Bart front legs. Coffin bone rotation? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 04-28-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Bart front legs. Coffin bone rotation?

My pony Bart has a history of laminitus when he gets certain foods (alfalfa, etc) and he is older (the dentist guessed somewhere near 25 years old). A few months ago he had dropped a ton of weight so we called out the vet and switched him to hay replacer pellets, weight gain supplement, and kept him on his joint supplement. According to the vet and dentist, he was too old to be getting the right nutrients from the hay which is why he was losing weight. He has gained a bunch of weight and is looking great! I was taking him out on rides around the block once a week and he was doing fantastic.
However, about a month ago I noticed he was walking weird. Not his normal, stiff-legged laminitus walk but not his normal pony walk either. Somewhere in between. He freely gives me any and all of his feet if I ask and shifts his weight around like normal, which he doesn't do if he is lame.
About a year ago he had a big abcess that had him on stall rest for two months and in padded shoes. He still has the padded shoes. However, before the abcess was popped, we had our vet xray him and we were told his coffin bone was slightly rotated.
So, I'm thinking this is being caused by his coffin bone rotating more? He's ankles look like they are at a different angle than they used to be, but that might just be because I'm looking at them now and didn't really notice them before. I can get a video if you guys think seeing him walk would help. I looked all over youtube but couldn't find a single video of a horse with a rotated coffin bone walking around. Just product ads.
If I can nail down what I think is wrong with him, figure out how the vet diagnosis it (xray, I'm thinking), then my dad will gladly let me call the vet and pay for whatever we need to do for Bart to get better.
So, opinions, questions, ideas? Anything helps!

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post #2 of 36 Old 04-28-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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I saw in some pictures that the hoof tends to have a crve in it when there is laminitus. Bart's hooves aren't like that. They look normal.

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post #3 of 36 Old 04-28-2012, 02:00 PM
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Post some good pics of Bart's hooves, including the sole and if you are lucky Mark will read your thread and offer good advice.
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post #4 of 36 Old 04-28-2012, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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He has padded shoes on his front feet so I can't post pics of his sole, frog, toe or anything like that.. Just the outside and a pic of the shoe... If thats worth posting, then I definitely will!

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post #5 of 36 Old 04-30-2012, 03:25 AM
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We cannot know anything specifically without at least photos. Side-on pics from near ground level will be helpful. Solar shots would be helpful if you can take them when the farrier comes next.

As the horse is lame, no. 1 thing is not to ride him. I'd consider getting an equine vet to do xrays & test for Cushings, or at least call your farrier, get the shoes off & assess the state of his feet. I believe a laminitic/foundered horse is much better out of shoes, which will be putting so much extra pressure on the disconnected hoof walls/laminae. If the horse is sore without them, padded boots are one option.
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post #6 of 36 Old 05-01-2012, 05:26 AM
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Did the vet tell you the degree of rotation? If he didn't rotate more than 5 degrees you are both lucky! There is a product called WellSolve L/S made by Purina which comes highly recommended for horses with Cushings, horses prone to, recovering or post laminitis, etc. See what your vet thinks? It's about the same price as a good senior feed and most feed stores can easily order it and keep it on hand for you. It sounds like his diet isn't the issue, but not too many people seem to be aware of this product for these types of special needs, so I wanted to mention it. I've posted this video link elsewhere on other topics - if nothing is detected there may be missing puzzle pieces found through these stretches and bodywork as a diagnostic tool, maybe it will be of interest to you if you don't find the underlying cause with any other methods:
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post #7 of 36 Old 05-01-2012, 08:09 AM
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You can't know for sure if there is more rotation unless you x ray.
My guess is it is arthritis/ring bone and that is also where the visible changes are from. Joint supplements are typically useless as horses do not absorb the active ingredients. You might want to discuss with your vet starting him on a program of IM Adequan (the best) or IM glucosamine (ok) and/or doing IV or IA Legend or IV or IA Tildren.
There are many effective therapies out there, just talk with your vet.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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Riding a pony that presents chronic laminitis is ill advised until such time that a veterinary examination, including radiographs, clears the animal for use.

Lacking more information and preferably first hand experience with this pony, any suggestion that you pull the current orthotic package is irresponsible and should be utterly ignored. The attending veterinarian and farrier have the better information to make such a judgement.

There is little value in specific council here without photos of the effected feet and more importantly, radiographs. Radiographs should include both lateral and dorsapalmar views.

It is imperative that radiographs include radioluminescent markers indicating the true dorsal surface of the hoof wall, the apex of the frog and preferably the location of the coronary hairline. These markers provide for accurate measurement of sole depth, distal phalanx displacement/relationship within the hoof capsule and coronary/extensor (CE) process measurements. Measurements are more meaningful if there exists a radiographic history to establish some kind of time based baseline.

Here's some light reading if you want to learn more about laminitis.

Equine Podiatry | Dr. Stephen O'Grady, veterinarians, farriers, books, articles

NANRIC INC. - Classifying Laminitic Damage


The Horse | The Quest to Conquer Laminitis

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post #9 of 36 Old 05-01-2012, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
Lacking more information and preferably first hand experience with this pony, any suggestion that you pull the current orthotic package is irresponsible and should be utterly ignored.
I should have written that I **generally** think laminitics are better off unshod - there are always exceptions. To clarify the pulling shoes immediately, that was about being able to assess what's going on better, not necessarily to keep them off without further analysis & consideration.

Yes, I agree it would be irresponsible for the OP to follow any advice blindly & without good reason, but to 'utterly ignore' suggestions & alternatives blindly is unintelligent advice IMO.
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-01-2012, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'll go snap a few pics for you guys in a second. I'll try to address the things that I know how to address that were brought up.
1. I haven't ridden him in a minth because he has appeared 'ouchie' on and off since then.
2. His shoes are padded, which one of the websites about rotation and laminitus said was good.
3. The vet didn't tell me how rotated it was, or I just don't remember. It was a whle ago.
4. He has days where he backs up to get around, which I consider his bad days. And days where he walks around/plays with Dozer through the stall and only seems a little ouchie.

My dad wants to hold off on calling the vet for a week. The farrier is expected to be out then. When he comes out I will have him take a good look and snap some pictures of his front feet without shoes. I'll be sure to bring up the lameness and if he thinks it has any possibility of requiring a vet, he will tell my dad and we'll call.
I know I said that my dad was more than willing to call as long as I have a good idea of what it is but he wasn't convinced from the pictures on the web.
No matter what, I have $200 in my room that I will use to pay for the vet to come out if I hae to. My dad won't be happy but will definitely chip in.

Off to get pictures.
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