Thrush? Laminitis? Opinions needed please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thrush? Laminitis? Opinions needed please

Three months ago I rescued a 10 year old TB gelding. He was tender on both front feet when I got him, but we attributed that to lack of hoof trims for at least one year and a thrush infection. He was treated for thrush, started on hoof supplements, and began barefoot trims. His back feet were good, but the front hooves were in bad shape.

The gelding's hooves improved slowly. He was sound in the pasture and in our dressage arena, but very tender on rocks. The trimmer said his soles were thin and suggested hoof boots. The boots worked great and we were taking him on rides with no lameness. A friend of mine thought his hooves were warm, but he was still sound when not on rocks.

While his hooves are starting to look very good, about a month ago the thrush came back, he started treatment again. A few days later he was dead lame on three feet and didn't want to walk. He has been seen by two vets and two trimmers/shoers. I get different opinions from different people. One says his frogs are over grown. Another says too much frog was been trimmed off. One says he needs more exercise. Another says no exercise at all.

Everyone can agree on one thing - His hooves are hot and he suffers from inflammation. The vets said laminits based on the fact that he "walks on eggshells" when walking on gravel. His digital pulses are not overly strong.

The vet prescribed bute, no trims for 8 weeks, and strict stall rest. He can have one short walk a day. No grass, no grain, no sugar. The trimmer recommended padding the hooves with styrofoam and lletting him walk around in a paddock. He is being handwalked - During his walks I put on his hoof boots and he moves around like nothing bothers him. If he was foundering wouldn't he be lame even with the boots on? He feels pretty good - bucking and kicking - makes me wonder if it is laminitis. His feet are still warm.

Does anyone have experience with a case like this? What would you do?

I have no experience with Laminitis. What kind of hay do you recommend? Anything else in the feed? He needs to gain some weight as well. Thanks!

Here are two pictures of his worst front hoof. I forgot to mention that the thrush is mostly now in his heel bulbs, or "butt crack" and I saw someone refer to it. (sorry for the bad pics)

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 01:47 AM
Green Broke
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i'm definitely not an expert, but it does seem that his angles are a bit off in the trim.

also, if a horse is going to founder, he would do so fairly quickly (not over 8 weeks if the laminae are already inflamed) all it takes is for the laminae to comprimize blood flow to the flexor tendon - - the tendon begins to die, the back of the hoof comes up and the toe tips down = laminitis.

is he sore on the apex of his frog? does he test with hooftesters?

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, his angles are off on this foot. It is the worst one, but it was way worse when I got him. Lke I said, he hadn't been trimmed for 1 - 2 years before I got him. The trimmer is bringing his heel down gradually.

With hoof testers he is sensitive all around the soles of his front feet. With the hoof pick, he sensitive deep in the collateral sulci and in the medial sulcus of the frog where the thrush was/is. He pulls his foot away when they are being picked - clearly painful to him. He had been on a dry lot for about 2 weeks before being put on stall rest. His hooves are kept very dry and clean. The vet said to change to treating the thrush with iodine since the coppertox is irritating to the heel bulb. He is getting iodine brushed on the bottom of his hooves every other day.

I should also mention that the other front foot (not pictured) is very flat footed. He still has very thin soles. The trimmer never cuts or rasps off any sole - only hoof wall. He's been on hoof supplements with 24 hour a day turnout for 3 months, but still doesn't have any sole building up.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 12:23 PM
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WEll, Kickshaw is right, laminitis doens't go on for 8 weeks. Acute stage lasts about 72 hours then the inflammation is gone, and the damage, the rotation if there will be any, becomes apparent. And yes, he would be tender on most any surface if he were in acute laminitis, boots or no, and there would be a BOUNDING pulse in the fetlock area.

Barefeet tend to be a tad warmer than shod feet, it just means there's good circulation. The too much/too little trimming of the frog debate, I lean towards less trimming is better approach. Once the initial diseased frog was should be left alone except for bad flaps that want to trap a lot of gunk.Continuing trimming it will make it tender and..more susceptable to thrush. And it's probably not toughed up yet from the previous trush removal.
The "butt crack" fungal infection (hee hee-that's a term I use. LOL) is harder to treat, you have to get a syringe or soak the foot to reach that tiny crevice. But..amazingly that "butt crack" can cause all the sensitivity you describe. It doesn't hurt till somthing pokes up in that a rock (or if you dig with your hoofpick). Coppertox is too harsh, I totally agree with the vet on that. Try some ACV soaks, it will reach all the little cracks you can't reach, is gentle on hoof tissues and kills thrush. 50/50 apple cider vinegar and warm water. Soak just deep enough to cover the heel and wait 15-20 mintues. Do for a few days, then taper off.

For his soles, with no foot care for a long time, his soles are then and the bone is not well protected. Of course rocks hurt. Keep the boots on him when he's gonna be on rocks. He needs time, that's all. Looking at his sole shot, I"m not really seeing much of a fungal/thrush issue as he just doesn't much support anywhere. His walls are even so short he's right on his sole. he may have some bruising in there.

Looking at your pics...I would see about going ahead and taking that toe back a bit more from the top..not from the sole level, but remove part of the extra wall in the front to get it out of the way. I can mark the pic to illustrate if you like. And I would leave the sole alone for now, and let the walls get a little height, but keep that toe back to grow out the flare. As that happens, the sole will grow thicker and start to develop some concavity.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Barefoot - Thanks for your advice. His hooves are hot. Could the thrush in his heel bulbs cause his feet to be hot? This is my first TB, so I am not used to TB feet and some of the problems they can come with. All my other rescues had good feet, fortunately. I have been comparing his feet to the other horses in the barn (TBs too). His feet are way hotter than any of the other horses, but his pulses are the same.

I'll try soaking in ACV and keep you posted. He does has thrush in 3 of his heel bulbs. Although it is difficult to see in the photo, the crevice between bulbs is moist and narrow, not open and dry like it should be. He hates having them cleaned out and kicks from the discomfort. I just want my guy to feel better!!

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-26-2008, 05:18 PM
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Hmm. .HOT? not just warm? perhaps some abscessing going on in there.....because I re-read your original post..thrush does't cause heat. But lack of bounding pulse.. Well,in any case, the ACV soak can help with that as well. If he gets worse

The butt crack fungus, another thing to try or keep in the back of your mind is to mix up triple anitibiotic ointment and some antifungal like athelete's foot or (even some women's yeast infection cream) and use a small tip syringe and apply every day. Pete Ramey's idea, and it works. But hte soaks may beat it out before that becomes necessary.

Hoof testers can give false positives on some things. Thin soles will test positive for pain and even healthy heel bulbs can be pinched and show pain reflexes, depending how it's done, so that' almost useless in the back of the foot, and if there's an obvious fungal infection anyways, it's like guaging the air pressure in a flat tire-diagnostically useless there. LOL Laminitis will not need hoof testers to show pain..just how the animal stands is enough indication , however can be very useful in finding a bruise or abscess.

just some more thoughts...
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-27-2008, 12:16 AM
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Laminitis is dreaded problem across the country.
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