Monday 10 December 2012

Palmar hoof support

Alfie the Morgan has been here now for 8 weeks and its time for another update. He was diagnosed with DDFT and impar ligament damage along with navicular bone damage and coffin joint arthritis. 
There is general agreement that horses with this type of diagnosis require "support" in the area where the pain is - the back of the hoof. 
Frequently, remedial shoes are seen as the way to provide this "support" but the irony is that the hoof will itself build a more supportive palmar hoof if it is given half a chance. These photos - taken over 8 weeks - show how this happens. Look how much more substantial the previously weak area is becoming - and the foot is less under-run and has a better hoof/pastern axis as a result. 
With correct, comfortable stimulus the horse is happier to engage and land on the back of the hoof. This in turn starts to work the frog and digital cushion and in response they develop and become stronger, encouraging more engagement, a better landing. 
What was a vicious circle (pain, toe first landing, DDFT and impar ligament damage, pain, toe first landing etc) becomes a virtuous circle: comfort, heel first landing and giving the tendon and ligament damage the chance to heal as a result.
These sole shots show how the frog and heels are developing  - an integral part of the process. This can happen very quickly - remember this is less than 2 shoeing cycles. It would be interesting to see comparative photos of the foot changing during a similar period of remedial farriery!


Cristina said...

I remember taking pictures which were going to track improvements with remedial farriery. They did show changes but unfortunately not the ones we were looking for.

Niki said...

My vet told me that hooves took 9 months to a year to change shape and that I was utterly wrong saying my horses feet had collapsed in 2 weeks.

Good idea to take constant pics so you can prove the changes, positive or negative.

Brilliant changes for Alfie, fascinating, wish more vets would see and understand

alfiebeansue said...

They've changed so much in just two weeks, just shows what you're vet knows !! :-)