Trimming contracted frog/heels - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 07-20-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Trimming contracted frog/heels

Back with my horse with the hoof issues, better compared to before.

The heels are relaxing apart more with help of some jumbo cotton balls.

Do you see any more I could trim off the frog at this time to keep things open?
Can anyone recommend how to approach adding copper to the diet for thrush prevention?
He gets 75mg per day with MVP equine Mega Cell vitamin.

I think it will be a long time before the tissue fills back in from behind. Sometimes it does but it gets flappy/wrinkley and then thrushy from the grooves. I'm wondering if I can change or add anything here so the tissue can regrow faster, hence the vitamin/mineral angle. The area gets cleaned out as needed and packed with cotton which usually comes out clean and stink free at this point. I give it a day off from cotton every few days but the heels close back up if it stays out for too long.




More pics here
https://www.horseforum.com/members/9...7-19-19-18185/
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post #2 of 24 Old 07-20-2019, 10:04 PM
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Are you doing the trimming yourself?

I would trim that excess bar out on the left side of the photo. it looks like the heel is longer on that side, but it could be an illusion.

In the past, I have pared that dead tissue that grows down into that frog crevice, because it seems to “hold” the heal from opening up.
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post #3 of 24 Old 07-20-2019, 10:17 PM
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Not just the contracted heels, the poor horse is not balanced. the bar needs to be removed the heels & toes brought back underneath him. His whole hoof looks like really dry and closing in. if it were my horse he would have a balance trim and I would put them in the foot spa daily. Foot spas just a fancy way of saying I would soak his hooves in water. Actually I built a hoof spa, just took a tarp and some carpet and some wood and fill it up with water, feed the horse and let him stand in there for an hour. Really helps to open up those heels and makes them feel good.
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post #4 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, yes, he is due for a trim any time now.

Just want a good look at the frogs before trimming commences.

He doesn't wear his feet evenly as you can see!
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post #5 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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@greentree

Can you tell me if you think I should pare more off the central sulcus area to keep it from holding shut? What areas specifically should I work toward to open this crack up?

There's material here where I circled in red, and I put a thin green line next to the areas where the hoof material changes from frog to heel wall. It's just all jammed together, so it's a little tricky to tell in all the photos, and I'm not sure if I should trim that out to free up space there. I could fit the knife between there but not a hoof pick, it's too tight.

@waresbear

I too feel very sorry that my poor horse has been living his life this way for so long. He needs to be trimmed every 4 weeks because stuff gets out of line really easily. I've now had 4 farriers and 1 vet check him out. He's most likely had this going on his whole life and I'm the first person to notice and care to want to fix him. He's lucky. I've checked pictures from his pickup at the BLM and can see the line crack in his heels and some other stuff he has going on. It's a tough long road going back on 8 years of uncontrolled damage.



I trim back his bars every week/every other week and they drop back down. I've tried trimming it level to the wall, just below the wall, level with the sole, doesn't matter, it always grows back right away. Catch 22 that he likes the support the bars offer back there, but with all the contracting and squishing the bars and heels need to allow for some outward movement too. There's definitely a lot more to the trimming, but I am most interested in focusing on the frog here to ensure that it doesn't get sucked back up in there. I understand that there needs to be a correct trim all the way around for that to work. I've been working at trimming him along with 2 other farriers who come by. One has done a few trims for me and the other just consults and does my other horse.
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post #6 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 07:27 AM
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1. Sometimes, depending on the bone structure of the horse and what's going on structurally contracted heels will never be completely fixed, in ways we humans think they should be fixed:)

2. There is a structural reason why your horse keeps wearing his hooves down in a crooked manner. Has he ever been seen by a five-star chiropractor? I say five-star because there are some lousy chiropractors out there.

*****

My 24 yr old TWH has lived with me since he was 11 or 12. He is sickle hocked to the point he could twist out of his hind shoes if he wasn't reset every 5-6 weeks. The farrier I had back then, had thirty years experience and said he'd never seen anything like it. That continuous motion is going to cause a horse to wear their hooves abnormally and the bars & frogs may even grow wonky.


He also came to me with contracted heels. Even though I stopped shoeing him a year later, (2007) he STILL has contracted heels in 2019. He's been in shoes off/on due to founder and currently has been back in corrective shoes and pour-in pads for 2+ years on the front end, it has not affected the plus/minus of his heels.

When he had to start going to the lameness vet for shoeing due to founder brought on by insulin resistance in 2012, I asked the vet why those contracted heels never improved beyond the minimum the had. His commented they likely were as good as they were going to get and he was right.

This same horse has lived with a fractured sacrum for many years. That compounds the issue of how his hooves grow -- the back hooves grow more uneven than ever now.

Meaning, if you have tried everything, including different farrier's, have had the horse a few years andnothing has changed about the heels, "don't try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", as my grandma used to say:)

Just know your horse may need more frequent trims than what is normal, by a farrier who truly knows what he/she is looking at and is not the common chest-pounding farrier most of us are used to:). That means trim his hoovesaccording to what THEY want, not what the humans want:)
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post #7 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hi walkinthewalk

I haven't had this horse adjusted. I do some chiropractic stretches with him now and then, but I know it will take a ton of adjustments to get him in line again if that's even possible. Because he's high/low and has been for his whole life he's got a lot of difference between his shoulders. I've just questioned weather or not it's worth it to get any serious adjustments done on him considering at this point he is a leisure animal, not lame, in good health. I try to help his body through his feet and through conditioning.

This horse stands with his front feet pointed in, and his knees twist out. It's not ideal, but it's just him, I'm fine with that.

I certainly wonder if this is something that will ever clear up like you mentioned for your horse. Mine is 8, his body is done changing, so will I even be able to fix it? I realize I may not, but I also realize there's likely another 8 years ahead and I can do the best I can with what I have I guess. I'm not going to magically turn him into something he's not, but I would like to bring as much comfort to him as possible. Most of the farriers have said the same. He might not go back to what we all think of as normal, but what I'm doing looks good and it's worth a try if I want to put in the effort.

I do try to trim him according to what he wants. Generally I just look at where the callousing is and the sole plane to determine where my wall should be. Based of experience in the past I can figure about where he wants his heels, when I need to bevel them, etc. When I first got him he had some jamming in his pasterns from being trimmed according to what the human wanted. I just went slow and took a lot of pictures over several months and the pastern is now more level, he's not lame, and his feet are more level across the sole plane. We have been able to make slow changes successful, I'm just hoping there could still be an opportunity for him to have a healthy back part of his hoof there.
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post #8 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 12:23 PM
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For adding copper into his diet, I'd suggest testing your hay and getting your horse's blood tested (make sure to test at the right time). This will give you an idea where to start and what else needs to be balanced. Then, take into consideration the iron levels in the soil. Are the soil analysis for iron generally high in your area? Iron interacts with copper and zinc and can block copper absorption if It is too high. The ratio between iron, copper and zinc should be 4:1:4.



If your area runs higher in Iron, then generally you should not have to feed any iron in your horse's grain. A horse's body does not rid itself of iron like other minerals and they can still get enough through water, forage and mineral blocks. Feeding enough copper depends on the amount of iron and zinc he retains, so 75mg/day could be sufficient or he may need much more to be in balance with iron and zinc.


As for supplements, I've seen many people (including myself) have success with California trace.
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post #9 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 02:17 PM
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@Filou

If he is a pasture pet, walks sound & does not appear to have any painful lameness issues, adjusting him is the Big $64 question as to whether or not he will stay in place, and would you be opening up a can of worms by doing that.

Toeing in, with knees out is something that won't be fixed by this time. It is likely going to beget arthritis over time. Cosequin ASU+ (Plus) really does seem to work but it's expensive. If you can see your way financially to starting him on it, you might look at the clinical studies on Nutramax website.

You're doing the best you can do for him:). Except for putting a high caliber chiro on the payroll to match every one or two trim cycles, you're probably doing all that can be done:)

My horse's chiro is supposed to be here every four weeks to work on his fractured sacrum, if he needs it. Bout two months ago, we had a heck of hail storm with quarter-to-walnut size hail. I couldn't get the horses in because the other horse was raising panic h***, running the fence and spinning. My injured& foundered horse followed suit as he is the lower herd horse.

Somehow he managed to seriously re-injure himself --- to where I thought I might lose him. Between the traditional vet/chiro, the hollistic vet/chiro, and the 60 minutes daily therapy instructions they gave me, we managed to put "Humpty Dumpty somewhat back together again". His new normal is now to see the hollistic/vet chiro every two weeks until further notice and I will likely be doing 60 minutes of therapy daily for the rest of his life.

To look at him standing still, nobody would know how injured he is or that his founder nearly cost him his life seven years ago. I honestly could have a decent Dressage horse and two years of lessons to learn to ride dressage for the money I have in this guy (my avatar BTW:)

Meaning, keep doing what you are doing, within your financial means, until the horse tells you he is too tired to try anymore:)

Also, think about the California Trace since you are in California. It is too high in selenium for some of us in other areas of the U.S. :). However, if it is being added along with other products containing selenium, be alert for over feeding (including what is in your hay) as selenium is the one thing that can cause toxicity in horses if fed too much:)
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post #10 of 24 Old 07-21-2019, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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@Jolly101
Thanks for bringing that up! He was getting a pellet that was super high in iron. I'll have to look into that a bit more.
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