Monday, 2 July 2012

M's 3 week update

Time for M's 3 week update with photos to prove that even feet as weak as his can make changes - albeit slowly. Here are his comparison shots, with the photo from when he arrived at the top for each.

Obviously he has a long toe and weak under-run heel. There is also lots of deviation in the hairline which suggests the hooves have been loading unevenly. Lots of ripples and bulges in the hoof wall are more indications of dietary and loading problems. 
The more recent photo almost looks more under-run but in fact you can see from the sole shots that the back of his hoof is slowly getting stronger. M's been treated for ulcers and his diet has been improved over the last few months but what his hooves have desperately been lacking is movement and stimulus which will be the essential if he is to improve.  
His soles are so thin that he can't cope with hard surfaces and so at home he had been booted simply in order to keep him comfortable. Fortunately here he can move on the gravel tracks and they will be the key to strengthening his soles, frog and digital cushion. 
You can see the bruising in his soles quite clearly but it is already less than it was when he arrived and his heels are starting to be more supportive. He is still landing toe first on concrete, which is why the tracks are critical for him. Once his hooves are stronger that should change. 
The RF has the same weak frog and bruising but the most significant difference so far is the improvement in the bars. The frog is also beefing up and the heels are becoming less underrun though of course its very early days for him.
Finally, caudal shots of the LF - not a lot of change visible here by comparison with the sole shots but a slightly more engaged frog. I know from experience that there is no point in trimming a foot like this - even taking that untidy hoof wall off at the toe is more likely to make him uncomfortable as it will overload the weak back of his foot. 
Its also interesting to look at the length of the hoof wall and see that it is more even in the second photo. 
More from M soon, of course. 


M's mum said...

I'm stunned!! These may be slow changes by your standards Nic but to my eyes these are the most dramatic changes these feet have made, and in the shortest time, since the shoes came off. The heel on the lateral shot of the LF does look more under-run but that's only cos the back of the foot at & above the heel bulb looks about twice the size!!! And the bars are losing that pincer shape. Big changes! I'm delighted!!

amandap said...

The bulbs look to have opened up a lot comparing the last two shots. Is that down to the frog "beefing up"?

Go M.

Nic Barker said...

I'm delighted you're delighted :-) Things never happen fast enough for me but at least he is making progress.

Amanda - yes, I think that is the likeliest explanation - that's why its useful to have shots from different perspectives.

Its quite right that the back of the foot at the top is significantly more developed which is contributing to the odd under-run appearance at the ground.

M's mum said...

Nic, what is the significance of the shallow W shape at the toe on the sole shot of the LF? (and possibly the beginning of the same on the RF?)

Nic Barker said...

There is a lot of bruising in both toes, as you know - is that what you mean?

M's mum said...

Hi again - no, not the bruising (!). At the toe, where the sole meets the hoof wall, the line of the sole at the very edge at the toe turns back on itself slightly, back towards the tip of the frog. Sorry, not doing a very good job of explaining!

Jassy Mackenzie said...

Could it be a scar from a toe clip? My TB Jack had a similar dent on the toe of each front foot after he went barefoot... never affected him but since they never went away either, were a good reminder of what toe clips can do!

Nic Barker said...

Ah, you mean the "divot" in the white line at the toe - yes, I reckon Jassy is right - some horses have them, some don't. It might disappear, it might stay - shouldn't bother him FWIW although it may be a "weak point" and worth keeping clean and picked out regularly.

M's mum said...

Sorry Nic - I thought I'd replied to this yesterday. Thanks - yes, the 'divot' is what I was on about. Thank you - will know to keep an eye on this if its still there when he comes home.

cptrayes said...

Loads of horses have those! Don't worry M's Mum.