Injury induced club foot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Injury induced club foot

One of my friend's mares has had a rough couple of years with injuries to one of her legs. Bowed a tendon and then before that was healed she stepped on a nail and got a massive infection in that foot. She is finally coming sound a year and a half later after the intial injury. However that foot developed into a club foot. Can a club foot that is a horse isn't born with me trimmed back into a normally shaped hoof? (I'm just curious)
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 09:22 AM
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I do not know. I had one of those and it DID NOT stay sound when we tried to lower the heals gradually. At first we though it was working, but it hit a point and would not stretch any more.

I would not lengthen the toe but just try to lower the heel a little, going by a hoof protractor.

You can kind of see how much stretch isin the deep flexoe tendon by putting a small lift under the toe while the horse is standing on concrete. If you put a 1/4 inch piece of wood (like a lath) under the tip of the toe, the horse's heel should stretch down to the concrete. If you can still slide a piece of paper under the horse's heel, the tendon is not stretching at all. Chances are it will get sore if the foot is trimmed to that same angle.

I have found that when a horse goes sore with the trim, it will get OK whenyou let the angle go back to what it is used to.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 03:49 PM
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Not OK for a genetic one.

I'm no expert but I'm assuming it would depend on the severity and length of time of the club. They also start to use that foot differently which reinforces the growth.

I would get pics and ask loosie or one of the other experts for an opinion.

Whatever you do it needs to be done very, very slowly.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 04:58 PM
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It sounds more like the hoof has become contracted over time, rather than dealing with a true club foot.

I would gradually try to lower the heels while using a mustang roll on the toes and try to get the contracted frog to expand. Contraction occurs when the horse does not bare weight on the heel area of the hoof over a prolonged period of time.

There are many ways to expand a contracted foot.
This was written by my vet:
Michael Porter, Equine Veterinarian

Here is another way:
Earth'N'Hoof: Heel Bevel Seems to be Helping Contracted Hoofs
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 4horses View Post
It sounds more like the hoof has become contracted over time, rather than dealing with a true club foot.

I would gradually try to lower the heels while using a mustang roll on the toes and try to get the contracted frog to expand. Contraction occurs when the horse does not bare weight on the heel area of the hoof over a prolonged period of time.

There are many ways to expand a contracted foot.
This was written by my vet:
Michael Porter, Equine Veterinarian

Here is another way:
Earth'N'Hoof: Heel Bevel Seems to be Helping Contracted Hoofs
That is probably more what it is. She was non-weight bearing on that foot for a very long time. In contrast the hoof on the good leg got very pancaked. Farrier was out every 2-3 weeks monitoring the situation and it still ended up that way.

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-13-2014, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by QHDragon View Post
She is finally coming sound a year and a half later after the intial injury. However that foot developed into a club foot. Can a club foot that is a horse isn't born with me trimmed back into a normally shaped hoof?
Yes, is the basic answer, but it depends is the more accurate one! I believe it's very rare for horses to be born 'clubby', but it's usually something they develop from being right or left 'handed'(habitually having same foot forward when grazing), from body issues or from injury. So called 'contracted tendons'(actually tight muscles - tendons don't stretch/contract) can happen due to nutritional probs or injury/posture, so it's not either/or. Therefore I'd also work the hooves in conjunction with a good bodyworker, as 'upstairs' is strongly linked to 'downstairs'. If she didn't start out clubbed, there's a very good chance that with a 'holistic' approach, her feet can get back to where they were pre-injury.

Whether or not the heels are able to be lowered enough, in the meantime I would also be using frog supports, to ensure the retracted heels get enough stimulation & don't get further contracted & weak from lack of use. This will help build their strength comfortably. Also ensure the toes on both feet aren't allowed to run away, and IME it's also common for the weighted 'pancake' foot to become run forward in the heel dept too.
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