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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cruel Practical Jokes and other stupidities

You know the really dumb stuff that lads of about 12-15 start doing as their hormones surge and pimples start popping?

The tap on the opposite shoulder so when you look round noone is there.  Putting a foot on a scale to make someone appear heavier.  Drawing pins on chairs and gluing pennies to the pavement.

I used to think these were just dumb practical jokes, but I saw a reworking of the foot on the scale thing recently and it wasn't at all funny.

Mind you I doubt it was done on purpose, but the alternative isn't much better.

Have to keep this beyond anon, so sorry no photos, so let's draw a mental picture for you instead.  I've had to alter a few details but nothing substantive.

Hooves being x-rayed for lameness work up.

The experienced among you will know the drill.  Hooves are raised on blocks, sometimes very simply, other times much more complex, but remember the hoof on block bit.

One of the things x-rays are used for is to help vets determine side/side and front/back balance of the hoof and the pedal bone within it.

So I'm looking at this x-ray, you can clearly see the block under the hoof.

Except you can't; there is no block under the caudal hoof at all and the heel has been allowed to dip below the level of the rest of the hoof by a significant amount because it is falling off the block.

The horse gets diagnosed with negative palmar angle. (Simply put the pedal bone is too low at the back.)

I am a generally miserable old bag with a naturally inquisitive nature, so I feel pretty comfortable with questioning stuff and have a vet who is good enough to bear it in good humour (bless him).

But many horse owners are not like this.  They are nicer and don't want to upset people or ask 'dumb' questions.

To these nice people I put forward this - so long as you phrase your questions politely and with the best of intent no good vet is going to mind you asking about stuff.  If they do object then maybe you should find one that will let you learn. Because that is what it is all about - learning together so we can better take care of our horses to whom we owe so much.

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