Horse lame on front

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Horse lame on front

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  • 1 Post By ~*~anebel~*~
  • 1 Post By Skyseternalangel

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    05-15-2012, 02:40 AM
Horse lame on front

EllingWould love some input. Was given a wonderful 20 year mare that has spent her entire life on a 400 acre ranch in a very dry climate. When we brought her home she was sound but had very long feet in dire need of trimming. At some point in her life, it would seem that she foundered perhaps from getting into a new hay field. Had her feet trimmed, possibly a little too short for an overdue trim and she went lame on the front right the next day. I wasn't really surprised but after a week of watching her head bob her way around the paddck, I called in another farrier for a second opinion. He told me the best thing to do is put front shoes and pads on her if we intended to do any riding. She went sound for a couple of weeks but now seems lame again on the front right. I would have loved to leave her barefoot as she spent her entire life that way. Could the shoes be causing more problems? She wants to go out and actually seems less lame when I am riding. Is it possible that she is just relearning how to walk properly on feet that are the proper length? She goes out the gate all full of energy and slows down when we turn to go home. So opposite to other horses I have known. I feel cruel riding her. So far, we have just done a few short jaunts down the road. She is in a large paddock 24 hrs a day that is chewed right down as I am concerned she will founder again. No heat or swelling. What do I do next? Would appreciate any ideas.
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    05-15-2012, 05:19 PM
Usually founder affects both feet. Maybe she has an abscess or a stone bruise? Or her feet could just be really tender? My gelding is prone to tender feet, so shoes are the best thing for him. Maybe have your farrier or vet re evaluate her feet.
    05-15-2012, 05:30 PM
There are a few things which come to mind:

She could have a quicked nail - removing the shoe would determine if the nail is quicked or not.

She could have had more damage from the founder than realized and her soles may be thin - radiographs and a vet exam would help this.

She may be arthritic and have ringbone, in which case the drastic change of hoof angles would aggravate the ringbone - radiographs again would be useful for diagnosis.

She could have an abscess - hoof testers will detect this.

Founder and long hooves both can cause internal damage to the hoof structure, as well as ringbone. An arthritic horse will respond well to the use of NSAIDs (Bute), while a quicked nail, abscess or sole bruise generally will not respond. If you give her 1g of bute twice a day (every 12 hours) for a few (2-3) days and she improves, I would definitely have a vet come out to do radiographs and determine a course of treatment. If she doesn't improve then a good farrier should be able to determine the cause of pain in the hoof, but will recommend use of a veterinarian if needed.

I am not a vet, but as a horse owner this is what I personally would do.
Good luck!
loosie likes this.
    05-16-2012, 03:42 AM
Originally Posted by SaddleStrings    
Usually founder affects both feet. Maybe she has an abscess or a stone bruise? Or her feet could just be really tender? My gelding is prone to tender feet, so shoes are the best thing for him. Maybe have your farrier or vet re evaluate her feet.
If we're taking founder to mean mechanical changes, as different from laminitis as the initial inflammation/damage that likely caused it, I'd say laminitis effects all feet, but the backs tend to be healthier in form & balance, so less affected by founder, and as horses frequently have odd feet - one steeper than the other for eg, founder can definitely effect one foot much more than the others.

Pics would help, to give more than a guess of what's going on OP. Yes, shoeing can be an effective palliative to make the horse more comfortable, though I don't think they're generally the best option for the horse, esp with foundered feet & would lean towards boots when needed for protection. Yes, trimming 'too short' can definitely lame a horse, but I don't believe shoeing - assuming it's well done - is likely to have caused the lameness, just sounds like it hasn't helped it either.
    05-27-2012, 01:55 AM
Thank you for your answers

Thanks to both of you for answering my questions. As it turned out, I felt some warmth in the right hoof and since my vet was out anyway to check on an abscess my farrier carved out of her back left, we pulled that front shoe and sure enough there was an abscess in the front right as well. Arrgh! I think because of her old founder and therefore wide white line, we opened a can of worms when we trimmed her hooves. Anyway, she is getting poultices and some Bute and looks better already. Will continue with the poultices til she is all better and then I think it is best to put pads and shoes on all of her feet to prevent further infection from bacteria getting in through her white line. Does this sound like a good plan? Would love any input. Once again, she is on a verey shorn, dry pasture 24 and 7. Thank you.
    05-27-2012, 07:50 AM
Originally Posted by sandcastle204    
then I think it is best to put pads and shoes on all of her feet to prevent further infection from bacteria getting in through her white line. Does this sound like a good plan?
I would treat the white line, personally, before putting shoes back on.
loosie likes this.
    05-27-2012, 07:47 PM
If you're going to she her, yes, I'd use pads too. Pads with shoes will help your horse's comfort and protect their thin soles &/or weak frogs with the extra layer, BUT they won't help deal with infection at all. The bugs that cause seedy toe/thrush are largely anaerobic, so you're giving them a better environment by sealing up the area, not to mention having something permanently attached means you can't clean out/treat the infected area regularly, only once every 4-6 weeks when shoes are changed.

If the laminae are stretched already, I don't believe further peripheral loading of the foot is a good move anyway. So personally I'd avoid shoes until such time as the feet are healthy at least. Of course, you must make your own informed decision on the matter. is one comprehensive source of info I think is a good place to start learning more.

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