Really lame?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-10-2013, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Really lame??

Hi, for the past month my horse (8 year old TB, barefoot, seriously good doer) has had on and off lameness which is sometimes pretty bad and other times not so bad.
Last week he fell lame and it's really bad, he's limping and finds it hard to walk and he walks really really slowly. We got our farrier out and she said it was the pressure from the ground turning from wet to dry really quicky (it's super unusual to have such dry ground this early into the summer in NZ). She did as much as she could to take the pressure off and she said just to wait and wash with epsom salts everyday. I've been doing that for about a week but there isn't much improvement.

I guess I'm just worried it's something bigger than just the hard ground. His herd has been put on a mass of spring grass because of the fireworks surrounding Guy Fawkes and the only paddock safe away from the houses is huge. Would laminitis be a problem? The farrier should of picked up on that right though? I'm guess I just would like some opinions on where I should go from here?? Should I call the vet out to be safe? Or should I just carry on with what my farrier suggested?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-10-2013, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liithe View Post
Hi, for the past month my horse (8 year old TB, barefoot, seriously good doer) has had on and off lameness which is sometimes pretty bad and other times not so bad.
Last week he fell lame and it's really bad, he's limping and finds it hard to walk and he walks really really slowly. We got our farrier out and she said it was the pressure from the ground turning from wet to dry really quicky (it's super unusual to have such dry ground this early into the summer in NZ). She did as much as she could to take the pressure off and she said just to wait and wash with epsom salts everyday. I've been doing that for about a week but there isn't much improvement.

I guess I'm just worried it's something bigger than just the hard ground. His herd has been put on a mass of spring grass because of the fireworks surrounding Guy Fawkes and the only paddock safe away from the houses is huge. Would laminitis be a problem? The farrier should of picked up on that right though? I'm guess I just would like some opinions on where I should go from here?? Should I call the vet out to be safe? Or should I just carry on with what my farrier suggested?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give
Laminitis is rarely on one foot, and yes the farrier should of picked up on that. The foot will be warm with a strong pulse. It is possible he has an abscess or bruise or something. You said "wash" with Epsom salts.. is that what you have been doing? That won't do anything, you need to soak his foot in a bucket. I find it odd he would be lame in one foot simply from the ground.

If he is that lame I would try to keep him in, or at least in a small paddock by himself.

If it's been a week I would call the vet. If it's an abscess the vet can dig it out (or the farrier). I assume you looked him all over and can't find anything?
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-10-2013, 10:25 PM
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Have you looked further into what is causing the ongoing lameness in the past? You may need to have him looked at by a vet rather than going by what your trimmer is saying.

I am in Auckland and my horses feet (both barefoot) are a mess right now with this dry spell. Thank god they are due for a trim tomorrow because they are so chipped with this unusually hard ground.

If your horse is a bit chubby already and is suddenly turned out on lush grass I would be concerned about laminitis and that is NOT fun for you or the horse. Even if that doesnt occur he is still going to gain more weight which wont help with his lameness issues.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-11-2013, 12:38 AM
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Hi & welcome,

If your horse has been lame on & off for the last month, I'd want to get that properly checked out. If you decide to get xrays done, make sure your vet marks the hooves - dorsal wall, hairline & point of frog at least.

Yes, ground suddenly going hard can certainly exacerbate problems, but it isn't likely to be the root cause. Interested to know, what exactly did your farrier do to 'take the pressure off'? Why did she advise washing with Epsom Salts? Do you mean soaking? Did she suspect an abscess...?

Yes, laminitis is indeed a risk, especially if he's an 'easy keeper'. Yes, your farrier *should* have picked up on it('should' is a great word...) but they often don't, so not a given if she didn't comment. & to address another comment, while laminitis doesn't affect only one hoof(generally or from metabolic causes) there may be mechanical issues that have caused this one to be more susceptible to further damage after metabolic weakness.

If you would like to post some hoof pics, for other opinions, see the link in my signature for what's required. There are a few knowledgeable & experienced people here that can 'lend an eye'.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-11-2013, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome thanks so much for your replies guys! I think I'll talk to the vets and try get them out soon because I really just want to be 100% sure on what I should be doing to combat this lameness.

Additonal info; it's more prominent in the front two but he's sore on all four. The farrier eased the pressure by reducing the walls of the white line and by sort of easing the cracks so that any fluid or anything would be able to come out if it needed to. With the epsom salts she advised that I scrub on the white line of all the hooves with the epsom salts and water.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-11-2013, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liithe View Post
Awesome thanks so much for your replies guys! I think I'll talk to the vets and try get them out soon because I really just want to be 100% sure on what I should be doing to combat this lameness.
Really hope you have a good, knowledgeable vet in your parts, but just because they're a vet doesn't make them so, so careful about putting blind faith into them, as with others. I know that the Equine Podiotherapy course, run through Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre Home Page has had a number of vets, but not sure about in NZ - I reckon they, or Aus vets who have done the EPT course might be your best bet in finding a good one over there.

Quote:
The farrier eased the pressure by reducing the walls of the white line and by sort of easing the cracks so that any fluid or anything would be able to come out if it needed to.
If 'reducing' the walls made him more comfortable, then I think laminitis is more likely the problem - perhaps not the whole problem though, if one hoof is worse.

If there are cracks & seedy toe in the feet, these will need to be cleaned/cut out & treated topically as well. A good trim & topical treatment doesn't usually do enough if the infection is bad or environment is not ideal.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-11-2013, 03:20 AM
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So does he have white line disease? WLD often goes hand in hand with laminitis along with dished hooves which give them a slipper like appearance. My mini was recently diagnosed with laminitis and while the slipper hooves are pretty much corrected now I am still battling with the WLD.

If you can definitely get him off that spring grass as soon you can.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-11-2013, 04:00 AM
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It could be white line disease or an abscess. Best to get the vet out when in doubt. Abscesses generally form when you have wet weather/mud and ride on hard ground/rocks. So if your pasture is a mud pit, and your horses steps on a rock that is all it takes.

The horse shouldn't be lame on multiple feet unless you have something else going on though. I've only known one horse to have abscesses in 2 different feet at the same time. It can happen but is rare.
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