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Question for hoof care professionals

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  • Question for hoof care professionals

    My coming 2-year-old filly has sheared heels on both medial fronts. From what I've learned since she was diagnosed a year ago she was a classic case for this issue.
    Valgus at birth, narrow chested, outward rotation on both front legs and no hoof care early on in life.
    When she came to me as a 4-month-old weanling her medial heels had started to roll under but the farrier I was using then didn't recognize the problem. She was trimmed every 4 week from then on but by the time she was 9 month old I realized something was wrong as her front hoof capsules started to look offset and her heels were pushed upward. After consulting with my vet as well as several farriers my new farrier started trimming her medial heels slightly lower to bring them down.
    Now a year later the medial heels are lower but not completely level with the lateral ones. I had hoped that in the process her medial hoof walls would start to grow more outward but that hasn't happened. The medial side continues to bend inward while the lateral side flares out.
    My farrier thinks nothing will change that and we will have to wait until she is old enough to wear shoes.
    Here are my questions:
    Is there any method of trimming that might encourage the medial side to stop bending inward?
    In your opinion, are the offset hoof capsules congenital or acquired?
    Any ideas that might be helpful with this problem?
    I'd very much appreciate your comments.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    IMO I would move to an orthotic asap. A barehoof is still bearing a considerable percentage of weight on the heels no matter how its trimmed. A sheared/crushed heel needs to be unloaded in order for the tubules to straighten out over time.

    I have lots of case studies of sheared heels on my facebook page and website

    https://www.facebook.com/#!/parkerfarrierservice
    Seth Parker- Farrier for Palm Beach & Broward, FL
    www.ParkerFarrierService.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HickoryHill View Post
      Here are my questions:
      Is there any method of trimming that might encourage the medial side to stop bending inward?
      In your opinion, are the offset hoof capsules congenital or acquired?
      Any ideas that might be helpful with this problem?
      I'd very much appreciate your comments.
      Thanks.
      Most often congenital.

      You can trim a horse to stop the hoof capsule from distortion to a certain degree. If you try that you will probably end up with very large splints at the least.

      It sounds like your Farrier has a good handle on this. Do what you can with trimming for as long as you can. When the time comes you will probably need shoes.

      If your Farrier hasn't already explained, the hoof capsule can look very messed up without issues. As long as the boney column is balanced your horse will go as far as is meant to go.
      Eric Russell CJF

      Comment


      • #4
        Pictures of the bottom of the hooves,taken with camera aimed perendicular to the the soles, would be a terrific help.
        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
        www.hoofcareonline.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
          Pictures of the bottom of the hooves,taken with camera aimed perendicular to the the soles, would be a terrific help.
          I took a couple of pictures today and see if I can upload them somewhere.

          As far as orthotics go I'd be willing to try but I'm a little concerned that it might stunt her hoof growth. She's a warmblood and will be tall around 17h.
          Right now her feet are still rather small.

          What type of shoe did you have in mind? Bar shoes?

          Comment


          • #6
            Like Patty said I would need pics and much more info before I even began to think about specifics. I was just speaking in gross generalities that the horse needs some additional support to unload his heels and allow them to straighten out.
            Seth Parker- Farrier for Palm Beach & Broward, FL
            www.ParkerFarrierService.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Though I haven't seen the feet or any rads(and rads are also an important component of any treatment Rx), a G-bar shoe or a Mushroom Bar shoe might be worth a try. Nice thing about either of those shoes is that once applied, you can continue to work on the affected heel(s) without removing the shoe.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I put some pictures on facebook. Not sure if they're any good but it's the best I can do by myself.
                I have x-rays from a year ago but will probably update when my vet comes next week.

                http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...1&l=6738019bd8

                Thanks for looking

                Comment


                • #9
                  I will be waiting for some answers, too. This could be photos of my mare's left front foot.

                  I was told, by the Farrier/Vet at Rood and Riddle, that the sheared part of the heel needed to be removed back to the widest part of the frog, the toe shortened by rolling, for the end goal to move the widest part of the hoof back to the apex of the frog.

                  Farriers,
                  Does this sound correct?

                  My current farrier refuses to do this, thus allowing the crushed heel to continue to grow forward. Because of this, I am afraid that my mare could bow a tendon. The angle of her hoof in relation to the angle of her pastern is off, thus creating the illusion that she has a dropped pastern. The right foot angles are normal and do align with the angle of her pastern.

                  OP,
                  Does this sound like what is happening to your filly?
                  When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Auburn, my filly's foot angles are actually fine and her sheared heel buttresses are pretty much back at the widest part of the frog. I'm concerned that the shearing hoof walls keep bending inward instead of assuming a more outward growth pattern.

                    What has been suggested, that is relieving pressure on the shearing side by putting her in bar shoes and floating the heels makes sense, I just don't know if she isn't still to young for shoes as she's not even 2 yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with what your Farrier said.
                      Eric Russell CJF

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HickoryHill View Post
                        ........ I just don't know if she isn't still to young for shoes as she's not even 2 yet.
                        IMNTBNCHO, the longer you wait to begin remediation, the harder it will be and the low the chances for complete success. That said, based on the photo of her front legs, there are some conformation issues that are contributing. A plumb line dropped from the point of the shoulder to the ground will show you what those problems are. Among other things, her knees appear to be outwardly rotated and look puffy.

                        If you have not already done so, read these treatises on the subject.
                        http://www.equipodiatry.com/shearhls.htm
                        http://www.equipodiatry.com/shrheel.htm

                        And there's this article too:
                        http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...-tracks?page=4

                        Other articles of interest:
                        http://www.farrierproducts.com/farri.../feature1.html
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OZt-3ss6Ak

                        One last thought. I'm not convinced that this is a case of true sheared heels......

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                          IMNTBNCHO, the longer you wait to begin remediation, the harder it will be and the low the chances for complete success. That said, based on the photo of her front legs, there are some conformation issues that are contributing. A plumb line dropped from the point of the shoulder to the ground will show you what those problems are. Among other things, her knees appear to be outwardly rotated and look puffy.

                          One last thought. I'm not convinced that this is a case of true sheared heels......
                          Thank you for your input.
                          I am very well aware of the filly's rotational deformities. That's what seems to have caused the shearing to begin with from what I read on Dr O'Grady's website.
                          We have been working on these heels now for a little more than a year and there definitely has been some progress.
                          The reason I posted on this forum was to get some ideas on how to progress from here on since the medial heels just don't seem to want to straighten. Believe me I'm willing to do whatever it takes to give this girl a decent foot. I have researched "sheared heels" ad nauseam and I finding that it is a difficult problem to cure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With sheared heels, "manage" is a more realistic verb than "cure." I find the condition often requires more frequent trimming than the average horse in order to maintain a baseline.

                            Comment

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