Heel bulb question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Heel bulb question

I am wondering if it means anything if heel bulbs don't seem too 'bulbus'? Is that normal....are there different shapes? Snickers' heel bulbs seem to not have much shape, more flat.





.....sorry I didn't clean it out and the pictures may not be the best...I have a cast on my right hand and it has been challenging for me at the moment.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 05:09 AM
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From what can be seen in the pic, his heels are reasonably wide, not obviously contracted, but they are thrushy looking, with lots of 'dags' I'd remove. They don't look robust, well used. There is a lot of dead sole that's come out/ready to, so the horse is due for a trim & will likely have a fair bit to come off.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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From what can be seen in the pic, his heels are reasonably wide, not obviously contracted, but they are thrushy looking, with lots of 'dags' I'd remove. They don't look robust, well used. There is a lot of dead sole that's come out/ready to, so the horse is due for a trim & will likely have a fair bit to come off.
hanks Loosie. I usually keep up with feet inbetween trims very well...however, I have pins in my finger with a cast on my right hand and can't do it for a few more weeks. It's driving me CRAZY! I was just questioning how flat her heel bulbs actually are. On my other horses they protrude out much more like two little golf balls. I just didn't know if that is just the way her foot is or not. Better pic maybe in a few weeks when I can do something with my hand again.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldhorselady View Post
questioning how flat her heel bulbs actually are. On my other horses they protrude out much more like two little golf balls.
Hmm, without pics, don't know if the other horse's heels are in good shape or not, but sounds like that one's may be more contracted from your description. Flattish *& robust* is good. I wouldn't really call that frog 'flat' tho.

I suggest reading... http://www.grayson-jockeyclub.org/ne...3000186_sm.pdf

Last edited by loosie; 06-23-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 10:40 PM
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If you push on the heels bulbs with your finger, are they gushy or does your finger bounce back? The more "bouncy" they are is healthier. Unhealthy heel bulbs can be built up in part by addressing thrush issues, walking the horse on hard surfaces about 15 minutes a day (assuming the frogs touch the ground) and using padded hoof boots a few hours each day also helps.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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The heel bulbs bounce back nice. Her frog does touch the ground. I will Continue with her walks......plenty of hard surfaces here. Thanks for the advice!
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 05:27 AM
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If you push on the heels bulbs with your finger, are they gushy or does your finger bounce back? The more "bouncy" they are is healthier.
'Gushy'?? I would hope that regardless of the health of the foot, heel bulbs would 'bounce back' when pushed on! The alternative would be alarming! I imagine it's just the way you put it Puck, so not intending to contradict, more to clarify...

The back of the foot(frog, digital cushion, lateral cartilages, heel bulbs) should be large, thick & firm enough not to yield much at all to strong thumb pressure. Eg. put your fingers on the frog & thumb above the digital cushion( in the indent above heel bulbs) in front of the frog stay(where the central sulcus 'dent' is) and squeeze. Is it thick & firm, or does it yield easily & feels only an inch or so thick? Palpating the lateral cartilages should find them firm & thick too, not only a 1/4" & easily moveable.

Unfortunately IME the opposite is the common state of affairs and by the look of that foot, it may not be too bad, but betting it's not that strong, thick & full of fibrocartilage either. Therefore I'd be wanting to treat for thrush & then consider it may be necessary to protect/support the frog(& what's above) with pads before working the horse on hard ground. All very well saying they need use to grow strong, but if they're currently too weak to allow the horse *comfortable* use, he'll be 'tippy toeing' to avoid them.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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I will try and maybe get a better picture today with someone's help. She never shows any sign of lameness. For thrush I will start getting a hold on that for sure. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry....didn't mean to delete previous photos. So, here we go again....I did my best.










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post #10 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 02:35 AM
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Not sure what you're wanting to show us with the new pix? Seeing them after a trim might help to tell you more.
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