Mini Foal With Contracted Heels-Please Help! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-20-2011, 01:16 PM
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I bet the feet aren't overgrown so much as the are club footed. In other words, I bet the tendons are too tight and standing the foal up on it's tip-toes so the heels are long and contracted. Could this be what the OP means?
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-21-2011, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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OK. Sorry there is some confusion here...I will try to clear things up.

Yes, Snickers is 2 MONTHS old. Which is why our farrier is concerned...he is very experienced and we really trust his opinion, and he says that if you trim a foal this young as much as you trim a mature horse, it can cause bleeding, which is a risk he wasn't willing to take. And her hooves are not simply overgrown...it is like the actual hoof sole is dropped, so the whole hoof is longer than it should be, and her heels are contracted. The shape of the wall is a bit of a duckbill (just very slight, but noticeable) and her frogs are very narrow and do not touch the ground when she stands normally, except at the bulbs of her heel. She walks on her heels (not her toes...she isn't clubfooted). Again, I will try to get pics to show you...our farrier trimmed a little bit off and that helped a bit, but again, he says he can't trim all the way up to the sole since she's so young (apparently he has tried it before, with unsettling results) and that he thinks the issue is most likely that her tendons and muscles haven't tightened up in her legs like they should have, to support her hoof and align it correctly.

I don't think she is a dwarf...she was on the small side for a mini foal, but nothing unusual. Her parents are both 33" minis. One interesting side note is that we bred our other mare, Rosie, who is out of the same mom as Snickers, to the stallion that is Snickers' sire, and she miscarried in April. Rosie is a maiden mare, 4 years old, so maybe it's just a freak thing, but we are concerned that the sire may have some issues, since one foal was a stillborn and one has this odd hoof issue. Just in case, we re-bred Rosie to a different stallion this year.

Again, I will get pics along so you can see...I don't know why my farrier suggested limiting her pasture time, since I think that running around would help strengthen her muscles/tendons, but maybe he is concerned that it will cause her condition to become more permanent. So far, we haven't limited it, just kept and eye on her and discussed getting the vet out (which we will actually do now). We had a busy weekend but will get the vet out ASAP this week...I will let you know what he says.

Again, any and all advice/comments very welcome.

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Last edited by hrsrdr; 08-21-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-21-2011, 07:46 PM
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Oh, okay, I think I can picture it now. It's like the tendons are too lax, so she walking back on her heels.

I wish I could offer more advice but it is really out of my area of expertise. My foal was born with a deformed cannon bone, so I researched foal leg issues a bit, but not enough to offer advice.

It is my impression that lax tendons get stronger over time, but I don't want to tell you that because I honestly have no experience with it. I did Google "foal lax tendons" on image search and found this photo/article.

Is this what you foal has?

Checking Over the Newborn Foal: What to Look for in a Healthy Foal | Suite101.com

PS. My vet recommended increasing the exercise with my foal to strengthen his leg. (I don't have pasture, so I would ride his mom around the property and let him run around and follow). So maybe the opinion of a vet would be a good idea. Limiting turnout almost seems counter-intuitive to me. But I am just a horse owner, not a farrier or vet.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 08-21-2011 at 07:50 PM.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-21-2011, 11:31 PM
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Sounds like weak or lax tendons. Usually resolves within a couple days of birth. At 2 months this is a concern.

Exercise is a must, even if forced.

At 2mo's age,a glue on extention(caudle or out the back) would be reccomended. Do not use for more than 10 days at a time. (10 days on, 7-10 days off and so on) Concerns are hoof constriction.

Bandageing can be counter productive as it may exacerbate the weakness.

Contact your vet tomorrow and begin a treatment plan ASAP.

For all your farrier needs, GET BNT!
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-22-2011, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bntnail View Post
Contact your vet tomorrow and begin a treatment plan ASAP.
Absolutely.

Again - Pasture time? Do you mean turn out time?

Minis are supposed to have limited access to grass (i.e. Pasture).
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-22-2011, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I mean turnout time. Their "pasture" is rather overgrazed and therefore has low nutritional value, so we don't have qualms about turning them out there for a few hours at a time, even if they do get some grass. Haven't been doing any bandaging--I don't have any pads/wraps that are anywhere near small enough anyway. :)

The vet is going to glue some wedge pads on her little hooves to try to get her tendons to align and support her heels like they should--he is coming out later this week. I will let you know how it goes!

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post #17 of 19 Old 02-26-2012, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so an update...her feet are almost all better! Our farrier has been trimming very carefully and we also duct-taped (she wouldn't hold still for glue) these little special pads to her feet for awhile; her hooves are looking MUCH better, the tendons have tightened, her heels have widened, and her frog is now touching the ground! She is still a bit long-toe low-heel, but it is improving all the time. Thanks for advice everybody! It is such a relief...our farrier said that if her feet didn't get fixed, she was in serious risk for Navicular within a couple of years.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-26-2012, 02:56 PM
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Good news. I'm happy for you & her.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-03-2012, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrsrdr View Post
OK, so an update...her feet are almost all better! Our farrier has been trimming very carefully and we also duct-taped (she wouldn't hold still for glue) these little special pads to her feet for awhile; her hooves are looking MUCH better, the tendons have tightened, her heels have widened, and her frog is now touching the ground! She is still a bit long-toe low-heel, but it is improving all the time. Thanks for advice everybody! It is such a relief...our farrier said that if her feet didn't get fixed, she was in serious risk for Navicular within a couple of years.
Awesome news! I am so glad she is better

But did the vet tell you what may cause this? Did he say is is a genetic problem?
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