Ridges on Hooves?
I've been curious about this since I first noticed it: A 6-year-old mare that belongs to someone I know has ridges on her front hooves. They rise about an eighth to a quarter of an inch past the rest of her hoof wall, with 2 or 3 on each foot. One front hoof is also slightly dished. She's quite overweight (and is fed oats regularly, in addition to her hay), but doesn't seem to be in any pain in regards to her feet. Even so, the next time the vet will be out is in April, and I'll make sure she gets checked out.
I'm not sure what would cause those rings aside from laminitis (and since I've been researching it so much lately, I've gotten mildly paranoid). Other than the ridges, she's got very nice feet. Could it be seasonal changes? Nutritional deficiencies? Feed changes?
Well that was a good and sad description of founder rings:-(:-(
Seasonal changes and nutritional changes will cause rings on the hooves but what you are describing (rings that rise and the dish in the hoof) are signs of founder. Plus she's fat:-(
The vet really should see the horse long before April. X-rays of the hoof should be included.
If this horse is on pasture the horse should be in a grazing muzzle, during the daylight hours, before April. Spring grass abounds everywhere, in April; except maybe in Alaska?
It was the second week in March last year, when my horse foundered really bad - ridges, dished hoof and all. He foundered 8-9 degrees on one hoof, 5 degrees on the other. I used to love Spring-----------:-(
Point being, these are not signs of a minor laminitis attack. Horses are stoic animals and many hide their pain very well. The horse was in great discomfort and I'll bet the Owner didn't think a thing about why the horse was lying down all the time. Horses lie down but when they lie down way more than is their norm, something is wrong.
The horse needs to be on a low starch diet and that does not include oats:-|
Hope this helps:-)
Thanks for the input, walk. It's exactly what I've been wary of. I feel that the vet should see her before April too but unfortunately it's not really possible. The only reason her and the other horse she lives with will see the vet in April in the first place is because some horses down the road are getting Coggins tested, and the owners have decided to split the call-out fee. Luckily she lives in a dry paddock and so her exposure to grass is very limited. Unfortunately her owners are very inexperienced when it comes to horses, and therefore feeding.
(As a side note, what do rings as a result of seasonal/nutritional changes look like? Are they just a slightly different colour, or are they actually raised? Also, could the "dishing" be caused by waiting too long in between hoof trims? In other words, could the "dish" actually be flare? These are other thoughts that have come to mind)
Whenever I have seen what I call "feed rings" on one of my horses, it's always been one ring and is almost a change in color but, nonetheless it is a ring. Oddly enough this isn't the horse that foundered last March:shock: It is, however, my horse that has severe allergies to oats/corn/soy, dust/mold, Spring & Fall. In other words life in general seems to affect him and it shows on his front hooves from time-to-time but it is not laminitis nor founder.
Founder rings are multiple on each hoof and wider at the back than in front.
This link may help you as it has pictures. Founder and Laminitis
Also there are some very wise and well-written Trimmers on this forum that hopefully will come in, to answer your questions better than I can.
If the horse is always dry lotted, the owners are really shoving it full of oats and hay for this to have happened.
Horses like this need frequent trims (every four weeks) but it sounds like that won't be happening either? The horse can't rehab itself, they have somehow got to understand it needs help, starting now.
Do you have a printer to where you could print off the key pages of the link above and show it to them?
This is the worst hoof on my foundered horse in December; 9 months after he foundered. He should not have looked this bad at this point in time but he was not getting handled properly by the people I hired to take care of his hooves. The wraps are on him due to one farrier cutting too much heel at one time and the result was torn ligaments & sesamoiditis; yes there are X-rays to back that up:-(
The new Trimmers file those ridges down, to help retain integrity of the hoof as the ridges grow closer to the toe. The day this trim was done, the vet was here, along with the Trimmers. One thing this horse has in its favor is very thick and otherwise healthy wall. He does have wall separation from the founder but does not have White Line Disease because I monitor his hoof condition almost daily.
These hooves look a lot better today but this is pretty ugly isn't it -- the left hoof has the deepest dish; that is the hoof that rotated 8-9 degrees. It's a miracle the coffin bone didn't sink right thru the sole. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...ps9aef417b.jpg
Not everyone agrees with this but ridges are caused by hoof wall that meets up with pressure from the ground and "piles up." Since the wall cannot grow downward easily it begins to buckle and form ridges. It is indirectly caused by feeding changes because the hooves will grow more if protein is added to the diet. Often if the trimming schedule is kept the same, the hooves will overgrow and cause the ridges.
Horses that have the hoof wall kept relieved from the ground will not have any ridges in their hooves, no matter how the diet changes. Hooves also grow more if the circulation to the hoof increases. So "fever rings" are also caused by the hoof growing faster and not getting the excess trimmed off soon enough.
The hoof in the photo has a club foot caused by the bars and heel not being trimmed in the rear of the hoof. Since the heel is so long, the most pressure and piling up occurs in the heel area, so that is where the ridges are the worst.
It's too bad the "edit" button disappears after time or I would delete that picture.
I didn't post it for critique, I posted it merely to show the OP a first-hand example of founder rings as opposed to looking at them on a web site.
Since that hoof is attached to my horse, I can safely say that is not a club hoof -never has been in the 17 year life of the horse and never will be.
I have a horse with a minor club hoof and it isn't this one.
The pic was taken a day or two after the trim, so the bars had been lowered; he gets trimmed every four weeks and is a horse that does not grow a tremendous amount of bar in that time.
The above hoof might appear clubby because yes, the heel was left too high at this trim; there was a reason for that at the time; but that is in the process of being corrected and sadly, I am the one that had to get involved, on a near daily basis to make that happen.
There are a lot of extentuating circumstances with this horse, all involving professionals I paid good money to help him, and instead nearly put him in the ground.
He's made a lot of progress, as I stated above, since this pic was taken and I owe that progress to someone on this forum who has been life-saving help to me ----- they know who they are---
Everyone has an opinion but please, let's not get into an analytical break down of why that hoof looks like it does. If I wanted that sort of conversation, I would have posted a "What do you think?" thread separate from this one.
To reiterate, it is only here so the OP can see an example of a foundered hoof and why the horse she is asking about needs immediate help - Period
I for one thought that was a great, clear explanation. I didn't think it was a critique at all, but a this-is-how-this-picture-happened. I mean anyone can see that hoof is all sorts of screwed up, we don't need someone to critique it, but for people to see what can happen it is a great example. Don't know why the retaliatory sounding response from walkinthewalk, but I say good job breaking it down, gottatrot :D
The horse does not "have a club foot". Since I didn't show a sole picture, it is an incorrect assumption the bars weren't trimmed.
The heel was meant to be left on the high side but they did leave it too high. The reason for not whacking those heels off is because of the torn ligaments (or were the leg wraps not noticed or nobody wondered why they were even on the horse) from the two previous credentialed people taking too much heel at one time. This horse is an exception to every trimming rule. That has been proven with X-rays and ultrasounds. His heels were left high to protect the ligaments, at the temporary sacrifice of the hooves.
Now that I have some qualified help from someone on this forum, I know to very slowly lower those heels myself.
The horse should be at an acceptable heel height by the time the Trimmers get here at the end of this month. By me keeping up with the heels in-between their 4-week visits, they will be able to make better progress in the overall health of the hoof.
So yes, I retaliated and I stand behind it. The comment was made without knowing or understanding the horse's history. You don't go whacking off heel to help the hoof, if the ligaments are going to be sacrificed and run the chance of having a permanently crippled horse.
The horse has been to H*** and Back, thanks to the Trimmer & Farrier that were supposed to be helping him.
Many people would have put this horse out to pasture and let Fate take its course, put him down, or sent him to auction - he was that bad thanks to those two.
Today, he is walking sound - straight down the gravel drive. I have the video to prove it and no I'm not posting it, take my word for it----------
The thread is now royally off topic:-(
Thank you for your support Spirit88 :)
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