The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my farrier came out today, she went about 7 weeks this time for her trim with all the covid things there was some scheduling issues. Anyway, she noted today that Ellie is a bit club footed. She's also popped a splint about a month ago now so she's been on rest for about a month. She's lame on her right foot only slightly. We are thinking it was because we didn't really realize she was club footed. My vet is going to do a full lameness workup once her splint is a bit less ouchy. We are thinking that her club foot might be what contributed to her getting a splint. Maybe she's been using her left side to compensate for her unevenness or whatever on her right. Anyway. We are working towards a solution, my thing is I've never delt with a club footed pony, my farrier said she's about a grade one maybe 2 so she's going to be trimmed about every 4 weeks my farrier also put some larger shoes on her to help her balance out while she's healing from everything right now. We don't show, we just play in the arena and trail ride mostly, nothing intense. But even though she doesn't do anything intense she still popped a splint. But now we are more proactive about it, I just want to make sure that this can be something we can manage and that she and I can still have a happy long life playing on the trails. This has me worried that she's going to come up lame and I just don't want that to be her life if I end up pushing her too hard. She's my dream horse other than her wonky confirmation, but my plan is to do whatever I can to help her come up sound, but anyone have a pony with a club foot or splint that did ok going back into work?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,549 Posts
I have a Tennessee Walker with a diagnosed “Less Than Grade One” club hoof on his LF.

He is now 26, and still has that champagne-smooth running walk people drool over. He has been with me since he was 2-1/2, and is one of my toughest trail horses on dangerous trails.

He has never been lame, no popped splints, AND he has been barefoot for 95% of his trail riding time.

What has happened over the years is that the leg muscle in the opposite front leg has become 1/2” longer and this was verified by the lameness vet - who was treating my other, foundered, horse at the time.

i can see shoeing her to trail ride, as club hooves can wear the toes down to the bloody stubs but, IMO, this comes under the category of therapeutic trimming and shoeing, so the farrier darn well needs to know what they are doing or you could end up with a permanently lame horse.

I agree with 4-5 week trims, depending how fast she grows heel on the club hoof.

Also, be on the watch for toe cracks in the diagonal rear hoof. If they start to appear, that means the horse is not being trimmed in a balanced manner to accommodate the club hoof. What equals balanced on normal hooves does not equal balanced when a club hoof is involved.

Thrush can be an issue in a club hoof if it isn’t properly trimmed because it has trouble self-cleaning, so watch for that:)

Do NOT let anyone try and convince you to clip the tendon on the club hoof leg either- not a vet, not a farrier, not a friend - nobody:)

The hoof doesn’t look too bad but it would help if you could post a view from the front, rear, and a sole shot:)

I hope this is of some help:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: horselovinguy

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,686 Posts
So...has the possibility of your horse popping a splint occurred to you because the farrier waited so long between trims the horse stressed their leg structures and popped...
I am not finger pointing but it could be a contributing factor.

As for suddenly now a club foot... :think:
I've not seen a horse years later suddenly develop a club foot..
I was under the impression it is a born with condition, however with improper trimming can exacerbate a condition and make a poorly trimmed hoof weakened and clubby in looks..
Your horses foot from the side angle has one heck of a dish look to it...a broken line of pitch from ankle/fetlock to toe tip..
Now why is that and when did that appear would be more my questioning and thoughts.
I'm not wording that well, @loosie can far better explain what is seen and what hoof dynamics can create your issue than I.

Once a split heals it is often a non-issue.
Depending upon how large, exact location you can have a nothing in residual seen or a large lump...but a cold splint I never had issues with on any of my horses.
Your farrier though needs to be held on task of arriving on time to do much needed trims as 7 weeks is about 3 to many in my experience.
At 5 weeks my horses have so much hoof they trip, catch and land their hooves wrong stressing their supportive tissues, which could create lameness things like splints.
Sorry, I just find it amazing that the farrier is making it seem it is your fault for going so long...
Covid is a serious issue in my area too and thankfully my farrier remained healthy and on schedule to come tend my horses every 4.5 weeks...on their scheduled care dates.
We learn from our mistakes, what can happen and splints are something that heal.
:runninghorse2:...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,549 Posts
So...has the possibility of your horse popping a splint occurred to you because the farrier waited so long between trims the horse stressed their leg structures and popped...
I am not finger pointing but it could be a contributing factor.

As for suddenly now a club foot... :think:
I've not seen a horse years later suddenly develop a club foot..

..
Blah - shame on me, I read right over that ^^^:(. Ditto everything HLG said.

That is true. Club hooves do not just appear. They can be genetic, like my horse, as I have his papers and know there’s a stallion back in his lineage with a club hoof and he kept passing it along.

They can sometimes form when a very young horse sticks one leg out continually to graze, poor/infrequent trimming.

A serious health issue like major founder can also be responsible if enough damage is done inside the hoof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I honestly don't really know. I've had this farrier for a while, but she never mentioned anything about her being club footed or anything until today and I've had Ellie about 5-6 months. I also never paid attention to the angle of her foot since my farrier didn't seem concerned. I should have, but I'm rather new to looking at conformation, I needed to do my HW I think before buying. We originally went about every 5-6 weeks for her feet since she never mentioned she had any problems with it. She paddles also a bit, but she's never struck herself. I always thought it was my fault that she popped her splint, figured I pushed her too much or something, my vet said it was weird too since she's 7. I did think it was weird since my vet said the lameness is probably coming from her foot, but my farrier said it isn't her foot. Ellie's chiro did do hoof testers on her, but didn't show anything. If she's foundering wouldn't there be a heavy pulse in her foot, her chiropractor comes out once a month and she checks it. I wish I had taken photos of her foot when I first got her, but I'm not sure if this is a new thing or if her foot has always been that way. She also hasn't been lame except for the past few weeks in conjunction with her splint at least I don't think so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,742 Posts
That hoof didn't just suddenly get clubby in 7 weeks. If that hoof is that way do to trimming,also didn't just happen in 7 weeks.

That is from a long time of poor farrier work ,if it's caused from trimming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I definitely don't believe that it is clubby now because of pushing her trim out. That wasnt exactly the point of the posting, but I do feel like if she had any type of club foot or weird angle her farrier should have said something. Should I be looking for a new farrier? I had given that some thought and maybe someone who knows a bit more about corrective shoeing. Idk she is a pretty well known farrier in this area I am afraid to find someone new I don't want to make it worse, but I also don't want my horse to be trimmed wrong. I scoured through old photos and found some with her feet. They aren't great angles and it's screenshots from other photos, but I don't see the dish as much. Then again I don't know I will be getting some better photos tomorrow on better ground with her square.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,427 Posts
A club foot can be caused by an injury. The changes in the hoof structure become permanent over time but start out from uneven growth because the horse shifts the weight to the front of the hoof to compensate for pain. Horses often start with them young because of unevenness from congenital or genetic issues. But they also can develop later in life after an injury. I've seen plenty of horses that have a big scar on the back of the hoof that has become a club hoof, and you can see photos of them when young where they did not have the club hoof before the injury.

I read a study once about a farm that had all the horses develop club hooves. It turned out there was a power plant nearby that was sending massive vibrations into the ground, causing the horses to not place their heels and frogs on the soil because it was creating discomfort. As they did not weight their heels, the club hooves developed.

Over time, the hoof will change its structure if allowed to continue with the abnormal growth, and then you will be stuck with a club forever. As the heel is left tall and the opposite hoof weighted more, the horse will draw the club hoof back when grazing and wear the toe more and heel less. This will end up making the hoof contract, the coffin bone wings degrade, and soon the coffin bone becomes more oval in shape. After that the hoof will never grow wider again and will always have a tendency to grow a taller heel with tall bars and a contracted heel/frog. Then the club hoof will need special trimming always and often frequent treatment to prevent thrush.

I don't see a club in the earlier photos, so my guess is the splint injury has caused the horse to weight the heel of that hoof less. This is causing the tall heel and dished hoof wall. Frequent good trimming now could prevent the deformity from becoming permanent.
You should also check the frog to make sure no thrush has developed, because making the heel comfortable again will encourage the horse to weight the heel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
From the looks of it that is a very rapid change in her hoof structure, I am curious what the vet will find with the lameness exam as I typically see these kinds of club foot develope from injuries to cartilage tissue.
This a case like this I would reccomend x-rays to rule out any underlying cause for the club foot and they will also give your farrier an inside look to know how to approach treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
As an owner of a diagnosed mild club, I would be most interested in seeing x-rays. They can tell you what no one can really see on the outside. That would be my first step if I were in your position. Find a GOOD lameness vet and have x-rays done. They want just the hoof, they may want up to the shoulder, or somewhere in between.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well good news is she wasn't lame this morning. Walked her around in the round pen, her larger shoes she's got on currently and then her trim seemed to have helped a bit even with the dish. I am calling my vet tomorrow and getting a lameness eval scheduled along with some xrays. It does make me feel a little better hearing that sometimes they can happen from an injury (though I still feel bad about her having an injury) and it isn't something that myself, my farrier, vet and chiro just completely missed. I'll send the x-rays to my farrier and chiro also so we can keep her adjusted correctly and keep her on this shorter trim cycle and hope that we can figure out the best shoe option for her, I do believe she's got a good team so we can get her feeling better. Definitely going to do whatever I can to help her. Took more photos of her foot too this morning.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,549 Posts
One thing you can do to help would be to address the thrush:)

Buy some “Thrush Buster” or some hoof care with gentian violet in it:)

Treat the central sulci (the crack between the heels) and down the sides of the frogs, which are the collateral grooves:)

Without treatment the thrush will become worse and can eventually be another cause for lameness:)

Please update after the x-rays. You can’t leave us hanging without a final answer:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One thing you can do to help would be to address the thrush:)

Buy some “Thrush Buster” or some hoof care with gentian violet in it:)

Treat the central sulci (the crack between the heels) and down the sides of the frogs, which are the collateral grooves:)

Without treatment the thrush will become worse and can eventually be another cause for lameness:)

Please update after the x-rays. You can’t leave us hanging without a final answer:)
Will update for sure. I also added some thrush buster to her feet this morning, she's battled with some mild thrush since I got her in Dec, which might be part of our problem. I will continue cleaning her feet daily and adding the thrush buster, how often should I treat her with it? I will add it between the crack in her heal now also. I did her frog and around but not the crack down the back, but will add that area in too. I meant to post this photo with the others but forgot. This is the bottom of her right foot.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,549 Posts
If your ground is dry, every 3-4 days is good:). If you get a lot of rain and she is in mud,
every 2-3 days should work:)

I’m glad to see the farrier is using copper nails! Copper nails are good to help fight anaerobic issues in hooves prone to them:)

If the Thrush Buster doesn’t clear the thrush up in the central sulci between the heel bulbs, you may have to invest in ToMorrow. ToMorrow is really for mastitis in cows but it works great for thrush down in that deep crack. I have used diaper rash cream over top the ToMorrow to keep it in the crack longer:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: weeedlady

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If your ground is dry, every 3-4 days is good:). If you get a lot of rain and she is in mud,
every 2-3 days should work:)

I’m glad to see the farrier is using copper nails! Copper nails are good to help fight anaerobic issues in hooves prone to them:)

If the Thrush Buster doesn’t clear the thrush up in the central sulci between the heel bulbs, you may have to invest in ToMorrow. ToMorrow is really for mastitis in cows but it works great for thrush down in that deep crack. I have used diaper rash cream over top the ToMorrow to keep it in the crack longer:)
Awesome, thank you for the info! I'll see if I can find some of the Tomorrow. We are in Arizona so our ground is really dry especially right now so I'll stick to the 3-4 days.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,686 Posts
Thrush Buster is designed to have a lasting effect.
When applied it is purple in color.
When the color fades to just a hint seen it is time for another dose applied.
It stains badly anything it touches so wear gloves or be purpled. :D
This product also continues to work in wet conditions so constant reapplication is not needed.


I've never used Tomorrow, but hear good things about it from many members here whose comments I respect.
I know my local Tractor Supply carries it as does the farm store...easily bought and not expensive is my understanding.
Do be cautious if you mix products so you not get a reaction adverse from mixing products...be careful.
:runninghorse2:...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,883 Posts
Hi,

Why is your horse lame? Is it due to the splint or otherwise? How old is she? What do you do with her? Why did the splint occur? Why is she shod, especially if she's lame/not in work?

Firstly, this is hardly what I'd call a 'club'. Yes it appears too high, yes it appears higher than the other foot, shows some issues, but it's not at all severe. I'd be more inclined to call it 'high/low syndrome'. Many horses are not symmetrical - one hoof is higher heeled/steeper than the other. It's not *necessarily* a problem, so long as it's managed from getting worse. It is often due to body issues, injury, just the way the horse habitually stands, or thrush even, aside from possibly due purely to inexpert trimming, and addressing those things, as well as good, frequent trimming, is part of treatment/management. IF this horse developed that 'club'(again, hardly call it that personally) very recently, I'd guess it was due to her lameness/splint - she has been weighting that toe more, so it has flared forward & the less weighted heel has become higher.

*Assuming* this is not something fixable & can only be managed, part of that management needs to be providing necessary support under the heels - as can be shown in the heel angle pic, the heel/frog is off the ground & left 'hanging'(at least because of the shoes). It needs ground support or it will eventually 'prolapse'. Also keeping toes back where they should be, not allowing them to 'run forward' due to the extra pressure. This will keep the connection tight, so will help the sole stay healthy, but the 'rotated' foot is prone to 'founder' and in cases where the toe sole has become thin, additional protection of that area may be needed.

In the early pics, tho you acknowledge pics aren't the best, it doesn't appear there's much of an issue, tho the second pic shows the toe is a bit run forward. In your first pic, while heels are high (& appear high on left fore too, and left toe also looks a bit run forward, but hard to tell from that pic), the 'run forward' toe(and being shod to that distorted toe) are the far bigger issues. This is common, and due to weighting the toe & not being trimmed appropriately to manage this, 'club footed' horses often founder in that foot.

I've drawn on the first pic, ignoring the high heel for now, just to give you an idea of how much too long the toe is, where it should be for correct balance, so there is no unhealthy leverage force acting against it. Green line is approx where the wall should be, light blue line approx how I'd trim to facilitate it growing down healthily & well attached. I would NOT shoe the horse, without extremely good reason & not with conventional steel rim shoes, but if you're going to do so, you need to ensure the shoe is placed correctly to allow healthy 'breakover' & not to the distorted toe that she has now. The shoe is also too long, even given shod to the run forward toe - it sticks out the back slightly. This is sometimes done with the mistaken idea it will give run forward heels more support.

On the sole shot pic, I've drawn on this too, to show... line across the widest part of the frog is approx were heel platform should end, and one of the 'landmarks' of measuring a/p balance. line across the middle of the foot is approx the centre of articulation of the P3/P2 joint - this should be the midpoint of the base of the foot, with half or less of the base of the foot being in front of that line. That is partly how I worked out approximately where the 'breakover point' - the foremost green line - should be. The toe should be slightly bevelled at the ground surface in front of the breakover point, and the outside of the wall(& hence the outside of the shoe) should come to approx the light blue line. **Cannot say accurately just from this pic, hence lots of 'approx' being used. Study ELPO's guidelines to understand why & how to assess a/p balance.

Oh & I drew on the front-on pic, just to emphasise the distortion I'm seeing there. The foot is long generally, and there are also quarter flares. While pic angle is a bit skewed, it appears the hairline is low at the toe & 'pushed up' at the quarters.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't know why she's lame. Her splint showed up about month ago on her left leg. When I had my vet come out to check it out he noticed that she's lame on her right foot, not on the left at all. He didn't want to do a full lameness eval until her splint wasn't hot. It's finally at a point where it doesn't make her flinch when I poke at it and it isn't hot. So that's why she's getting xrays and such done hopefully next week. She has shoes because she had them on her front feet when I bought her. I don't pretend to know anything about shoes or hooves (hopefully I will learn a lot from this experience going forward) so I figured why mess with it if it worked for her. Would it be better to pull her shoes off? I wouldn't mind and then look at getting hoof boots for trails. I trail ride mostly, we play in the arena, but everything is casual riding we don't show. We noticed the splint after a pretty intense 3 day clinic though, which was probably the most hard riding we've done consecutively, maybe that's where the splint came from. I do not know, 100%. We would ride or do ground work about 4-5 times a week for a couple hours, but still nothing overly intense. Ellie is 7 this year and I have had her about 5 months now. Thanks for showing all the lines on her feet, I appreciate it. It definitely looks like her toe is too long, so maybe it's not a club foot, just not the right angle for her? I will plan on telling my vet about her long toe and how he feels about her recent trim as well, maybe he can recommend another farrier. I know there is a very knowledgeable barefoot trimmer in my area, wondering if she would benefit from a visit from them. Ellie does have nice strong black feet (I think) and her back feet don't have shoes and they have never cracked or chipped so maybe it's time to try her barefoot, especially since she's got time off right now if you think that she might benefit from being barefoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,742 Posts
Just be aware not all vets are well versed in hooves. And how they should look when properly trimmed/shod.

Finding good farriers can also be difficult,same goes for barefoot trimmers.

Barefoot is best if horses feet can handle it. Hoof boots are a better choice then metal shoes. My own are shod but I currently have an excellent farrier.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,883 Posts
I figured why mess with it if it worked for her. Would it be better to pull her shoes off?
Yeah, who's to say it 'worked for her' anyway(shoe damage is rarely direct, usually gradual, chronic, so you don't notice the damage for a long time), but certainly until her feet are gotten healthy, I don't believe it's at all in her best interest, so I'd get the shoes off, and trim her little & often to get/keep them in shape. And as said, IF you do feel there is some burning need for shoes, ensure that a) they fit & are balanced correctly, not way too big/forward like that, and b) I'd be using flexible shoes, and not peripheral loading devices, but ones that provide support & protection under the foot, such as Easyshoes for eg.

telling my vet about her long toe and how he feels about her recent trim as well, maybe he can recommend another farrier. I know there is a very knowledgeable barefoot trimmer in my area, wondering if she would benefit from a visit from them. Ellie does have nice strong black feet
As Rambo pointed out, not all vets are at all knowledgeable about hooves, but can't hurt to tell him all & ask his opinion, suggestions, etc. Unfortunately, farriery & 'trimmers' aren't regulated at all & there's no guarrantee someone's any good. But if this 'barefooter' is well renowned & knowledgeable, there's a fair bet she's decent, so worth a try. Really, there is no short cut though, to you doing your own homework, learning at least the theory for yourself, so you can make more informed opinions & decisions on who & what you do/don't.

Oh and black feet/hoof pigment has nothing to do with strength. But yeah, I think the vast majority of horses benefit from being barefoot - and booted when necessary for protection/support.

(I think) and her back feet don't have shoes and they have never cracked or chipped so maybe it's time to try her barefoot, especially since she's got time off right now if you think that she might benefit from being barefoot.[/QUOTE]
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top