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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I don't think many of you know how my little horse is doing - but he is off right now. I had to scratch my competition this weekend. I'd also like an opinion on anything else you would do, look at, etc (especially from the vets on here!).

So about 7 weeks ago now, my horse got hind shoes put on him for the first time and came up slightly off (under grade 1 lameness). Our local vet came out, diagnosed it as a close nail. We observed a very directional lameness on the lunge line (He moved 100% on the right rein and 90% on the left - he was obviously far more comfortable going to the right) he flexed sound and upon blocking the hoof was completely sound on the lunge. Some bute was administered after the blocking and we soaked the hoof for a few days. We reset the one shoe with only 5 nails and the horse was again 100% in all footing and scenarios since.
Last week he was re-shod (the farrier put in the "close nail" again) and came up off, now since then I have really been pushing the flying changes, which he does struggle with, so maybe twice a week he had been having strenuous rides for the changes and otherwise I had been trying to do hills and and lighter work. Again - I could not pinpoint the lameness from riding. He felt off on the left hind just because I assumed that would be the site of lameness. The next day that fetlock came up swollen and the vet came out.
Pulled the nail, swelling nearly instantly dissipated and the horse flexed and lunged sound. The next day he came up more swollen (still 100% sound) so the vet said to start on antibiotics and bute to treat a possible low grade infection. It has been working to reduce the swelling but I would love to find a root cause. I have also still been soaking the foot although he hoof tests normally, not indicating an abscess. What would help for a diagnosis? What other treatments should be tried?
I am just wary that this is the beginning of a hoof wall separation or white line disease...

Thanks!!
 

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Sounds like that one nail needs to be either NOT put in or moved slightly. Personally I'd tell farrier NOT to put a nail in that hole and see if horse can retain shoes without that one nail.

Doing an Xray when shoe is one might show that the nail's position is "touching" something it should not - not all horses are exactly alike.
 

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I wonder if that nail has caused an abscess to start forming deep inside the hoof? A friend of mine had a horse that was "quicked" I think is what she said when the farrier put the shoes on, an abscess formed, very deep inside the hoof and it took a very long time for it to actually surface.

I hope it's something simple. I'm not sure why the swelling though. I hope he gets better quickly. I know it has to be really hard, especially since you guys have been training so seriously. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The farrier is a farrier and like all farriers as soon as you ask him/tell him to do anything he assumes you are directly insulting his work. He is fabulous and I wouldn't have anyone less than that doing work on my horse. When he pulled the shoe the first time, there were no "close" nail holes, although the horse was sound without the nail in. He kept the shoe on for the full 5-6 weeks between trim/reset with only 5 nails in and in the latest reset the farrier put the nail back in - and now the horse is off again. The nail is now out again and the leg is still swollen.
Next reset, the barn owner/staff/etc.. have all been instructed to not allow the farrier to put a 6th nail in.

JDI - the vet blocked the nerve that leads down to the inside of the hoof - where the close nail was. She was careful to not block the outside nerve or anything involving the fetlock, etc..

farmpony - yes that is exactly what I am worried about, which is why I want another opinion. I'm probably going to end up trailering the horse for a few hours next week to make it down to a large clinic with a lot of really fun diagnostic tools and a surgeon and hopefully if there is an abscess or lesion they can surgically remove it.
 

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The farrier is a farrier and like all farriers as soon as you ask him/tell him to do anything he assumes you are directly insulting his work. He is fabulous and I wouldn't have anyone less than that doing work on my horse. When he pulled the shoe the first time, there were no "close" nail holes, although the horse was sound without the nail in.
Without more info, it's of course only an educated guess, but sounds to me the farrier is *possibly* not as great as you give him credit for. Firstly, no, all farriers aren't so closed to open discussion with horse owners - altho of course, that depends on how it is discussed:wink:. Many farriers realise it's in the horse's - so therefore their own - best interests to work *with* the owner & educate them & consider alternatives - or at least give owners rational & respectful reasons why they wouldn't consider them. And horses coming up lame after a trim/shoeing generally indicates farrier error. While 'quicking' can indeed happen, IME it's a lot less frequent than assumed, and the problem is more often to do with trimming/imbalance. Whether or not the horse was actually quicked, if the guy's done it twice in a row, I'd be seriously analysing my opinion of him & considering that maybe he's not the greatest thing since sliced bread after all. Like I said, not enough info for more than a guess on him, but keep an open mind.

If you would like some more specific opinions on the horse's feet, send us some hoof pics. Also interested in why you decided to get him shod in the back for the first time? Perhaps there are existing problems that have just been exacerbated by shoes? *NB not against shoes necessarily, but don't generally find them helpful for already ill or damaged feet.
 

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The farrier is a farrier and like all farriers as soon as you ask him/tell him to do anything he assumes you are directly insulting his work.
That right there is grounds for dismissal in my book. If he won't listen to what you, THE OWNER, has to say, I seriously would not use him any more. It can be very difficult to find a good farrier, but you need one who will work with you in order to keep your horse sound.

I hope your horse's lameness can be diagnosed and treated very soon, and that the road to recovery is short and sweet.
 

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Sometimes you can put ichthomol on the bottom of the hoof to pull an abscess out but this one may be too deep (if that's what it is)...

The "fancy" vets will be able to find the problem and fix it though. I still hope it's nothing but a minor issue.

We have a couple of equine hospitals, actually three close by. My vet has a small one that I've never actually been to. But when I have "mystery" type lameness issues I haul about an hour and a half to the vets at the race track, because they are experts in lameness. Too bad you don't have one nearby!
 

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Just a question anebel does your horse stop up and lift its leg like its in pain. Just curios because i have ran into some problems recenently after being shoed. I've done alot of research and flexion test and i don't have a hoof tester but i pushed all around as hard as i could. But ive watched alot of videos and searched through the chapter of lameness in my vet book and couldn't really find anything. This is also my horses first year for being shoed in her back feet. Your situation kind of sounds the same to mine. Well the closest so far anyway. What is a close nail? Is that like a hot nail where an abscess forms around the nail?
 

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Just a question anebel does your horse stop up and lift its leg like its in pain. Just curios because i have ran into some problems recenently after being shoed.....What is a close nail? Is that like a hot nail where an abscess forms around the nail?
Again, if a horse is lame after a trim or shoe, it is likely to be due to farrier error. I would immediate contact the hoof care provider in this instance and inform them of the problem. I would expect them to take it seriously & come attempt to fix the problem if possible, or at least explain why it's likely happened - & apologise if it was their fault. They're only human & accidents can happen. If they didn't take it seriously tho, it happened repeatedly or they made noises of 'it's normal' or some such, I'd inform them I was now going to look for a *good* farrier/hcp.

Unfortunately it's still relatively common for farriers to routinely pare frog and rasp into sole material, which are leading causes of horses being sensitive post trim. hoofrehab.com is among the better sites that will give you the guidelines to tell whether your farrier is likely doing a good, bad or indifferent job. And yes, a 'close nail' is aka 'hot nail', aka 'quicking' - means the nail has been driven into the corium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am going to make a very conscious effort to be out next time he is doing feet. This guy is the only farrier in my area that trims my horse's front feet properly and he has been wonderful to work with in regards to getting them fixed up. At this point I'm not switching farriers because I am so happy with the work he has done and would like to keep it consistent for my horse's sake. If it means I need to have one farrier for the front legs and one for the back then so be it :p
When we pulled the nail out the first time there was a good millimeter at least between the hole and the "white line". The nail hole was well into the wall - leading me to believe that there is a hoof structure issue that just needs to grow out - I'm just hoping it hasn't been over aggravated.

The vet was out again today - he's off bute, still on the antibiotics and I'm going to ride him tomorrow - hopefully without getting bucked off :p I am sincerely hoping that everything will have subsided by now. He has flexed sound through the whole thing.
 
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