Monday, August 16, 2010

Corrie has heart but no soul . .

. . Er sole.

For the past two week we have been battling lameness issues that come and go. Bute for a few days and we're good to go, only to be lame a day later. I have been able to ride her lightly, bare back or walking around the field. We even managed to go for a short drive. Then she started getting really bad.

The thing was that there was no heat, no obvious cause, no wound, and she didn't exhibit any classic symptoms of anything. She seemed to be lame in the right front and then in the left front. Her hooves were cool with no pulse. Joints were cool to the touch and it always just seemed to be a hoof problem. She stood stretched out, not like an abscess was coming with her weight shifted back. But not like a typical laminitic stance either.

So she was really bad this morning and I finally had it. I called out the vet. After watching her go he was as puzzled as I was. She was not reacting very much to the hoof tester, although he did note that her feet were really flat. She is trimmed well but just the structure of her hoof is very flat soled. We numbed her right heel to see if she would move off sound. Nope, then she just because lame in the left. We both really could not believe it was laminitsis, but being a fat Haffie mare, it was still a chance. So it was time to pull out the old x ray machine.

Well not old. I can not believe how technology has changed how our horses are diagnosed. With a few machines, a lap top, and wires going every where we had images of Corrie's hooves right away.

Should I leave this as a cliff hanger?

Naw, I won't. Corrie's coffin bone looks like it is right where it should be, maybe a little rotation, but he would not even concider her laminitic. What he did note is that she has very little sole. She should have 1 cm of sole under her coffin bone. On the left front she has .8 cm and on the other she has .4! No wonder the poor dear is so tenderfooted!

I was so relieved though. The fix is shoes with pad. Now I prefere barefoot horses, as does my vet, but really of all the things that could have been wrong and the expense of the treatments, I will take 6 mos of shoes with pads. So once I get that done she should be as right as rain again.


  1. Glad you have an answer - those mystery lamenesses can be very frustrating.

  2. This sounds similar to what Dusty was going through. Except her coffin bone was rotated 5 degrees. The fix is natural balance shoes in front with pads. We'll check her again in two weeks and see how it's helping. We think she bruised her hoof on a rock or something, but we'll never know how she got the injury. It's nice to know how to take care of it though. Glad it wasn't a big deal for Corrie either and an easy fix.

  3. Sounds like what my friend Heather went thru with Rover, but his turned out to be ringbone in all 4 feet. He's a MUCH happier boy these days with rocker shoes. Hope Corrie is comfy real soon.

    WV = bugie
    Git down, git down and bugie tonight, baybay!

  4. Poor girl. Good thing you got the vet out to see whats wrong. You should try easywalker shoes on her. I think you would be pleasantly surprised.

  5. I'm glad that you didn't leave it as a cliff hanger! Also glad that you found a solution. Other than a bad trim, what might cause the sole to be so thin?

  6. Kate: They aren't they?

    GHM: I was thinking about Dusty was I was going through this. So many of our horses seem to be coming up lame, what is up with that? Sounds like Dusty is getting what she needs too.

    LF: See, again, another horse that is lame! I am sorry that he has ringbone all around. Even more glad that the rocker shoes work!

    Sydney: I will check out those shoes, and the ones that GHM mentioned. She is just getting shoes and pads this time so that we can get her comfortable asap.

    Living: It is just her hoof structure. Just like some people have flat feet, she just has a really flat sole. It just wasn't a problem before. I am not sure why. She was not being used as much that if for sure. Also during the winter it would not cause her as much of a problem because the hoof is naturally harder.

  7. Does Sensei trim her soles? For most horses, the sole should never be trimmed and just left to naturally exfoliate. Even the frog should only be lightly trimmed if there are any loose hangs of frog. Most of the time it's better to just leave it all alone and just trim and balance the hoof wall and bars and leave it at that. We humans like everything to look tidy, clean and perfect, but hooves are rarely any of those things. We tend to mess things up with our ideas and obsessions.

    I hope the new shoes and pads help make a difference for Corrie so she can eventually be barefoot again.


  8. Lisa~ No Sensei does not trim the sole nor the frog a whole lot either. He is very good about keeping the hoof natural and trust me we wants her out of those shoes and pad more than I do. He wants to pull the pads on her next reset and get her totally out of shoes by winter.

  9. I'm glad that's all it turned out to be. I can't wait to read later and see how she's doing.


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