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Farriers? Adult mare with varus hoof

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  • Farriers? Adult mare with varus hoof

    I have a big mare with a varus foot. There is always a big seperated pocket on the outside wall that abcesses once or twice a year. She has a very very tough hoof wall so it always goes out the top. This was cause by her being varus(both front feet) as a foal and we had an orthopedic shoe on the worst foot but not on this foot. It was a septic foal and did not spend enough time on her feet exercising until the growth plates in the foot calcified. The corrected foot is nearly normal. The non corrected foot grows foot with lots of growth to the outside...her hoof wall is so tough it really doesn't wear at all. I work hard to keep her trimmed every 5 weeks but the fates work against me. She has just abcessed again and I am wondering if frequent trims are my best option or if there are other options to perhaps get that hoof wall back attached and even to get her going under saddle...she is sound. DO I just leave her alone with her natures choice foot remodeling and just trim frequently or are there options I don't know about. Is there an active farriers forum I can post to about this problem. I am in Minnesota just north of the Twin Cities. Thanks. PatO

  • #2
    Is there an active farriers forum I can post to about this problem.
    I'd try posting here: http://www.horseshoes.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=16


    • #3
      Pictures would help but I assume by varus you mean the foot is tipped inward? And the abscesses are popping up on the lateral (bulged) side of the foot? If so, it may be due to trimming the wrong side shorter. Those feet can be very deceiving .
      Trimming to the sole of those feet equally on both sides of the foot is your best guideline if you do not have radiographs to work from. Finding the functional sole then using it as the guide almost always involves trimming the bulged side more.
      Doing that creates a wider base of support on that side and reduces the abnormal upward shearing forces in the hoof wall on that side .The shear forces in a side of a foot that is left too long are will the pocket and abscesses you describe. Basically the excess wall has to go somewhere so it pulls away from the foot but in up in the middle instead of at the bottom. It can not flare because it is rolled under the foot, so the middle bulges out instead.
      Hope that makes sense.
      Of course the flare should removed from the other side.
      Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
      Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
        I assume by varus you mean the foot is tipped inward?
        Wouln't varus mean tipping away, ie. base wide. In other words growing more on the outside? I always get varas/valgus confused!
        Eric Russell CJF


        • #5
          You could try something like an interfering shoe.
          Eric Russell CJF


          • #6
            Wouln't varus mean tipping away, ie. base wide. In other words growing more on the outside? I always get varas/valgus confused!
            They are confusing. Varus means the JOINT is bent outward. Another example is bow legged... that is "Carpus Varus". Knock kneed is "carpus valgus".
            Same with fetlock, fot etc. A foot varus would usually be either tipped inward from the fetlock or pastern. (usually fetlock)
            I found this link, nice explanations. http://www.acvs.org/AnimalOwners/Hea...ationinHorses/
            Last edited by Patty Stiller; Jul. 3, 2010, 05:23 PM. Reason: spell
            Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
            Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


            • Original Poster


              In her case as a foal the soles of her feet were coming toward each other instead of flat on the ground...she walked on the outside edges of her hoof wall. It was just at the lowest couple of joints in the foot not the whole leg. Normally this is not a terrible problem as an active normal foal weights the feet til the soles are flat on the ground but in her case she was in a vet students lap instead(septic). The very first phalanx starts calcifying in the 2nd or 3rd week so it needs to be corrected early if the foal is not getting normal amounts of activity. Pato


              • #8
                Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                They are confusing. Varus meand the JOINT is bent outward.
                I looked up the definition and it says it could either be the bone or joint. But anyway...

                Originally posted by columbus View Post
                In her case as a foal the soles of her feet were coming toward each other instead of flat on the ground...she walked on the outside edges of her hoof wall.
                In general I'd probably keep the lateral wall trimmed short or at least make sure there isn't any extra growth. I would think shoes would help keep the wall from separating as much
                Eric Russell CJF