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Why can't he grow heel?! Getting despondent! PICS ADDED 9/22/07 1st Post

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Just for an appetizer....

    These are pictures of Shane's feet back when he initially came up lame... before he went to New Bolton.

    After a battery of tests, he was shod at New Bolton with glue ons up front, but they didn't shoe him behind or say anything about the hinds.

    Okay, so these are old pictures (and crappy ones)... but they're from when he started to become lame. He's got even "less" heel now.

    http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y19...Hoof%20Photos/

    I'll post ones that are current (and hopefully BETTER) this weekend....
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

    Comment


    • #22
      I have a TB just like the OP. He used to have a under run heels. Keeping the heel backed up is helping and the shoe backed up is helping (under his toe just a bit). But his biggest problem is he simply has soft hoof wall and doesn't grow a lot of foot. And yes, he's been on every supplement and has been on farrier's formula, the loading dose, for over a year. It's him. What has helped the most is to use glue or a leather rim pad between the shoe and the hoofwall. It seems to protect his heel from wearing on the steel as much.

      I will not recommend barefoot because I know how sore my own horse gets w/out his shoes. I will not put him through that when he is sound in shoes. My other horses are either barefoot and/or have their shoes pulled for 4 months of the year, so I am not "anti barefoot" either.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        For the record, I don't care if Shane is shod, shoeless, or has his feet dipped in fairty dust each month-- I just want him comfortable. He has, in the past, been deemed "not a great candidate" for going shoeless, as he has pretty soft feet (and won't, so far, eat any hoof supplement reliably despite otherwise being a greedy pig-horse). I am somewhat limited in my farrier choices because I board and don't have a trailer-- so I would need someone to come to me and not vice versa. Otherwise, I'm happy to try anything that might work.
        ~Veronica
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
          For the record, I don't care if Shane is shod, shoeless, or has his feet dipped in fairty dust each month-- I just want him comfortable. He has, in the past, been deemed "not a great candidate" for going shoeless, as he has pretty soft feet (and won't, so far, eat any hoof supplement reliably despite otherwise being a greedy pig-horse). I am somewhat limited in my farrier choices because I board and don't have a trailer-- so I would need someone to come to me and not vice versa. Otherwise, I'm happy to try anything that might work.
          Hoof supplements target outer wall horn growth, which is not suffficient. Outer wall makes the foot look pretty but it does nothing to support the internal structures, which are far more important. The hoof is made up of bone, conntective tissue, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, fascia, myoxoid tissue, etc. Feeding a hoof supplement doesn't even come close to touching the structures that really matter. Feeding a good joint and soft tissue supplement is much more effective.

          By "having soft feet" do you mean soles, outer wall, frog, etc.? What part exactly is soft? Building good foot structure takes rehabilitation - just like treating any other ailing part of the body. Feet are a product of their diet, environment, and exercise routine.

          Whether you choose shoes, or shoeless, building good foot structure is a must.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
            Hoof supplements target outer wall horn growth, which is not suffficient. Outer wall makes the foot look pretty but it does nothing to support the internal structures, which are far more important. The hoof is made up of bone, conntective tissue, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, fascia, myoxoid tissue, etc. Feeding a hoof supplement doesn't even come close to touching the structures that really matter. Feeding a good joint and soft tissue supplement is much more effective.

            By "having soft feet" do you mean soles, outer wall, frog, etc.? What part exactly is soft? Building good foot structure takes rehabilitation - just like treating any other ailing part of the body. Feet are a product of their diet, environment, and exercise routine.

            Whether you choose shoes, or shoeless, building good foot structure is a must.
            From the time I got Shane until the time he was turned out/retired-- he was also getting monthly Adequan for his joints. For a brief period, we also tried Legend. I tried feed through supplements, both Farrier's Formula and a joint formula-- he would eat them for 2-3 days and then go off food. I just bought a tub of Glanzen at the BO/vet's suggestion and I am going to see if I can get him to eat that.

            I believe, although I admit ignorance on this issue, that it is his outer wall that is thin and soft. The front feet were x-rayed both by my local vet and by New Bolton and they were both surprised with how thin the wall was. Plus, he once put his foot down during being shod, when his shoe was off, and chipped the wall the tiniest bit. It immediately began to bleed. So I would have to say it's the outer wall that's thin.
            ~Veronica
            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

            Comment


            • #26
              I can't speak for the OP, but when I say soft feet, I am talking about my horse's hoof wall. The farrier says he can feel the difference (soft versus hard) when he puts in a nail. My horse doesn't hold nails well, the walls are prone to chipping, cracking and wear. He has a thick sole, according to Xray and he has a thick, healthy looking frog. His walls aren't thin, either. Hoof wall consists of crosslinked proteins. If the crosslinking is weak (genetically or environmentally caused) you can have soft hoof walls.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                From the time I got Shane until the time he was turned out/retired-- he was also getting monthly Adequan for his joints. For a brief period, we also tried Legend. I tried feed through supplements, both Farrier's Formula and a joint formula-- he would eat them for 2-3 days and then go off food. I just bought a tub of Glanzen at the BO/vet's suggestion and I am going to see if I can get him to eat that.

                I believe, although I admit ignorance on this issue, that it is his outer wall that is thin and soft. The front feet were x-rayed both by my local vet and by New Bolton and they were both surprised with how thin the wall was. Plus, he once put his foot down during being shod, when his shoe was off, and chipped the wall the tiniest bit. It immediately began to bleed. So I would have to say it's the outer wall that's thin.
                There is no need to check wall thickness on an xray. All you have to do is turn the foot over. Are you sure they weren't checking sole thickness? Sole thickness is checked via xray.

                It is physically impossible for a tiny chip in the outer wall to bleed, as there is no dermal layer to bleed, down at the ground level. This tiny little chip would have to have been one heck of a chunk removed probably 1/3 or so the way up the wall in order to bleed. Horses can chunk out their quarters in 1" or better pieces and there's no blood.

                Also, I don't believe I've ever heard of an outer wall so thin that it bleeds when chipped. There is inner and outer wall, and even on the crappiest feet, there is sufficient wall to protect the dermal layer. There may not be enough to hold shoes, but there is certainly enough that it won't bleed if bumped or chipped!

                Are you sure it wasn't bleeding from the sole?

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by millerra View Post
                  I can't speak for the OP, but when I say soft feet, I am talking about my horse's hoof wall. The farrier says he can feel the difference (soft versus hard) when he puts in a nail. My horse doesn't hold nails well, the walls are prone to chipping, cracking and wear. He has a thick sole, according to Xray and he has a thick, healthy looking frog. His walls aren't thin, either. Hoof wall consists of crosslinked proteins. If the crosslinking is weak (genetically or environmentally caused) you can have soft hoof walls.
                  What do you mean by crosslinked proteins? I've never heard of that. Inner and outer wall cells are organized differently, as inner wall is a softer more pliable structure to absorb shock, while the outer wall is a harder structure meant for protection. Inner wall cellular bond is more random and disorganized while outer wall celluar bond is extremely organized and consistent.

                  Diet, environment, and stimuls are responsible for the health of hooves. Horses aren't "just that way" genetically. Yes, obviously horses are genetically different and so will all their strcutures be, but they can be improved dramatically by altering certain hoof care methods.

                  One great help for reducing chipping and cracking is to use an 80 grit sanding block to sand the bottom 1/3 of the hoof after trimming. (or anything that was cut with the rasp.) Rasping cuts tubules open and sanding burnishes them shut. Since I started sanding my girls' hooves, I've not had even the tiniest sand crack or chip. This has been in nearly a year now. Even in the wettest environment. Tubules are exactly what they sound like - tubes which can take on moisture if left open.

                  This is the same thing a dentist does with the tubules in your teeth. Once they are cut open, they must be burnished and filled shut again to avoid infiltration. I trim my dentist's horses and when he asked me why I was using a sanding block, I told him about the tubules. He popped up and said "Oh yeah! That's the same thing we have to do to teeth....blah blah." So I learned something new that day. I guess that was a backup to what I was taught in podiatry school.

                  I did a 35 mile endurance ride - barefoot - and the 2 vets commented that I was the only one to attempt it barefoot. At the end of the race they were completely flaberghasted by the fact that my 2 mares (one ridden by someone else) didn't even have the tiniest chip after all those miles, many of them on gravel. They said that some of the shod horses even had some serious structure missing after all those miles.

                  I just shake my head that people continue to just accept bad feed as a way of life. It's NOT. Believe me.

                  Any minute now, some of the farriers here will probably chime in and tell you that I'm full of bullshit. Whatever. The proof is in the puddin.' I encourage you to visit www.perfecthoofclub.com and ask your questions there as well. You'll hear many stories of horses whose feet have drastically improved by their owners learning about hoof structure and how to positively affect its growth.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                    There is no need to check wall thickness on an xray. All you have to do is turn the foot over. Are you sure they weren't checking sole thickness? Sole thickness is checked via xray.

                    It is physically impossible for a tiny chip in the outer wall to bleed, as there is no dermal layer to bleed, down at the ground level. This tiny little chip would have to have been one heck of a chunk removed probably 1/3 or so the way up the wall in order to bleed. Horses can chunk out their quarters in 1" or better pieces and there's no blood.

                    Also, I don't believe I've ever heard of an outer wall so thin that it bleeds when chipped. There is inner and outer wall, and even on the crappiest feet, there is sufficient wall to protect the dermal layer. There may not be enough to hold shoes, but there is certainly enough that it won't bleed if bumped or chipped!

                    Are you sure it wasn't bleeding from the sole?

                    I've both admitted and demonstrated my ignorance of feet. All I know is that I was there and he pulled his foot out of the farrier's hand and put it down. Got a little chip on the very very front of the hoof, and it began to bleed like crazy. I thought, at least it LOOKED, like the chip was in the hoof wall but perhaps it was the sole?! And the x-rays could have been of the soles as well, though I can *recall* being told he had thin hoof walls. Perhaps it's both?!
                    ~Veronica
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Then there was a definite problem going on. Bleeding from a tiny chip in the hoof wall is absolutely not normal. And again, it's physically impossible unless dermal layer is involved, and if that's the case then it's a much bigger issue than a tiny chip. Hoof wall at the ground level is not a vascular structure. Like cutting hair or fingernails. It is physically impossible for your hair to bleed when its cut unless part of your scalp goes with it.

                      What did your farrier tell you when it happened? Was it an abscess? Was the horse lame on it? Did you call the vet? Was it a hot nail?

                      No worries, I'm not trying to be ugly, just trying to help out if I can. Hooves are very complex structures.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        I sincerely appreciate the help and realize it's pretty hard to offer any through the internet without recent pictures...

                        <<Then there was a definite problem going on. Bleeding from a tiny chip in the hoof wall is absolutely not normal. And again, it's physically impossible unless dermal layer is involved, and if that's the case then it's a much bigger issue than a tiny chip. Hoof wall at the ground level is not a vascular structure. Like cutting hair or fingernails. It is physically impossible for your hair to bleed when its cut unless part of your scalp goes with it.

                        What did your farrier tell you when it happened? Was it an abscess? Was the horse lame on it? Did you call the vet? Was it a hot nail?>>

                        Well, I almost fainted because I am so surprised and scared. The last thing I expect a HOOF to do is bleed. The farrier immediately grabbed betadyine and a cotton swab and we held that over the chip until the bleeding stopped. She was concerned about that and commented that he had very thin (I thought it was hoof walls but perhaps it was foot soles). Shane didn't seem particularly bothered and continued to put weight on the foot. She ended up shoeing him with a little piece of gauze on the cut, and said the gauze would wear off/fall off in a few days-- which it did.

                        Shane was never lame on that foot and it was not an abscess. No nails had been put in at this time. All the farrier had done was REMOVE the old shoe when Shane put his foot down (unexpectedly and somewhat hard) and chipped his foot. She had not yet even trimmed him or began putting on the new shoe. So it wouldn't have been a hot nail or anything like that. Shane has had MANY an abscess in his life. All very minor and resolved within a few days with soaking and wrapping. Only once has a farrier ever "cut" one open, and that was several years ago. I did not call the vet out when the incident happened as Shane seemed perfectly fine/sound and the bleeding stopped pretty quickly.
                        ~Veronica
                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          hoof wall is made of alpha keratin, consisting of twisted "coiled coil" a-helical structure crosslined by disulfide bonds. It is what makes up, chemically, the hoof wall. It is produced by cells up in the coronary bond. The rigidity and hardness of the hoofwall is, in part, influenced by the chemical structures that make up the wall itself. This chemical structure is, in part, genetically determined and therefore, genetics themselves have an influence on the rigidity or softness of the wall itself. This is not to say the environment has no effect on the hardness/softness of the hoofwall - but to say instead that there is a genetic component to the structure of the hoofwall.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Yes, I've read Pollitt's studies too. I didn't know what you meant by cross linked proteins. I agree with you that there is a genetic component. Of course there is. Every cell of our body has a genetic component.

                            Only the outer wall is extremely rigid. The innermost wall, having a much higher moisture content, is more pliable.

                            And yes, I agree that while genetics play a part, so does management. People try to "overcome genetics" by shoeing horses, so why not try to overcome genetics by amending husbandry practices?

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              From your old pictures, Shane definatly has heel but it is just underrun. His front feet look like they are being made to fit into a smaller shoe than he should be in, but thats just my feeling and I am in no way an expert.

                              Not to highjack the thread, but I currently have a shoeless horse, I do not say barefoot as he is not being seen by a barefoot trimmer or anything, and he definatly has the long toe and crushed underrun toe, but it is accompanied by a long pastern and sloping angle, so when he is close to being done, you can see the stress on his tendons. Although it has gotten much better since I have had him. I guess I just wish his heels would come back and grow underneath him to support him would happen fast and do not want to destroy his tendons in the in between. He is perfectly sound now and does not seem to be bothered by this, but I worry about his tendons. My farrier and I have talked at length about shoes or no shoes. My farrier says no shoes, so we can keep his trim up. As of last week, we have decided to put him on a 4 weeks trim schedule to really keep up with his trim to see if this will help him. Does this sound like a good idea? Or should I get him in shoes to support his tendons?
                              I love cats, I love every single cat....
                              So anyway I am a cat lover
                              And I love to run.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Auventera Two in gray, deletia

                                Outer wall makes the foot look pretty but it does nothing to support the internal structures, which are far more important.

                                Hoof wall does nothing to support the internal structures? This will come as a distinct surprise to most equine anatomists who are under the impression that the hoof is composed of tubules of keratinized epithelial cells which arise from the coronary corium and are an extension of the epidermis. Epidermal laminae are attached to dermal laminae arising from the dermal corium of the third phalanx and the column of bones is literally suspended by the laminae within the hoof capsule, not primarily supported from the bottom by the sole and frog.

                                Doubts?

                                Consider the etiology of catastrophic laminar dysfunction in which the second and third phalanges literally sink into the hoof capsule, severely compressing all those structures distal to the third phalanx, sometimes to the point of causing pressure necrosis. If primary support came from the bottom of the hoof capsule, sinkers would be a matter of little consequence and pressure necroses would not be a possibility.

                                Feet are a product of their diet, environment, and exercise routine.


                                Feet are a product of DNA and environment - diet and exercise are part and parcel to the beast's environment.

                                Whether you choose shoes, or shoeless, building good foot structure is a must.

                                No matter what one feeds or how much one exercises one's horses, one cannot "build" structure beyond the limits set by the horse's DNA and mankind does not often breed horses for feet, he usually breeds them for purpose.
                                Tom Stovall, CJF
                                No me preguntes cualquier preguntas, yo te diré no mentiras.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I'll give you my two cents and that's pretty much what it's worth

                                  The horse seems to have long toes and underrun heels. There may be other things going on as well that have made him uncomfortable, but I'll echo an earlier poster who suggested that anything you do to try to make him more comfortable won't have much of an effect until you start getting the hoof-trim more correct and balanced.

                                  It may be that the horse "naturally" has hooves that grow this way as others have suggested. Unfortunately, (and this comment is aimed at farriers that I dealt with who worked on my horse and not at anyone on this board) the "the hooves grow that way naturally" thesis is often an excuse for doing nothing more than just slapping shoes on the horse, packing up the truck, collecting the check, and heading on up the driveway to the next appointment.

                                  So, I have no doubt that there are farriers in the world who could perform a shoeing job on your horse that might help correct the imbalances. But, in my limited experience, those farriers may be *very* hard to find.

                                  One other at least potential problem with trying to address this problem with shoes is that you will likely have to put the horse on a 4 week (at most) schedule, and if the shoeing job is costing you $150-$200 per visit, I think a lot of people find that recurring expense hard to carry.

                                  There are certainly ill-taught or incompetent barefoot trimmers as well. And that is one reason why it behooves you to do as much research as possible, so that you can ask reasonable questions when you're calling around trying to find someone new, and while you're standing there holding the horse as the farrier/trimmer works.

                                  With barefoot trims, the horse will probably also be on a short schedule, but the cost is usually lower, and many people (not me!) learn to rasp the hooves just as touch-ups in between visits.

                                  For the transition to barefoot hoof boots are a great invention. Well worth the investment both in money and in the development of the (minimal) skill needed to put them on. Keratex is also worth the investment.

                                  As far as the Glanzen goes, be aware that Horsetech will add flavorings to the supplement (and they have something like 8 different ones to choose from).

                                  Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
                                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Tom Stovall View Post
                                    Auventera Two in gray, deletia

                                    Outer wall makes the foot look pretty but it does nothing to support the internal structures, which are far more important.

                                    Hoof wall does nothing to support the internal structures? This will come as a distinct surprise to most equine anatomists <snip> ...
                                    You're right Tom. I'm sure I wasn't clear enough. Obviously I do not believe that the outer wall does nothing whatsoever to support internal structure. What I meant was that we cannot focus entirely on the outer wall and ignore all other structures. Too often horse owners want to target the outer wall because that's all they see, that's all they are aware of, and that's what looks pretty. Too much focus is put on this ONE structure while ignoring the massive amount of soft tissue and bone that makes up the foot.

                                    Of course the outer wall is important and serves an important function. The functions it provides according to applied equine podiatry are a bit different than in traditional farriery and barefoot trimming, as we believe the foot stores and utilizes energy. I won't go into this debate because it's way off topic. But I agree with you, that the outer wall is indeed very important.

                                    I just wasn't clear in my point that we can't target ONLY the outer wall to the exclusion of all else.


                                    Feet are a product of DNA and environment - diet and exercise are part and parcel to the beast's environment.
                                    I'm sure you agree that management practices can make or break feet, regardless of genetics. No? My Arabian goes totally bare (no boots) I would say 90% of the time that I ride. I do boot if we've had soggy wet and I want to take her to a ride with rocks. I believe it's my duty to provide protection when I choose to engage in an extreme sport. In the wild, she wouldn't be trotting over 40 miles on soggy soles. I choose to ask her to do this, so I also choose to provide the needed protection.

                                    When I got this horse she had terrible feet due to mismanagement. Soft, weak, rotated hoof capsule, thrush. She lived in water logged manure lots.

                                    She now has excellent feet, obviously. If left in that environment she would have probably needed corrective shoeing and her feet would never have held up like they do now. 35 to 40 miles over challenging terrain without a chip is excellent. It's all about environment and management.

                                    Genetic is a player, obviously, but lets not discount our management practices either.

                                    No matter what one feeds or how much one exercises one's horses, one cannot "build" structure beyond the limits set by the horse's DNA and mankind does not often breed horses for feet, he usually breeds them for purpose.
                                    I agree to some extent, certainly. But I also don't make excuses for poor management. I believe that many of our domestic horses have much higher potential than what we give them credit for. We want to make excuses for our diet and environment and we want to blame the resultant mess on genetics.

                                    Note - I am NOT in any way saying that the original poster, or anyone else here, doesn't know how to manage their horses. In fact, I don't know at all how they're managed. I'm just making general comments, and those comments are directed at myself also. Believe me, I am my own harshest critic.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Beethoven View Post

                                      Not to highjack the thread, but I currently have a shoeless horse, I do not say barefoot as he is not being seen by a barefoot trimmer or anything, and he definatly has the long toe and crushed underrun toe, but it is accompanied by a long pastern and sloping angle, so when he is close to being done, you can see the stress on his tendons. Although it has gotten much better since I have had him. I guess I just wish his heels would come back and grow underneath him to support him would happen fast and do not want to destroy his tendons in the in between. He is perfectly sound now and does not seem to be bothered by this, but I worry about his tendons. My farrier and I have talked at length about shoes or no shoes. My farrier says no shoes, so we can keep his trim up. As of last week, we have decided to put him on a 4 weeks trim schedule to really keep up with his trim to see if this will help him. Does this sound like a good idea? Or should I get him in shoes to support his tendons?
                                      I'm not sure if you want my opinion or not, but I'll give it anyway. Long, sloping pasterns are conformational. You can't do much to change this about your horse. And this type of conformation does contribute to underrun heels. But I think you're on the right track to shorten the trimming cycle to manage it. Of course I personally would not choose shoes to address this problem, but other people might feel it's necessary.

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        I'm not sure if you want my opinion or not, but I'll give it anyway. Long, sloping pasterns are conformational. You can't do much to change this about your horse. And this type of conformation does contribute to underrun heels. But I think you're on the right track to shorten the trimming cycle to manage it. Of course I personally would not choose shoes to address this problem, but other people might feel it's necessary.
                                        Thanks! I think I am on the right track as well, but someone looked at my horse yesterday as I just had him out when they came to the barn and suggested a more aggressive approach, but I think the trimming ever 4 weeks which we just decided a week ago will be enough for now and if that does not show improvement than I will look into other options!
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                                        • #40
                                          The hoof is always growing and changing, so immediatley after a trim the foot is growing again. Waiting 6 or 8 weeks can be a massive amount of change and growth. I balance my endurance horse's feet every week because I just can't aford for imbalance to create problems. She never needs a trim anymore. I literally spend 10 minutes a week on her beveling the wall, maybe cleaning up the frog a bit, and and a good sanding. She is self trimming because she's so balanced she wears properly.

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