Hoof Problem...Got ideas?
 
 

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Hoof Problem...Got ideas?

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  • Toe chunk of hoof missing
  • Chunks of hoof sole missing

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    06-28-2008, 10:27 AM
  #1
Foal
Hoof Problem...Got ideas?

I have a 14 yo TWH who has always had healthy feet. He is kept on 20 acres of green pasture. During the spring we limited grazing time & we do so in the fall as well - to reduce the risk of laminitis which affected 2 horses last year.

So it all started with a horizontal crack, a split if you will quite small that began at the toe in the center of his hoof. My farrier said to try Horseshoer's Secret, which I did 2 buckets later, the crack was still there. Recently during another visit the farrier said he's got some thrush, the crack was spreading. Two days later it was like a firecracker went off under his hoof, there is a good inch square missing. I'm at a loss, my instincts say it will only get worse.

My question, does anyone use a supplement that they swear by to reverse this? Hoof growth supplements perhaps? Does anyone recommend a boot? What kind?

Thanks in advance
Ronnie
     
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    06-28-2008, 10:42 AM
  #2
Green Broke
I'm not an expert on the subject, but it sounds to me more like a trimming/shoeing problem than not.

As for hoof growth, most of the supplements out there are good, but they take a long time to see positive effects (ie - it's not going to eliminate the chunk that fell out or fix the crack). The hoof supplement will make your horse's hoofs stronger, but the supplement alone can't fix your guy's foot ;)

Be sure that when you purchase a hoof supplement, it has at least the following ingredients:
-biotin
-zinc
-copper
-msm
-methionine
-lysine

Actually, here's a great site to compare all of the major brands:
http://www.smartpakequine.com/Charts/HoofCompare.html

Good luck and keep us updated!
     
    06-28-2008, 11:14 AM
  #3
Weanling
The horizontal crack, is it on the underside of the hoof or on the top, along the wall? If the crack is on the UNDER side of the hoof, is it between the wall and the sole, in the sole under the toe or where? Is your horse shod? All this can change what the situation, so I can't really say just yet. Of course, pics are always helpful!

Kickshaw offered correct informationg about supplements, so I won't repeat.
     
    06-28-2008, 03:51 PM
  #4
Foal
The split started at the bottom of the hoof wall. Traveled up until it finally a big chunk of hoof went missing, two days after being trimmed, he's been barefoot all his life.
     
    06-28-2008, 07:40 PM
  #5
Yearling
More frequent trims. You have to control any imbalance in the foot as that is one cause for cracks. Cracks are also caused by bacteria (bound to happen this time of year when weather is erratic from rain to drought) so make sure that any thrush is cleared up promptly. My horse has a tendency to get the same kind of toe crack that you are talking about...we trim him every two weeks.

Also I would reccomend asking your farrier to "roll" the area around the crack when he trims. When I mean roll...I mean the edge should be sort of beveled from outer wall to inner wall...hard to explain. Some farriers just rasp the bottom flat and that has a tendency to form cracks.

Unfortunately it will look ugly until the whole section grows out...which could take months. You can use some sort of putty to cover up the crack if you need to go to a show or it just bothers you a bunch.
Jerseycowgirl likes this.
     
    06-28-2008, 08:47 PM
  #6
Foal
I've decided to hire a barefoot farrier, she's more expensive but I think it's worth it to have someone who understands the barefoot horse.

I just need to know my best route to caring for it the way it is now, I can't imagine allowing it to get worse!
     
    06-28-2008, 10:27 PM
  #7
Weanling
Yes, frequent trimming can prevent and grow out a crack, and a fungal/bacteria problem can cause breakage. Glad you are looking into a pro. Barefooter to help, he/she will be better able to assess your horse's situation than any advice you can get on the internet!

For Hotreddun, you shouldn't have to trim every two weeks for a long term situation. Likely this horse has an eroded or compromised tip of the coffin bone (or genetic cause to not have a complete tip) if you were to x-ray.When the tip isnt there, there's no sensitive lamina for the wall to attatch to so it's more easily cracked. Or, if you have a scar at the hairline that grows weaker hoof material.

Making sure the toes aren't squared and that spot that's prone to cracking is not directly on the ground to keep it at bay. It's not necessarily a bacteria problem (if it is, some white lightening or clean trax would do it). But again, the trim SHOULD last at least 4 weeks and still stop that cracking.
     
    06-28-2008, 10:50 PM
  #8
Foal
Thank you for your assistance. Right now we're on an 8 week rotation. I'll try for every six weeks? Or four? Since he's got the chuck missing?I Also found a nice sized rock in his stall, he likes to paw (with that same foot) at meal time, I spent hundreds to mat his stall and it's the only part of his stall that doesn't have a mat!

Any particular boot you would recommend?

Thank you
     
    06-29-2008, 08:44 AM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoothooves
Yes, frequent trimming can prevent and grow out a crack, and a fungal/bacteria problem can cause breakage. Glad you are looking into a pro. Barefooter to help, he/she will be better able to assess your horse's situation than any advice you can get on the internet!

For Hotreddun, you shouldn't have to trim every two weeks for a long term situation. Likely this horse has an eroded or compromised tip of the coffin bone (or genetic cause to not have a complete tip) if you were to x-ray.When the tip isnt there, there's no sensitive lamina for the wall to attatch to so it's more easily cracked. Or, if you have a scar at the hairline that grows weaker hoof material.

Making sure the toes aren't squared and that spot that's prone to cracking is not directly on the ground to keep it at bay. It's not necessarily a bacteria problem (if it is, some white lightening or clean trax would do it). But again, the trim SHOULD last at least 4 weeks and still stop that cracking.
Gosh I hope every 2 weeks isn't long term! We have only been doing the barefoot trims for about 6 months. Previously my horse had been shod for almost 12 years consistently. Including wedges and pads and who knows what else that my farrier misled me into using the last 3 years. Causing his heels to be COMPLETELY crushed and his toe to grow like a weed. On top of that we just moved to a more humid climate from a desert climate (bacteria problem) and my horse has never seen grass at this quantity before (probably weak laminae a little bit) so we are dealing with a major hoof healing issue. We keep him off big pastures (learned that the hard way in April) and have him on a Low Sugar Low Starch diet. We trim every two weeks to try and gain control on that toe. It is getting better but I assume it will take another 6 months to get on a regular 4 week schedule. I have plenty of xrays...I should try and post them on here somewhere to show you the downfall of the wedge shoe and the rebuilding of the hoof since then. I will try to do that sometime next week.

My husband had an idea about solving cracks tell me what you think...he is not a farrier...he is a mechanical engineer and says this is how he would fix it if it were happening in materials testing...

Take a dremel tool and make a very small indented circle at the very top of the crack to relieve the (horizontal?) stress when the hoof flexes.
     
    06-29-2008, 02:06 PM
  #10
Weanling
Hotreddun,Keep your husband's dremmel away. LOL A lot of farriers will notch the wall with the edge of the rasp above the crack like your husband is thinking, to stop it from traveling upward, but as that grows out, then you have a weaknd area that is going to want to break off bigger than it would have, plus, you are weakening the wall enough to invite more bacteria in, probably not the best idea if you are struggling with that already.

And with a dremmel, it's very easy to take off more than you had planned, same with grinders, etc. and I'm just old-school enough I don't care for the power tools to be brought it. LOL They can heat up, too.I can gripe all day about it, but some farriers really like to use them. One of the vets around here uses a dremmel on cracks if they have WLD and makes a crack wider and smooth without a total hoof resection to make medicating easier, but that's just for special occasions.

Really, I find that a little notch at the bottom, just enough to make a triangle to the crack will take that spreading force off the crack enough to stop it (if it's a dramatic crack, the less severe ones I don't even do that with) and make sure that bevel is up to par, and that is plenty to stop the crack. On my website, if you look up case studies, look under Misty, aged QH mare. She is in her teens and had had a persistent toe crack for over 10 years. And over the winter we had it nearly grown out before I went on leave. All I did was that bevel, slight notch at the bottom, and 4 week interval for the second trim, and 6-8 weeks after that

I was thinking when I read your post that you were keeping yours on a 2 week rotation all the time, and thought to myself "Something is wrong with that trim!" but I understand now. Still after a couple of months you should be weaning back to 3-4 weeks.Even with severe founder, after a couple of months, I drop my trimming intervals back to 4 weeks. I would like to see the radiographs, out of nosyness, because I have seen what wedges can do for a hoof and it's not pretty. But I think would be good for other people to see on here, as well. Educational!
     

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