Horse - Trouble Picking Up Feet for Farrier - Sling??

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  • #21
    Bluey, I like that photo. Soft, sandy, soil certainly seems like it would make it easier to anesthetize a horse and safely get him back up.


    • #22
      Originally posted by AKB View Post
      Bluey, I like that photo. Soft, sandy, soil certainly seems like it would make it easier to anesthetize a horse and safely get him back up.
      Oh, you don't need to anesthetize a horse to ask it to lay down to trim feet.
      You teach them and they do it on command, once they learn what you want.

      Our mare was very much awake, just happy to be off her sore feet for a bit there.
      As the vet told us, once she foaled, she was fine, not so lame any more.
      She was, with another, a present from a friend, thru his wife, when he passed away.

      Blocking a foot is with a local only, the horse just won't feel the foot for a bit, before sensation comes back.
      When a vet blocks a foot, the horse is standing up and can walk around fine, just don't feel pain, if the block affects the part of the foot that is causing lameness.


      • #23
        I have a 29 year old mare with an old suspensory in back and some bad arthritis...our current protocol is bute 3 days out, PATIENCE (she pulls her feet away when she can't comfortably hold them up any longer -- we also stop and "walk out the pain" every so often when she starts taking them back quicker), and a lot of resting hind feet on top farrier boot toes (cocked back so the sole is showing, not forward). The fronts aren't nearly as much of an issue in her case, it's the hinds.

        My farrier has the patience of a saint with my horse I'm SO VERY thankful I was able to find someone to work with her like he does.


        • #24
          Since the OP was asking about a sling, if she has access to some horse stocks, she could possibly get the mare all the way in for the fronts, most of the way in there for her hinds and then use a web stall guard for a sling, supporting it with lead ropes from the ceiling, tight, so she feels the support when she is holding a leg a bit up for the farrier.

          Or like we have done for some horse that is down and needs to stand up, hang it with those web stall guards as slings from the loader bucket for a bit.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            Blocking is done regularly in examinations, why not for working on feet once every few months?
            Because it's similar to numbing a broken leg so someone can walk on it without pain. IOW, not in the patient's best interests.


            • #26
              As sad as it is to contemplate, I think Daydream Believer has a good point on the 'Last, I'd suggest taking a hard look at her quality of life. If she's that painful for farrier work, she may well be in a lot more discomfort than she lets on just for day to day life.'.

              Horses are very stoic, hardwired into them as prey animals not to show any vulnerability to attack. The horse in question may indeed be moving around some in pasture, but is likely in pain despite the ongoing Bute. Bute itself is a drug that has a lot of bad side effects, right dorsal colitis being one of them...and that surely is and would be a painful condition for a horse too.

              Any time a horse's mobility is so compromised that it cannot lie down and get up, sleep deprivation will occur, which has cumulative effects. The day I knew it was time to euth my dear mare that had DSLD was when I realized that if she did lie down, she would be unable to rise and I knew that in that case, she would either panic, and/or would become so exhausted in her futile attempts to rise that she would probably die trying. I could not bear to think of her last moments of life being in a panic or state of exhaustion, and that is definitely something to keep in mind too.
              Last edited by sdlbredfan; Dec. 22, 2011, 07:38 PM. Reason: clarity
              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


              • Original Poster

                I never loose sight that decisions have to be made in my barn. As a retirement barn many horses come to me that will never leave except to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I always am up front with the owners, but some owners need a little more time to make decisions than others. If this mare was my own I would choose to euthanize her now as I can already forecast the future. am very concerned about snow and ice this year. Her owner needs another couple of months or as another poster worded it "another season" to come to terms and say good bye. It is my sincere prayer that this mare will not trip and go down before the owner gives me the permission to proceed. The vets are involved with her day to day care and quality of life, while not terrific, is not horrific. During this last season of her life it is my job to make her as comfortable as possible while allowing her to be as much as a horse as possible.

                I don't know where the impression that my farrier was not willing or able to work with a geriatric horse came from. I have the highest regards for my farrier who trims many horses in this barn on his knees and moves very slow. He never runs out of patience. Many a time we are both sore by the time the horses get trimmed.

                I appreciate all the answers and ideas.
                Susan B.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by NCSue View Post
                  I don't know where the impression that my farrier was not willing or able to work with a geriatric horse came from. I have the highest regards for my farrier who trims many horses in this barn on his knees and moves very slow. He never runs out of patience. Many a time we are both sore by the time the horses get trimmed.

                  I appreciate all the answers and ideas.
                  Coming on a public forum and asking for advice from strangers instead of consulting with your farrier is a dead giveaway.


                  • #29
                    Before my horse's ringbone fused she could not stand on it. She'd happily pick it up though. BUT she wouldn't stand on it to do the OTHER foot so my farrier dug a little trench around her hoof and was able to nip and rasp that foot enough to keep it decent. I do have her trimmed once a month though, you don't want a ton of growth on there! Now her ringbone is fused she is fine. Her hocks have arthritis and are a bit ouchy but he just holds them low and can get them done.
                    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                    • #30

                      1/4 of a 227 mg tablet about 2 -3 hours before the farrier gets there. It worked like a charm for my ole fella, he was a few months shy of 32 when he died and I used it for several years TWICE a day before he died and he never got an ulcer on that "large" dose. It made his life 100% better, I'll do it again when it becomes necessary.


                      • #31
                        My vet has a sling in her barn for exactly that purpose.