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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 28 May 2012

Getting the whole picture

I often feel exceptionally blessed. I get to work every day with great people who are determined to put their horse's welfare first. 

The hoof below tells a familiar story, the owner was concerned that something wasn't quite right, but literally couldn't see the foot for the shoes.
Note: event lines upper hoof wall, rasped out lower hoof
wall, crumbling toe edge, dorsal wall is flat at 12 o'clock
from coronary band to floor

Note stretched white line and absence of hoof wall
at toe. Sole is flat and thin.  Hoof proportions are out
the foot has run forward.

This scenario is often seen in cases of undiagnosed laminitis in the shod horse, or perhaps where shoeing has been used to 'treat' a laminitic case, or where the horse has had laminitis in the past which had been treated and then gets it again, but the shoes mask the symptoms.

The owner of this horse couldn't see quite how extensive the damage was, because the shoes were doing a splendid job of covering it up.  So good on them for following their instincts and getting the shoes pulled.  And please send them your best wishes for a speedy recovery for this horse.

It is going to take a while to grow down a decent, healthy foot that has this much damage. In the meantime the horse can be kept comfortable with boots and pads which provide all the support and protection a damaged hoof needs, but which allow easy access for regular inspection and treatment. And when we know the foot is sufficiently comfortable the horse will be able to work in the boots and pads too.


Em Parkinson said...

I really feel for them and know what the long journey ahead is like. My pony's hooves were in an awful state, including dreadful separation as a result of neglect when I got him, and that was without shoes! His toes had just been clipped off occasionally. A year later he had beautiful, strong little feet. It was well worth all the work.

amandap said...

Sending my very best wishes. I know they can do it. xxxx

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