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Thin soles/bad feet

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  • Thin soles/bad feet

    I have a LOVELY gelding that I've had some issues with over the last year. He apparently smacked his hip into a tree back in March, tearing the muscle. Time off and some bute and that was improved, however he was then lame in the rear. Ultrasound showed some damage to the SI, so we injected that, and he slowly improved and while he would sometimes start out stiff, walking over some ground poles and then trotting he'd loosen right up.

    A few weeks after the improvement...he was off in the front. We changed his shoeing (Natural balance) and he was improved for about 2 weeks...not overtly lame, but still ouchy in tight turns. Vet came out and did x rays, the diagnoses is very very very thin soles, along with an increase in bone density.

    Per her recommendation, we shod using eggbar shoes without pads (he does not have the sole depth to handle pads at this time, not even the pour ins). It has now been about 3 weeks and he's still 3 legged lame.

    I've ordered some Magic Cushion poultice, and was going to try packing his feet, and I'm debating alternating him in a hoof boot to see if that would help. My ground is very hard/rocky, which I'm sure isn't helping.

    Part of the issue is also that I had pulled his shoes while he was out with his hip/back, and his feet splayed out severely, which most likely added to the problem. Once that has grown out, he "should" improve, however he has glaciar slow growth :/

    He's on Farrier Formula 2x along with a low starch diet.

    Any suggestions? Husband has been pushing me to rehome him (his issues are coming on top of a large number of substantial vet bills with some of my other horses) but he's just so freaking sweet I can't bring myself to do it. I mean....how many 6 year old guys on stall rest would let a kid do this to them and would then allow a four year old to lead them to/from their field and take such care to be careful of lil feet.

    This horse has such potential...a massive knees to eyeballs jump and lands with a natural quiet canter. Plus has the brain to easily be a childrens hunter...but I can't keep pouring money into him for "one last thing".

    Sorry...bit of a vent/cry for help. Does anyone have any thoughts to help get him less foot sore? I'm just tired of seeing this horse in pain!

    x rays

    Left front

    Right front (this is his bad foot so we did additional views to eliminate coffin fracture and to look at his navicular bone).
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Just realized I never really had a point to my novel. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts for something else to try? or recommendations for building sole?

    Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      Durasole?
      Caitlin
      *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
      http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

      Comment


      • #4
        If it is just the soles bothering him, I would rotate between Durasole and Venice Turpentine. Did the vet do any flexions? Could it possibly be the fetlock? Any signs of an abscess?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hopefully some farriers will respond to this, but that looks like a very odd shoeing job to me. Just looks like the toe was completely rasped off-?

          Looking forward to reading some farrier responses...but Durasole worked great to toughen my guy's soles.
          Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
          Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
          Take us to print!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            DWBlover-we've done numerous flexions prior to the feet turning into an issue tryign to figure out what's going on in his hind end....and at one point his front end compensating for his back end.

            No signs of an abscess on the x rays, and he's not particularly reactive to the testers in any specific area.

            With him its not just that his soles are tender....but rather that they are so thin?

            We took the toe back as far as possible at the vets original recommendation, unfortunately from where he was barefoot his feet are completely splayed out....so trying to ease the breakover as much as possible to minimize any further separation. He's in eggbars now, but my pictures are horrible so I didn't add it to the album. I can try and get some this weekend.

            Does Durasole build the sole or just toughen what he has?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              This is his feet at the start of the natural balance cycle

              Right foot shod

              Left foot fresh shod

              this was at 3 weeks (to give you an idea). He doesn't really get "growth" but rather splays out

              Right foot after

              Left foot after

              Underside of his foot...you can see how shallow the collateral grooves are (which apparently is a good indication of his lack of sole depth).

              Right underside

              left underside

              these were both taken at the 3 week mark, and he's twisting them slightly....yay aluminum shoes.

              Comment


              • #8
                I hope Tom will respond. Durasole will build up the sole. I had similar issues, and after getting the mare to heal up, Durasole has been the key to thickening her barefoot soles and keeping her from getting sore. The ground can be hard here and she competes 4th level, and it's done a good job.

                I don't know enough to talk about shoeing cogently, but it looks like you have some serious problems there, way underslung heels. I'd like to see what the shoers say.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  We have EXTREMELY underslung heels....which he's always had. we are trying to bring them back as much as possible with every trim, but because he's such a slow grower, its hard to do it without taking off so much that you destabilize his foot.

                  I'm really hoping the farriers formula will help with that.

                  Another thing that is interesting is that on his white "bad" foot, he has a gash/cut/separation. Initially I assumed an overstep and he cut himself, but the more I look at it (and both vet and farrier agree its a strong possibility) it appears the new, stronger foot is tearing away from the weeker underslung heels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The shoes in the first post are not egg bar shoes... Pads with magic cushion under them with regular shoes is what I would do IMHO. Durasole or an iodine hoof paint on the soles will help toughen them up if you don't want to do pads, but thin soles won't get thicker by using Durasole or hoof paint it will just help toughen them.

                    He does have very low heels, so I'm curious as to why the farrier isn't working on building up his heel. Also, make sure the farrier ISN'T trimming off sole and frog unless absolutely necessary. Have him trim the hoof wall and round them up, but he shouldn't take off the sole - at least not at every shoeing. That will just make the horse more ouchy as you are taking away more of the already thin sole.

                    I'm obviously not a farrier but have dealt with getting foot sore horses sound for TB sales and such and these are things the farriers did to get them sound.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jumper_girl221 View Post
                      up.
                      A few weeks after the improvement...he was off in the front. We changed his shoeing (Natural balance) and he was improved for about 2 weeks...not overtly lame, but still ouchy in tight turns. Vet came out and did x rays, the diagnoses is very very very thin soles, along with an increase in bone density.
                      IMNTBCHO, the vet was incorrect with regard to sole depth. Ideally, I would like to see at least 15mm of sole depth. Your horse looks to have about 10mm +/- and that is borderline for the acceptable level of sole depth. 'very, very, very thin soles' would be somewhere < 4mm of sole depth.
                      Why is an increase in bone density a bad thing??
                      Per her recommendation, we shod using eggbar shoes without pads (he does not have the sole depth to handle pads at this time, not even the pour ins). It has now been about 3 weeks and he's still 3 legged lame.
                      In this case, IMO, any shoe configuration, but particularly an egg bar configuration without supplemental frog support does more harm than good. As for no pads because of a lack of sole depth, well, my BS detector is now sounding at a high level, and that 'reasoning' does not pass the sniff test either.
                      Any suggestions?
                      Find a vet/farrier team that knows what they are doing.
                      If you stick with NB shoes, find a farrier who knows how to properly apply them(hint: for one thing, you don't destroy the wall the way that is pictured)
                      This horse has such potential...a massive knees to eyeballs jump and lands with a natural quiet canter. Plus has the brain to easily be a childrens hunter...but I can't keep pouring money into him for "one last thing".
                      In that case, sell him to someone who can.
                      With him its not just that his soles are tender....but rather that they are so thin?
                      His problems are more involved than just a lack of ideal sole depth. Underrun heels, run forward toe, quarter flares, broken back phalangeal alignment(all connected by the way) inaccurate diagnosis and less than satisfactory hoof care are bigger issues IMO.
                      We have EXTREMELY underslung heels....which he's always had. we are trying to bring them back as much as possible with every trim, but because he's such a slow grower, its hard to do it without taking off so much that you destabilize his foot.
                      How exactly will that destabilize his hoof if all the other appropriate and correct measures are taken?
                      I'm really hoping the farriers formula will help with that.
                      Until/unless you deal with the real issues, you're just throwing good money after bad. ymmv
                      Another thing that is interesting is that on his white "bad" foot, he has a gash/cut/separation. Initially I assumed an overstep and he cut himself, but the more I look at it (and both vet and farrier agree its a strong possibility) it appears the new, stronger foot is tearing away from the weeker underslung heels.
                      IMO, wrong on all counts. That looks like an old gravel that has grown down sufficiently to cause the wall below the vent to pull away because there is nothing to hold it in place. Betcha' a dollar against a donut hole that if you resected what is essentially now a 'hang nail' you'd find a whole bunch of environmental crud under that wall. And, for a mechanic who knows what s/he is doing, that is not difficult to manage/repair.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had great results from McCauley's BioTime supplement. Really helped to speed up hoof (and mane and tail) growth. Big improvement in hoof quality as well.

                        I'm clueless about what you need for shoeing and structure but if you can get good quality growth at least you might have something to work with.

                        I found the BioTime much more effective than the Farriers Formula. Just my experience.

                        http://www.mccauleybros.com/suppleme...?catID=biotime
                        Last edited by mswillie; Nov. 9, 2012, 08:18 PM. Reason: added link
                        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What Rick said. Really, you need a different farrier. If it makes you feel any better, in my experience, MANY are not capable of properly shoeing a low heel, long heel/toe TB.

                          So I too have a super quality TB with similar type feet. What has worked for him is pulling back the breakover of his toe as far as possible, a proper, balanced trim, not trimming a ton of sole and rim pads.

                          Your horse needs pads. Here's why: thin soled TBs get foot sore from the shoes. The shoes are too hard and put painful pressure on the feet-aka "horse is sensitive to sole pressure".

                          Thick leather is a good choice, we use No-Vibes on my guy. I have had much better luck with rim pads than pour in pads. My horse reacted to the pressure from the pour in pads. With rim pads I can use durasole (which really works IMO) and magic cushion if I need it. We also just use a regular shoe, one foot has a 1 degree wedge no-vibe pad.

                          My nice young horse went from being crippled lame to being an event horse with a change in farrier. Ask your friends or some one you see at a show who's horse has feet like yours who they use for a blacksmith.
                          Unrepentant carb eater

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The photos could be very deceiving but what they appear to show combined with what you have described, you seem to have some metabolic issues going on with that horse.

                            Until those issues are managed, it is going to be nearly impossible for any farrier to make progress.

                            Also realize my opinion will be in the minority...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What Rick said. Jumper, in your first post you said the right was worse than the left. To me, they are both equally bad Those are both very underrun heels. When I look at the new growth at the coronet band I see no reason why this horse can't have good feet.

                              He needs a better trim One that will bring his heels way back and address that forward running toe.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Jumper_girl- I feel your pain. I have an OTTB who's fabulous and a really good girl, but feet that are similar to your guy's. I have been through a couple farriers- one of the "old school" and one Natural Balance farrier and now I'm working with another Natural Balance farrier who's a better personality fit for my horse (different story). I have enlisted the help of "virtual" farriers and trimmers in order to fix my horse. My girl has similar sole depth (though actually LOST sole depth over the summer!!! I think from not having frog support), sore feet, and because one of her feet has virtually no heel, and what heel she has is underrun, some navicular pain in that hoof. My mare lost a shoe last April for a week (farrier couldn't get out to put it back on) and during that time her foot pancaked. Sound familiar? In hindsight, she likely had no strong, healthy, support in her hoof and the internal arch collapsed, at least this is the thought of a few trimmers I've talked with. I've never seen anything like it. After trying so hard to fix her with shoes on, I've pulled her shoes and her feet are casted. After the casts come off, I'll boot her. This way I can keep on top of the toe myself, with quick trims every few days and that should help the heel. I'll still have to have a professional trimmer come out who really knows what they're doing to take the heels back etc . I really didn't want to have to go barefoot with her, but I was at the end of my rope, and wasn't confident that just changing farriers again would fix her, with the available farriers in my area. Plus, she has really crappy walls and not much to nail to. Well, really nothing to nail to, so the other option was glue-ons. It's a long process and it sucks. I wish hoof changes happened faster! Anyway, I'm happy to share any more of my horse's trials and tribulations if it'll help. FWIW: She's actually doing better barefoot than I thought she would. Good luck!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It is very tough to re-home horses these days. I think I might be considering a bone scan or MRI his feet. Possibly a good vet school could figure out a plan for management. Or if you have a really good vet shoeing the horse using radiographs may help assist in appropriate shoeing.

                                  Good luck!
                                  Last edited by Fharoah; Nov. 10, 2012, 05:17 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    or you could just address his metabolic issues.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think this horse just needs a different farrier! It boggles my mind why shoeing should be so complex.

                                      Vets IMHO are not qualified to instruct farriers. Just from my experience
                                      Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                                      Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                                      Take us to print!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by leahandpie View Post
                                        I think this horse just needs a different farrier! It boggles my mind why shoeing should be so complex.

                                        Vets IMHO are not qualified to instruct farriers. Just from my experience
                                        leahandpie- I agree. I'm not sure if it's that vets have so much information to cover in vet school, coupled with them not being trained to trim/shoe, they don't always know what's best for the horse. I had two vets look at my mare and neither were very helpful in recommending shoeing/trimming changes. Radiographs, OTOH seem to always be a good idea and trimming based on rads, for my horse, anyway, has been the best way to improve her feet and evaluate progress. (though expensive, cha ching!)

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