Lame for 3.5 months!
This is sort of a long story, sorry! I just really need some advice...
I have a 12-year-old TB gelding whom I've owned since July. He doesn't have a history of problems or anything, and he was in perfect health until January. In January, he was rolling in turn out and cut his cornea. It was a very shallow cut, and should have easily healed on its own, but it turned out he had some sort of eyelid deformity (a small bump whre it should have been smooth) that made it impossible for new cells to heal the ulcer. So he had to go to the hospital and get the eyelid surgically repaired. His recovery from this procedure was about a month- 2 weeks in the hospital and 2 weeks of stall rest at home in the barn. While in the hospital, he wasn't taken out of his stall at all. At home, I hand-walked him every day for about 20 mins (he wasn't allowed to do more than walk). The day he was able to be ridden, I walked him for a very long time, then started to trot. He was fine for a while, but around a corner suddenly became dead lame. My vet said he probably had a hot nail (? Even though he had been shod 2 months before!) and called the farrier to replace the shoes. My horse was still lame. Then the vet said he had an abcess in his LF hoof. We soaked for a week, the vet said he was fine, put the shoes back on, and surprise, surprise, he was still lame. We then went through the same thing again, twice. Soak, vet check, he's fine, shoes go back on. Then, one day, he apparently no longer has an abcess in his LF but in his RF. So back again to soak for a week, vet check, he's fine, and shoes go back on. Once he was actually okay for about 4 days, but then he went lame again. He has been lame on his RF because of an abcess (according to my vet) since then. It has been 3.5 months of lameness from these abcesses. There has been heat in his hooves, and once there was swelling in his leg, so the vet put him on antibiotics. Finally, on Thursday, the vet declared him all better and had the farrier put on these really expensive shoes on his front feet with egg bar shoes and some weird full pad. I took him walking on Friday and he felt very funny. I figured it could be because of the new shoes, so I gave him one more day. Yesterday, he was so lame he didn't even want to walk. The vet came to see him, said he had an abcess in his LF again, and pulled the shoes. Now, apparently, we're back to soaking and bandaging. PLEASE tell me what is wrong with my horse! He hasn't had any punctures that I know of in his hoof and he has been getting barely any turn out because of his lameness issues. The only thing I can think of is that his lameness directly correlates with when the barn I board at started to use sand instead of shavings in the stall. Could this be causing his abcesses? Does my horse even HAVE abcesses, or is my vet just wrong? The vet said he did xrays on Thursday and that my horses didn't have any fractures or have anything lodged in his hoof. I don't understand what could be wrong with my horse, who hadn't had any lameness issues before he came back from the hospital at the end of January. This is ridiculous. Please help me!
:shock: Gosh, you seem to be having a very rough time.
Out of curiousity, whats he like without shoes? Might be worth a try, to see if he's lame without them, before putting anymore on.
Also, have you tried getting a second opinion? Most vets can be wrong on odd occasions. Has your farrier any ideas/suggestions etc?
E Gad! I sure am sorry. I agree with Meggymoo, I think I would get a different vet, and maybe a different farrier to take a look at him. Obviously there is something going on... Nobody's perfect, they might have missed something.
The sand should not be a problem as long as it's thick enough. I'm not an expert at all, but from what I have read and heard I wonder if it is navicular or early stage laminitis/founder from standing so long in a stall. Sort of like Barbaro... Too much standing without much movement. Of course he was putting tons of wt. on only 1 foot, but still... I'm wondering why they didn't walk your guy? I understand stall rest... But they still need to move a bit.
If he is not lame barefoot, you might try leaving the shoes off for a few weeks. Or, it could be that the farrier is just not shoeing properly for your horse. I just switched farriers because my last one was not triming my girls feet well for her. She has turned in toes in front, and must have thick shoes. He had wanted her barefoot, or with thin shoes. She has been lame off and off for over a year so I understand what you are going through.
Christy now has new thick shoes with a sort of special trim, and I have discovered she is gaited! Who knew? Big diff. when footsies don't hurt!
Sure wish you lots of luck!
I don't think it's laminitis or anything, because I can clearly see the abcesses when the vet comes, and pus comes out of his hoof when the vet drains it. So I think he is pretty clearly just getting abcesses over and over again. I don't think he can go barefoot because he has thoroughbred feet, and his hooves are pretty thin (which is probably contributing to the abcesses). I was just wondering if there could be something wrong with his hoof, or with what the farrier is doing, that is making him get all these abcesses. I don't see how he could be getting any puncture wounds that could lead to abcesses. At least now he has the full-pad shoe that should protect him from getting more. Thank you so much for your ideas!
Ouch! Poor, poor boy!
Ok, so now I'm thinking maybe he is abcessing from bruises, not punctures? The full pads should help with brusing.
I hope, I hope, I hope!
Could you give him some extra biotin (helps harden the foot,) maybe some B12 vitamins for his immune system. And, maybe some probios. As he is getting lots of antibiotics.
And now, I'm out of ideas. :? Wishing you lots of good luck!
The biotin sounds like a really good idea. Thank you so much for your help, DesertGal!
I highly recommend a different farrier and vet. Something isn't adding up here.
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