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Older horse? with bad foot

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by RockyToggRanch, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Hi, I bought my first horse 2 yrs ago. A 16 yr old TWH gelding.
    A yr later, my vet told me he was more likely 25-30, looking at his teeth. (this is still debatable). In March last year he had foundered. We had shoes put on his front feet. He's been doing better all along. 2 weeks ago I asked the farrier if we could take his shoes off for the remainder of the winter. It's very snowy here and his shoes just seem to accumulate ice packs. The farrier said that would be fine. The next day, the horse started favoring the right foot (always the problem foot). I thought maybe just because he was trimmed. Over the next few days I noticed more bruising on his sole on that foot. Today he has a piece of the outer hoof chipped away. He's outside 24/7 with his stall open to the paddock and a run in shed as well. I don't know if this chipping is normal when the shoes are removed? It's pretty big, like an inch long and 1/4 inch thick (or deep). I'm calling my farrier to ask his advice, but I wanted to run this by you all as well. Tonight he'll start getting bute in applesauce...he hasn't needed since spring. I don't know what else to do for him.

  2. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Shoes trash there hoofs. It weakens the hoof wall along with a whole list of other problems. I would try to find easy boots for him.

    The sole has yet to harded up and it prone to the brusing. He could be foundering b/c of his shoes. I have seen it many times.

    Are you sure there is no abscess?
  3. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Crowing Premium Member

    Call a barefoot specialist and get him trimmed for founder care, and get him boots. Honestly shoes are the wrong way to try and heal founder, it's been proven that suspending the hoof by the wall, when wall separation is the problem like in founder, that the healing can not take place. the suspension of the foot on the wall has further thinned the sole, which was too thin following the founder already, and now it sounds like he has a solar bruise or abscess. The hoof wall chipping out like that tells me that the farrier instead of doing a true barefoot trim did what is often called a pasture trim, often just a normal flat trim ready for a shoe but no shoe put on. There needs to be significant roll in the wall of this horse to get him back to health.

    Please go to hoofrehab.com and read the articles there, really good site, and there is a search there to help you find a certified trimmer in your area that will get your horse into boots and pads till he is healthy. I took one of the clinics Pete did and learned a ton, really nice guy and he helped me rehab my Morgan from founder, and since then I have done 2 more I rescued.
  4. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Well said adoptedbyachicken.

    I sent you a pm with a couple websites to check out was well as one with a bare foot trimmers list.
  5. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Thank you all so much. The old horse farmer that just built my barn has been trying to convince me to have him put down, but I know he's okay...I think I'll know when he's not. I'll check out your links and try to find a specialist in the area. If anyone knows of one, please email me. thanks
  6. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Sorry, how do I tell the difference between a bruise and an abcess?
  7. Pluto

    Pluto In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2009
    A vet or farrier should be able to tell you if it is an abcess. An abcess often starts with a bruse (bruses are pretty common with newly barefoot horses), and will usually blow out through the sole or coronary band. They are also pretty common in spring when horses are standing in mud, and bacteria is pushed into the cracks in the hooves.

    In the mean time I would soak his hoof in warm water and epsom salts, and keep him in a clean dry place. If a small hole develops and puss comes out then you can either apply a poltice, keep the hoof wrapped, or invest in a soaking boot (easy boot), and then continue to soak and clean it daily.

    Also if it is an abcess, your horse will probably start feeling better as soon as it burst, as it releaves the pressure in the hoof. But it's really important to keep it clean and covered so that it does not become infected.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009

  8. katrinag

    katrinag Songster

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Oh my. This horse is outside 24/7. I could close him in a stall, but he will only mope and be sad. Our ground is frozen and snow covered. Since there's no mud or dirt, does he still need to be stalled? Last March the vet said the snow and cold would make it feel better.

    Was I wrong to ask to have his shoes removed for a few months? He was fine before this trim.
  10. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    I agree with suggestion for barefoot care. Shoes only mask the problem and at some point he is probably going to be lame again with the shoes. I had an older mare who foundered in her front feet there was a good amount of rotation. She had been put in special shoes at first and while it helped her through her recovery about 6 months after her feet again got sore and she was very trippy. I had a barfoot trimmer come out and she had special trims and in just a couple months she was 100% sound. They are going to be sore when the shoes are taken off, what happens if you tried to take your shoes off after wearing them 24/7 and try to walk outside? The easy boots really help the transition and after they get used to being barefoot and get the trims their feet are so much healthier. Just find a certified barefoot trimmer, the site listed is a great resource.

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