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Front hooves feel very warm

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  • Front hooves feel very warm

    Our pony was just standing at the gate, which she usually never does, and that surprised me since I had just given them fresh hay not too long ago, so I went over to check her out and found that her front hooves are pretty warm. I don't know the exact body part names w/out looking it up, but I can feel warmth where the hair is right above where the hoof starts, and the front of the hooves. I felt her hinds and they felt cool, and felt the horse's for comparison also, and all 4 of his are cool.

    She was just trimmed on Wednesday and it's possible she was trimmed a little too short, I thought she was walking a little slowly when I turned her out Thurs morning.

    Could that be it? I was thinking of trying to get a hold of the farrier to see what he thinks.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Could be a response to being trimmed too short. If they're significantly warmer than the hinds I'd get her front feet in buckets of ice water & call the vet. Anytime someone says they've got feet that are warm like that I think laminitis. Even if you just run the situation by your vet on the phone - the vet can make the call whether or not she needs to be seen.

    Comment


    • #3
      The trim would have had to be VERY short (and probably included sole carving out) to bring on that response.

      How fresh is that hay? Was it soaked? It may be just a wee bit high in sugar, so the body is reacting.

      Ditto the cold hosing or icing of those feetsies now.
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Another vote here for 1) cold hosing/icing the hooves and 2) a quick call in to the vet. Good luck and let us know she's doing!
        In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

        Rest in peace, my sweet man

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd be on with the vet immediately.

          For now, cool those hooves off by soaking in ice water. Has she ever foundered before?

          If your pony has foundered before or your vet thinks she's at risk, I would keep a pair of these on hand: Ice Boots just to have them in case she seems to be having an issue. It's much easier than having them stand in ice water, and they overnight them for free because people are usually buying them last-minute, so that's helpful for now as well.

          Good luck… please keep us all updated!
          Last edited by esdressage; Jan. 29, 2010, 11:53 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            The trim would have had to be VERY short (and probably included sole carving out) to bring on that response.
            Not necessarily. A very conservative trim on a borderline laminitic foot can bring on that response. Or trimming the wall too short in the toe without trimming out retained sole.
            How fresh is that hay? Was it soaked? It may be just a wee bit high in sugar, so the body is reacting.
            Agree, and too rich sugary hay ,can set of laminitis. This could be particularly an issue if it was added to the diet at a similar time as the trim occurred.
            Ditto the cold hosing or icing of those feetsies now.
            I do not believe that icing or cold hosing after the first few hours of discomfort does much. (It can't hurt but there are much better things to do to relieve the problem mechanically. Wrapping, taping or booting on protective padding and support such as a high density foam usually achieves immediate increase in comfort level and decrease in pain.

            And get the vet out to take some blood work to see if your pony is insulin resistant or has other metabolic issues.
            Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
            Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
            www.hoofcareonline.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you very much for the responses. I just got back from being over at the barn for awhile. I did call the farrier, he told me the trim was was no shorter than usual, but could be the combo of the hard ground and a recent trim.

              No, she has never foundered before, we've always been told she has good hooves and doesn't have the body build (cresty neck?) to be prone to it. She is a Chincoteague Pony. We have no grass right now, just dormant grass, so they are eating hay both during turnout and at night in the stalls, and she gets a very small amount of grain, maybe a cup, morning and night. Nothing is different other than I put a different bag of shavings in her stall last night, just in the back part, so not all over, that I haven't bought before, but they say pine shavings, animal bedding, so I can't think there is a problem with that.

              The hay is, IMO, not great quality, but they've been eating it for awhile now.

              I will call the vet right now. Unfortunately we don't have much of a relationship with any vets here, we have had them out a couple of times, but that's it, haven't been living here that long. And on top of it, major snow storm is coming shortly (in TN so don't get much snow). I don't know if they would even come out.

              Oh, almost forget to mention, I took her in the barn as I thought I would try putting venus turpentine on her hooves in case she was sore from the trim. I had a better chance to feel around, and I think I felt that pulse that you are supposed to look for? When I put my hand around the right front, right above the hoof (coronet band), I could definitely feel a pretty fast pulse. Tried the other front and couldn't feel it. Tried that front again and felt it, though not quite as quick as the first time.
              That's not a good sign, is it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gryhnd View Post
                No, she has never foundered before, we've always been told she has good hooves and doesn't have the body build (cresty neck?) to be prone to it.
                It's nice that she's built well, but any horse or pony can founder. I hope you're cooling the hooves, and I've also heard that getting them onto soft footing, such as in a thickly padded stall of shavings, is a good thing. Also, nothing to eat for now while you see what's happening.

                IF it is founder, the faster you can get things right, the less damage you will deal with later.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Just got off w/ the vet's office. No vet is available to speak to me now, I have to wait for a return call (this is not just equine, but regular small animal practice - that's all there is around here...).

                  I explained everything to the receptionist/tech. I asked if I should put her feet in cold water and she exclaimed "NO!". I said really? I thought that was a good idea when they are warm. She said no, not in this weather (it is 26 degrees). She said the treatment may be banamine paste to help w/ inflammation (which I would have to go get so she wouldn't have it for a few hours, even after I talk to the vet).

                  Ugh. I do not have alot of faith in the vets around here, they seem much different than what we were used to in NJ. They do not have as much equine experience.

                  So if I follow her advice until they call me back, then I guess that means no ice/water, that does seem hard to believe, doesn't it?

                  So...it would be best to put her in her stall then and not let her keep walking around outside?
                  With water but no hay?

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok 26 degrees...yeah that's chilly. I'd leave her out in a small paddock so her feet can be kept naturally cool. I'd do as Patty suggested too....find some foam or old garden kneeling pads and cut them to shape.....tape on with duct tape to keep her comfy.
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                      Not necessarily. A very conservative trim on a borderline laminitic foot can bring on that response. Or trimming the wall too short in the toe without trimming out retained sole.
                      Agree, and too rich sugary hay ,can set of laminitis. This could be particularly an issue if it was added to the diet at a similar time as the trim occurred.
                      I do not believe that icing or cold hosing after the first few hours of discomfort does much. (It can't hurt but there are much better things to do to relieve the problem mechanically. Wrapping, taping or booting on protective padding and support such as a high density foam usually achieves immediate increase in comfort level and decrease in pain.

                      And get the vet out to take some blood work to see if your pony is insulin resistant or has other metabolic issues.
                      Didn't see this post when I just posted.

                      She's not really acting like she is in any discomfort. I do think she walked out of the barn a little slowly on Thurs, which I attributed to perhaps being sore from the trim on Wed, I have seen that happen before, and possibly was a little slow today also.
                      To my eyes, her hooves look pretty short, but the farrier said he did no shorter than usual.
                      She's 10 y/o, we've done bloodwork on her twice over the years just to have baseline, not when anything was wrong, and everything has always been normal, but of course things could have changed.
                      She is a little thinner than she normally is.
                      I don't think the hay is very fresh, I'm not that happy with it to begin with. It's often more brownish than greenish.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hmm. I'm very far from a laminitis expert, but I'd think that even in this cold weather you need to cool her feet down. That might mean cold water, ice packs, or having her stand in a snow bank, but I feel like that's pretty important. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will weigh in momentarily. Good luck and jingles for your girl.
                        In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

                        Rest in peace, my sweet man

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's a page with some info for you. Here's what it says about icing (and note what it says about warm feet with strong digital pulses, like you've mentioned):

                          "To wait and see if foot pain is the sequel to a metabolic crisis is to miss the most important opportunity to prevent or reduce laminitis. If you think that your horse or pony is developing laminitis and the feet are warm with strong digital pulses. Bath the feet in ice and water now. Keep ice floating in the water at all times and continue this as often as practical e.g., 15 - 30 minutes every few hours for several days."

                          Here's the whole thing: http://www.farriervet.com/laminitis.html

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thank you Esdressage.
                            Just talked to the vet. He said it does sound like could be beginnings of laminitis from the trim. He wanted me to put her in her stall on alot of shavings (which I was getting ready to do anyway) since the ground is hard outside, and come pick up some Bute (unfortunately all we have is several yrs old so afraid to rely on it).

                            I asked about icing/cold water and he said yes, that wouldn't hurt, but more important to come get the Bute first and get that started, then I can try the cold water afterwards. As to turning out tomorrow, if we have enough snow that the ground is soft, that might be okay, but otherwise he feels better she is in the stall on softer footing.

                            So I guess I get the Bute then try ice water (is there any danger to her, lowering her body temp or anything, when it is this cold out?). I could try running a hose outside on her for a few minutes, but our water may stop running if it stays cold.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have far more experience with laminitis than I care to think about. Cold-hosing is great to get the heat down, but one other thing I have done is to fill the long gloves vets use for their "internal exams" with ice cubes and use the finger part to tie it so it lays on the affected hoof. Bute definately helps, but I found that I had to use banamine some when it was reallly bad. Of course both bute and banamine can create other bad situations. If your horse is barefoot, you can make pads out of thick styrofoam and tape them to the bottoms of the feet. This cushioning helps a lot with the pain. If the horse is shod, it helps to pull the shoes sometimes,m but that info needs to come from a vet who has actually seen the animal. Keeping the animal confined in deep shavings or straw also helps with comfort. The trick with laminitis is to catch it and treat it early so there is little or no rotation of the coffin bone. It may be related to the trim and may not be, it is pretty impossible to know. Both insulin resistance (which my mare has) and Cushings can cause founder. You might want to consider testing for those, although there is a danger in some of the tests they do in the casse of active laminitis. I have know people who medicate for Cushings without the test when a horse gets laminitis. It is my understanding there is no down side to that (except in the pocketbook). I can't even imagine what I would do if I could not get a vet out quickly. I am lucky and we have lots of vets who will come out almost immediately, plus a number of "horse hospitals" we can trailer to. Good luck, and please let us know how the pony does.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Is only 2 kinds of ponies, Those that have foundered and those who will.....

                                Ok I know that's not funny under the circumstances but yes get a vet out there immediately. This is serious as a heart attack and is an emergency. Tell your vet do not walk but run there. If it is laminitis the pony needs drugs at this point.

                                5 Deadliest words are "Lets just wait and see"

                                Get a vet out there NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by NoBSshoer View Post

                                  Get a vet out there NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                  I have to ask, what do you REALLY think a vet is going to do??? I've had horses founder, I've had vets out. They don't do a damn thing but say 'yep, she's foundered' or 'I don't know, maybe it's a bruise'. The protocol is the same, bute, cold hose, wrap the feet.

                                  The only reason I would ever have a vet out for laminitis/founder is to take x-rays. Otherwise, what in the world would they do that they won't tell you to do over the phone? Maybe your vets are different than my vets, but I've dealt with founder quite a bit on one mare of mine, had 4 different vets dealing with her during the years she kept foundering, and none told me any differently, none did anything differently, there's no magic pill or magic wand that's going to stop it. Now, if it's getting into the feed room type thing I know they can do activated charcoal but other than that, again, what will they do??

                                  Really, not trying to be argumentative I just wanna know why folks scream about getting the vet out when a horse founders. What do your vets do differently than mine??? I'd wait until the worst has passed (while buting, cold hosing, stabilizing the foot), then get x-rays and get farrier and vet together and go from there. That's just me.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Get those feet in ice water!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by rodawn
                                      Jaime, I have to agree with you, but only if someone has experience with laminitis (or other medical situations). For those who have this as a first episode, it really is best to get a vet out to have a look-see and then get detailed instructions. On the internet, we can't tell who really has experienced what, so people cover their butts when they shout, "call a vet!"

                                      Once you've experienced laminitis (or choke, or colic or, or, or, or....), you never forget the symptoms and immediately you remember the treatment protocol and go from there.
                                      Good point. I guess I've just gotten it so embedded in my head what the protocol is for it, I dang sure don't call the vet anymore. But yeah, if it's a first time experience, calling a vet is a good idea. Like you say, once you go through those situations you never forget

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thank you for everyone's advice.

                                        The vet is definitely not coming out today, we are in the middle of a snowstorm and this area rarely gets them, so doesn't have adequate resources to deal with it. And yeah, the vet problem here is very frustrating (I won't go into detail on the problem we had when we first moved here and a vet refused to come out for an emerg call -our horse ended up dying - though I would not say it was from lack of the vet coming - but it sure would have made me feel a helluva lot better to know that a vet was on his way).

                                        I got the Bute from the vet's office before the storm got worse. What he told me over the phone was:
                                        1 gm 2x daily first day, then 3/4 gm 2x daily 2nd day...
                                        She weighs roughly 700-750lbs.

                                        I did get her foot in a bucket of cold water for a few minutes, but not very long. I am going to try again.

                                        Her stall is deeply bedded.

                                        I just don't know about the hay, never bought hay before this last year so I'm not an expert by any means. If it would be on the safe side to soak it, I can certainly do that - how long does it need to soak?

                                        I do feel we should have meds on hand, so if we called the vet and they said, okay, give them this (like today), we'd at least have it here, but I don't know how they would feel about just giving you a stockpile of meds at a time when no one needs it. We were given bute by a vet once before for a different horse, and that is why we had a large bottle left over from several years ago.

                                        I put her on the crossties about 2 hrs ago to give her the bute and feel her feet again. The front of her hooves are still warm, but I did not feel the pulse that I felt earlier today.

                                        Also, as soon as I put her on the ties, she immediately took her weight off one hind leg, resting it. I think that seems like a sign that she is not in much, if any discomfort, if she would take weight off a hind, right? It is only the front hooves that are warm, not the hind.

                                        She really isn't acting like she is in discomfort, she will move around without hesitation, the only thing was that, like I said, she came out of the stall a little slowly Thurs morning and probably this morning too, which I attributed to maybe being a little sore from the trim. It's possible her hooves were warm yesterday too, I just don't know. But for the most part, she is standing/acting normal.

                                        I am the type of person that doesn't hesitate to have the vet out if I feel there is a problem, I don't profess to know much about horse's health, and the situation here w/ the vets makes me extremely uneasy. We have no horse friends in the area either, so there is no one to ask that can look at my horse with me. That's one reason why I find COTH so helpful.

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