Lameness Issues?

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Lameness Issues?

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    07-07-2011, 06:51 AM
Lameness Issues?

I have been struggling with my gelding with lameness issues for almost a month now.

First it started that he was just adjusting to the hard ground.
After that he blew an abcess in his rear right hoof.

I had rear shoes put on him due to a large crack that was in his rear left.

We thought we were in the clear and he seemed to be getting a lot better. I started walking him in the arena because he isn't moving around a bunch in his pasture and he was walking great, still a little short at the trot but I was attributing that to him being stiff from not moving around a whole lot.

Well this morning I went out to see him after two days of not seeing him and when I got there he was completely dead lame. I tried to figure out which hoof it was but he was limping on both fronts. So I picked them out, saw a couple small rocks while doing so (he was not happy about picking them up at all), and then headed into town for a bit. When I got back about an hour later he was completely fine and back to how he had been. No limping what so ever. He appeared a little short at the walk, but wasn't hesitant to walk or extend the walk at all and did so with very little encouragement.

I tested picking up his hooves again and he picked them all up without any issues.

Could it have just been the rocks were maybe pushing into his hoof when he would walk so he was limping which would explain him being fine once I picked his hooves?

It just seemed odd that a horse could go from being completely lame, limping extremely bad, to being just fine and not limping at all?

I am wondering if I should put front shoes on him? Would it help him adjust? I am holding off on calling a vet out since he is so wishy washy right now. He has been fine for 5 days then all the sudden lame, then an hour later fine.
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    07-07-2011, 10:02 AM
It's completely possible that a few rocks could cause that much soreness out of no where. When you think about it, if you had a few rocks stuck in your shoes you'd be limping as well, and once you removed them you'd be fine unless it caused some bruising.

It sounds to me like he has extremely sensitive soles, may likely be from inadequate trimming, thrush, or he may just be plain sensitive.
Can you post photos of his feet?
What's his trim schedule like?
Have you changed farriers, or feed lately?
What are you already feeding him?

Shoes would help keep his soles off the ground and relieve some soreness on hard surfaces for sure, but throwing a pair of shoes on could possibly mask a deeper issue. I personally believe a healthy, strong foot comes from the inside out, not the other way around. A proper nutrient balanced diet is extremely important to a horses feet (and overall health), as well as good, consistant trimming. Triple Crown feeds and supplements provide the nutrients needed for healthy feet, and flax seed has also shown to be beneficial. Once you've got a good diet set, you can go from there. For the time being, a hoof hardener like Keratex on his frogs and soles could help strengthen his feet, and if shoes do become necessary, I'd go for shoes and pads for some extra sole protection.
    07-07-2011, 10:15 AM
Sorry, I accidently double posted!
    07-07-2011, 10:19 AM
Think about it this way.

When you are walking barefoot on a nice smooth paved driveway and you encounter a small rock it makes you bobble. If that small rock sticks to the bottom of your foot for some reason, you continue to be ouchy until the rock is removed.
    07-08-2011, 01:46 AM
Thanks guys, I was thinking the same thing. I just wasn't completely sure so decided to get some second opinions.

Can you post photos of his feet?

^^ Rear [these [pics are from a week and a half ago, he was just coming off an abcess]

^^ Front

What's his trim schedule like?
He was trimmed on June 4th but was very overdue
He was then trimmed again on June 10th by someone else to make it easier for him to walk, he was tripping pretty bad
He was then trimmed on June 22nd by a very well known and liked farrier that put rear shoes on him to fix the crack in his left hind

We are in the process of fixing his hood angle and getting his feet back to where they need to be, slow but steady process.

Have you changed farriers, or feed lately?
Yes I did change farriers. He was being trimmed by a farrier his old owner had and now he is being trimmed by a farrier that was recommended to me by both my trainer and the owner of the place I board him.

What are you already feeding him?
He is getting 2 flakes of high quality hay, 3lbs complete senior feed and 1 scoop msm morning and then 2 flakes of high quality hay, 3lbs complete senior feed night.

He is a TB and I have been told by multiple people that he has thin hoof walls, not uncommon in his breeding, so I know he is pretty sensitive as it is. He has no thrush I have checked for it, he is on dry ground right now. I am going to wait on the shoes cause I really would rather him barefoot, I don't like using shoes. I am also using hoof heal on him which has turpentine and linseed oil and such in it. We racked his pasture to get as many rocks out as we could and plan to do it more thoroughly again on saturday, I think that may help as well.

Hope I answered all your questions :]
    07-08-2011, 02:57 AM
Your boy has identical feet to my ottb mare. The RF is overall smaller and more upright, and the LF looks like (as my farrier likes to put it) a dinner plate

I like what he has done with the front feet. He's taken into consideration the wacky angles your boy has and trimmed accordingly, rather than trying to shape the 'perfect foot' - which, let's be honest here, he's never going to come remotely close the having.

I'm not quite as pleased with the hind trim from what I can see. You're not going to achieve perfect symmetry by any means, but I feel he could have done a much cleaner job given the angles he had to work with.

Anyways, I'd recommend a 4-5 week schedule for him to keep cracks are flares under control for the time being, especially on that LF. You'll also need to keep a close eye on the LF's heel, due to it's overall conformation his heel may become easily underrun without adequate, up-to-date trimming. I'd say in a couple more trims, some occasional hoof hardener on the frogs and soles, and maybe some ground flax seed if you're feeling generous (actually has the same, if not more benefits as SMS, and is much more cost effective), shoes will not be necessary unless you consistantly work him on the road or trails.

Also, off topic, but what's his registered name? I can't get over how crazy similar our horses lower leg & hoof confo are. Maybe they have some similar breeding?
    07-08-2011, 04:31 AM
Thanks again :] I will look into the ground flax seed. I am a new horse owner so going off of what my trainer has told me cause she has experience with old horses.

Junior does have some seriously wonky hooves. But I hope with some time they will look closer to normal :]

I like the new farrier, he seemed to do what he could. He didn't actually trim any of the hoof off but instead rasped off the funny flares and such. Junior's feet look really good compared to what they were, he has flares on every hoof it seems like. He may not have done a perfect job but he is the best farrier I have used so far and is really patient with the horses. Junior isn't the nicest to work with sometimes with his feet.

His registered name is Soda Prince, he is out of Blazing Soda by Nordic Prince and has Nearco, Nearactic, close in his lines and as well as some Bold Ruler, Nasrullah and Native Dancer further back. He is mostly Canadian and Irish bred.

Not the best picture to see his feet but you kind of can, this is before the new farrier got ahold of him.
    07-08-2011, 05:28 AM
Oh wow, poor boy! I without a doubt believe your farrier will have those fixed up in no time. Those heels were so horribly wonder he's got sensitive feet. He's been walking on the balls of his heels for god knows how long. I'm so glad they are being tending to properly now, especially on an older horse - bad trimming + bad lower leg confo is just begging for joint or tendon issues.

Checked their pedigrees - neither my mare nor my gelding have any similar bloodlines with your boy after the 1940's Him and my 17 y/o ottb gelding both have some Princequillo but that's about it. He's got some pretty impressive bloodlines though, I'm surprised he was unraced.
    07-08-2011, 02:16 PM
Yeah, he just got behind on his trim schedule before I got him so it gave his feet time to get wonky. After a few more trimmings I think he will be pretty close to normal, normal for him at least :]

He was entered in a maiden race but then scratched before the race started. Only thing I can think of was that he played around too much. I have galloped him in fake races with some friends and he will dilly dally at the back of the pack until the very very end and then he will all of the sudden realize he wants to win so he will kick it into gear. But by that time he doesn't have enough ground to take the lead. I know he was bred to be a distance runner, I can only assume he was also a closer.

Really I am glad he was unraced, means he doesn't have injuries or anything that I have to worry about from the track.
    07-08-2011, 03:10 PM
My mare had 15 starts and her best race she placed 7th I believe. My gelding on the other hand had 57 starts, 8 wins, 4 places, and 2 shows if I can remember correctly. He raced for 7 years, is severly over at the knee and had to be retired at 14 due to joint & tendon issues - now he leads the stressful life of a lawn ornament . You're most definitely lucky he was practically unraced!

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