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TL;DR My mare is having hoof trouble and I am having a lot of trouble picking up her feet for cleaning, inspection and soaking.
Blackberry is a overweight 17 year old Morgan cross. She has been lame on both front feet for the past two weeks. The vet removed some sole from the near fore and diagnosed her with mild laminitis, a week ago. He prescribed bute and told me to soak her feet. I have only been able to do it once. She will not pick up either front foot. She has even stopped shifting her weight off it when asked. Also, she has taking to lifting the near hind, when I ask her lift her near fore. I cue her by running my hand down her leg and clucking, then I lean my shoulder into hers. Where she usually leans into me . She has stopped responding to light slaps (for noise), being asked to step forward, stepping backwards, and putting pressure on her shoulder with the handle of the hoof pick. I am getting the vet out again on Monday but if I can't take care of her feet then I'll just be wasting money.
 

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Possibly she is not wanting to pick her feet up because she is in to much pain from the laminitis.

Laminitis is a very serious problem. The laminae is over filled with blood forcing it to part. Imagine the pain from having an infection under a finger nail and then having to take your weight on it.

Besides trying to soak her feet what else have you been doing to get some of the weight off her ? Laminitis manifests as a foot problem but really it is a dietary one. Soaking her feet is not going to cure it.

How reluctant is she to walk around? How much time is spent lying down?

If you cannot pick her feet up then hose her legs down letting the water run over her feet.

Take her off grass and put her in a small area and give her minimal hay that has been soaked for at least two hours so it doesn't contain as much goodness.
 

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From the sound of it, it is far from 'mild' laminitis. Sounds like serious & acute. Suppose it's all relative, but what made him class it as 'mild'? Why did the vet pare some sole? How much & from where exactly? What else did he advise/say? Did he do radiographs? If you're yet to get them, ensure vet marks dorsal wall, hairline & point of frog for the rads. Is there any/much hoof distortion, or did she have healthy feet till this happened? (see link in my signature & then take & post hoof pics if you want specific advice/opinions there).

As you have provided little info, I will just give the general recommendations...

Get her onto soft footing & somewhere she is happy to lie down when she feels the need. She may also need padding - thick, soft foam rubber duct taped to her feet as an emergency measure will do till you have hoof boots or such. Re picking up her hooves, sounds like she's really suffering already so doesn't want to put more weight on one hoof in order to pick up the other. Standing her on thick foam might enable her to feel comfortable enough to pick up a foot. If not, no big stress - soaking feet is not a priority. When you need them attended by a farrier, rigging up a sling, to take some of her weight would help her.

Get her off any pasture, and off all feed, aside from *soaked 2-more hours in clean water & drained*(to leach out the sugars) grass hay only. About the single biggest cause of laminitis is insulin resistance, like type 2 diabetes in people. That's why obesity is a common factor & why you need to IMMEDIATELY quit feeding anything 'high carb' and also make a point of getting weight off your horse. **Horses should not go hungry for long periods either though, so feeding hay in a 'slow feed' net or such, so she can eat small quantities but it will last thru the day is best.

Look into what supps may be necessary for balanced nutrition - too high iron & too low copper, zinc, magnesium, chromium(esp look into the last 2 with regards to IR/type 2 diabetes) are a few that are specifically related to hoof health & laminitis. I'd personally suggest doing a diet analysis & consulting a (non affiliated) equine nutritionist.

If you don't have one, make it an urgent priority to find a farrier/hoofcare practitioner, and preferably a specialist vet ASAP, who are experienced in *successful* founder rehab & get them out ASAP. Have hooves attended little & often.
 

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Take heed @loosie and @Foxhunter comments.

I am focused on the part where you say you will be “—wasting your money—-“ on the vet if you can’t get her hooves up.

You can’t get her hooves up because she is in so much pain and you NEED to get creative if you care anything at all about this horse.

I know from experience as I almost lost my TWH to serious found in 2012 due to insulin resistance. Which insulin resistance is just about guaranteed to be the issue because your horse is 17 and is part Morgan. Morgan’s are predisposed insulin issues.

So, Along with all of the above, fold a thick bath towel in half and place it under the opposite hoof you need to work on.

Get thee to the grocery store IMMEDIATELY and buy up several cheap bags of frozen peas. Get some duct tape to tape the frozen bags of peas to the bottom of the hoof, or at the very least, tape them to the top of the hooves — anything is better than nothing.

If she will stand still on the bags of peas, get her hooves picked up and set them on the bags.

Keep the bags on for 20 minutes maximum - any longer is counterproductive.

You can put them back in a Walmart bag and stick them in the freezer to re-use until the pea bags wear out.

I almost lost my TWH to serious founder in 2012. I am low on sympathy regarding difficulty getting the hooves picked up. Yes your mare sure is in pain but you MUST get those hooves up and very quickly get done what needs done. Hence try a folded bath towel under the opposite hoof.

I hope your vet has a portable x-ray, so you can see how far the coffin bone has rotated. If not, you need to try and find another vet who does have a portable X-ray because the horse is in too much pain to load up and carry to a lameness clinic.

You are also going to need a farrier who has knowledge of trimming foundered horses. I found out the hard way, that many “great” farrier’s are only great as long as they are trimming healthy hooves. When it comes to trimming foundered hooves, they aren’t so great after all.

Here is a credible link on IR and Cushings. Click on the “laminitis” bar on the left and read that, for starters.

https://www.ecirhorse.org/

I am still stuck on your “wasting your money” comment as it really doesn’t indicate you care a lot for this horse, other than it being a commodity. Hopefully I misinterpreted, as founder is not cheap to fix —- not in your time nor in your money—— The horse now needs to be micro-managed, both in diet and hoof care—-
 

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Do you have another vet that could come out and second a second opinion and, as others said, get XRays? I agree with the others that this does not sound like MILD laminitis -- this is a horse that is in serious pain.

I am just learning about hoof care, so take this with a big grain of salt, but trimming sole from the front of her feet seems like the exact opposite of what someone should be doing in a laminitis case. That, plus the vet calling it "mild" and not taking XRays -- I'd be looking for a new vet. And, yes, a really good farrier or trimmer who specialized in laminitis cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
but what made him class it as 'mild'? I'm not sure, he watched me walk her down the aisle and then looked at the doming on her sole.
Why did the vet pare some sole? He said it was causing her to stand on her coffin bone.
How much & from where exactly? From the area between the point of the frog and the front wall and I don't know.
What else did he advise/say? He said to she had "mild laminitis" To give her one tab of bute once a day for five days.
( I did that.) And to soak her foot in Epsom salts over the weekend. He was sure she would be completely better in a week.
(She's not) He also wanted to test for Cushing's if she was still sore.
Did he do radiographs? No. Didn't even suggest it.
Is there any/much hoof distortion, or did she have healthy feet till this happened? Both my horses went without farrier work for six months to my great shame. Due to COVID and family emergency's on both my and the farrier's end. However, my gelding is completely fine.
Okay got an appointment with another vet that specializes in lameness and has a portable x-ray machine. She'll be out Thursday. Debating keeping the Monday appointment with the first vet, anyway. What do you think?
I have yet to see Blackberry laying down but I board. So, I only see her once a day. She is reluctant to walk but once she gets started will walk wherever I want to take her. When this started she obviously favoring the near fore, taking exaggerated steps with it. She turns by tucking her front feet up and pivoting sharply to the side, sort of rollbackish. Now she walks evenly but with slow small steps and hesitates before entering paved areas.
I have the peas, I'll try that this evening. I'll definitely bring a towel, too. That may work.
 

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How great you found a lameness vet to co e out and look at her:thumbsup:

Were it me, I would cancel the original vet and put that money toward the x-rays:smile:

Ask the lameness vet who she uses as a farrier and does that person make farm calls?

There was a point after, the big founder, that I was carrying my IR horse to the lameness clinic every five weeks - for x-rays and for that vet’s farrier to trim/shoe my horse. That farrier did not come to my end of the county. I eventually found a therapeutic farrier whose been managing his hooves for 3+ years.

Good luck with the new vet and hopefully rotation is not bad — also ask her if she measures from the dorsal wall, as opposed to the measuring from the ground. I understand measuring from the dorsal wall provides more accuracy.

Please let us know the outcome:)

I hope the towel works and the peas are a great alternative to soaking but they do make ice hoof boots, if it comes to that:smile:
 

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@Smaug . . I appreciate your honesty and willingness to accept advice, even if it makes you feel bad . Hoping things work out better for you. note: I had never heard about the use of frozen peas. I've heard of using them for other things. Seems we should all have a couple of bags in the freezer that we have not intention of actually eating.


for levity:






just the first half of this relevant. I don't know how to edit out the rest.
 

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I have had the same problem with Hondo. A horse with laminitis should NOT have sole removed.....normally.


All horses will lie down some. They cannot get the required REM sleep standing up.


Hondo is a very gentle and compliant horse.


When he is lying down, I take a chair, without arms, a stool would be fine also but a low one, and sit behind the fores with my feet equally on each side of his hoof. I then take the top hoof and lay it across my leg. I've used nippers on overgrown whatever this way.


I'm always ready to get up quickly and step aside. When they go to get up they will retract the fores so that leaves the trimmer in the clear. But I still move!


At times I'll get down on my knees to work on the bottom hoof, or depending on the position of the top leg, sometimes I can get it up on my leg also.


Now when they are laying down in the upright position, the outbound fore can easily be cleaned along with both hinds. And the bottom for can be cleaned also by twisting or turning it a bit.


I am never forceful and if he wants to do something that interrupts me, I let him.


Sometimes there's a noise that could be threatening or maybe a gut is uncomfortable and needs moving. What ever, I don't try to stop him.


I'm retired and with my horse all the time, so it makes it easy for me. For those that work or have the horse at a barn where there's not that much time spent, not sure what way to go.


But pictures such as can be taken would help.
 

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...looked at the doming on her sole. [/COLOR]
Why did the vet pare some sole? He said it was causing her to stand on her coffin bone.
How much & from where exactly? From the area between the point of the frog and the front wall and I don't know.
Reading this caused me to swear in front of my kids. I SERIOUSLY hope I have totally misinterpretted what you have said... Do you mean the sole was bulging OUTWARDS from the walls in front of the frog, rather than being flat or concave?? If so, that is very likely(of course, only educated guess, without pics) that the sole is VERY thin and it is bulging because the coffin bone is right there, pushing on it!!! So the vet paring sole away is like... a doctor paring away the skin of your sole, because it's bulging out under the bones!!

What else did he advise/say? He said to she had "mild laminitis" To give her one tab of bute once a day for five days.
( I did that.) And to soak her foot in Epsom salts over the weekend. He was sure she would be completely better in a week.


Even if it were 'only' mild laminitis(which is bad enough...) I'm sorry to say, it sounds like this vet is virtually clueless...

Okay got an appointment with another vet that specializes in lameness and has a portable x-ray machine. She'll be out Thursday. Debating keeping the Monday appointment with the first vet, anyway.
Excellent to the first sentence. Def. wouldn't bother with the latter.

She is reluctant to walk but once she gets started will walk wherever I want to take her.
Please do not force her to walk anywhere. Yeah, horses are incredibly stoic animals & I have known of a horse step off a trailer leaving literally bloody steps, because his pedal bones had penetrated the sole... this was at a friend's rehab centre(not mine) & he was obviously suffering, but he was not even 'lame'.

Exercise is incredibly important, but do not force her to do so if she is hurting. It will be doing her further damage. So again, keep her on soft, deep bedding, pad her feet, get her *well* trimmed, by a farrier *experienced in SUCCESSFUL rehab*, buy her some good rehab hoof boots(Easycare Clouds are great) and then keep her in an environment she can get as much free movement as she likes, but doesn't feel compelled to do so, and is comfortable lying down in, whenever she feels the need.

I have the peas, I'll try that this evening. I'll definitely bring a towel, too. That may work.
Agree that this is a good 'trick', but I impress on you, that your horse is in a VERY SERIOUS condition which will take A LOT more time & effort than a visit a day with peas & towels. She needs INTENSIVE CARE and needs it NOW! Not assuming, but IF you are for whatever reason, unable or unwilling, or don't have the funds to do much, then it *might* be fairer to just put her down. While IME the vast majority of laminitis - even very severe like it sounds your poor mare is - is 'cureable', it is not a given and takes a lot of effort. This condition still leads to many, many horses having to be put down. Sadly, it is also almost completely avoidable, if only horses were managed appropriately.
 

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Oh gosh, a domed sole is a prolapsed sole. A very big bad thing. But thinning the dome is a good way to experience the coffin actually penetrating the sole. If the picture in my mind is correct, the hoof walls need support in the front with casting or whatever and the heels need to be tapered aggressively to rock the foot back on the heel and off the toe. The toe needs something soft under it in case it does come in contact with the ground force.


If the sole is in fact prolapsed, x-rays and a knowledgeable laminitis rehab trim is mandatory or euthanization will become necessary.


I don't want to be an alarmist, but laminitis is the number one reason for equine euthanasia.


So without knowing more, I'd rather err on the side of being an alarmist than to say, aw he'll be alright. Don't worry.
 

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Seems we should all have a couple of bags in the freezer that we have not intention of actually eating.
Has to be frozen chopped onion or such for me, that I keep handy for 'first aid' - peas are just too yummy!
 

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Has to be frozen chopped onion or such for me, that I keep handy for 'first aid' - peas are just too yummy!
I do NOT like peas, but the chopped onion would be in the frying pan in a skinny minute, lollol

I missed the part about the bulging sole:(. Holy Crow, that vet needs neutered:beatup:

Yes, to everything @loosie said in Her post #11. This may e d up being an expensive and exhaustive rehab, depending what the x-rays show.

Some on this forum know the thousands of dollars I have in my horse, just in his hooves alone, since his big founder in 2012. AND the mistakes that were made along the way. AND the hoof boots/inserts, shoeing, x-rays. One year of carrying him to the lameness vet every five weeks for TWO sets of x-rays each trip and the vet’s farrier doing the shoeing darn near put me standing on a street corner - and - I -am -waaaay- too -old - to- be -doing - that:)

If DH didn’t have the job he has, so I can spend my entire retirement money on my last two horses, I would have had to PTS Joker because he also has Cushings (which means Prascend for his remaining life) and a twice fractured sacrum. He is a happy horse who doesn’t look look like the horse version of Humpty Dumpty to the untrained eye, but it does not come cheap.

My point is anything is possible if the money is there, you can do the very intense labor, and it’s ok the horse may never be rideable again.

Please let us know what the x-rays show and what the lameness vet says. There’s enough of us on here, that can offer ideas of what worked for each of us. We did not all take the same route to rehab hooves but somehow, we have all managed to be pretty successful at keeping our horses happy and able to move in a fluid manner:)
 
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...And Smaug, keep us posted whatever the results & your decision, and I'd be interested to see hoof pics, just out of curiosity, even if you can't pick her feet up, etc.

Please also accept that no one here is(well, they shouldn't be at any rate) judging you for not knowing better & letting your horse get to this point... and then get made even worse by an idiot vet. Unfortunately, Walkin & I, and so many others here, have both been in your sort of 'boat' and that is where our steep learning curves started. Can't blame anyone for not knowing better when they have... ahem... 'experts' such as you had to 'advise' you. That is why I for one, am so big on owners educating themselves. Along with Walkin's suggestion of the very good resource www.ecirhorse.com I will PM you some other resources.

As said, the vast majority of horses - even in worse states than it sounds yours is, CAN be successfully rehabbed these days, and it may well NOT be expensive - past initial xrays, hoof boots, farrier extra frequently for at least a handful of trims(little & often trimming/changes are generally best). But no one should be judging you either, for what you may or may not be able to manage now that your horse needs intensive care.
 
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