Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Another 4 weeks - Filly's update

Like Wiggy yesterday, Filly has been here for just over 4 weeks. As you can see from comparing her initial photos with today, a few things have changed. For a start, she has blown an abscess at the coronet - interestingly where the bulge in the hairline was when she arrived, though it may not be related. 
This has of course meant she hasn't been able to do as much work this week as normal but I will upload footage on her as soon as I can - certainly later this week, computer permitting(!).
This is the sole shot on her LF in shoes, above...
...a day out of shoes...
...and today. I like the fact that her frog is stronger and that her heels and bars are coming back. You can also see from the lower photo where her break over is changing, and that her toe will shorten again once her new hoof capsule has grown in. 
This is always an interesting angle and shows nicely the changes in digital cushion and frog as well as hoof wall.  

Over 4 weeks its also interesting to chart the hoof growth - the new growth in her RF is particularly clear at the coronet and should make it easy to track growth down the foot.  Its still an under-run foot but looking at the hairline at the palmar foot there is already more depth there. 

In the RF as well changes at sole level are clear. The photo above is her foot on day one and, below, a day out of shoes.  
Today, as with the LF the heels and bars are coming back and the toe is shortening - the line shows where her break over will be once the new foot has grown in.  

A lovely caudal shot to finish - the better digital cushion and healthier palmar hoof is what we really want to see!
As soon as I manage to sort out the computer I will post footage as well - fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting post, Nic and fascinating blog - I have been following and reading for many years now and still find it essential and thought-provoking reading!

A couple of questions if that would be ok?

1) I notice on your FAQ blog, you mention that Rockley doesn't take horses with metabolic lameness (such as laminitis) - I was wondering whether this is because you have found that the approach that works well with the non-metabolic horses wouldn't be appropriate for the metabolically-challenged ones? (The amazing track system that you have looks ideal for lami-prone horses!) I'm wondering particularly whether horses with metabolic challenges might need more intervention with the trim? (It certainly seems that that might be the case to correct rotation, but perhaps also on a less invasive level to manage over-production of hoof growth?)

2) Are there any cases where there IS an argument for intervening to correct hoof shape and structure with the trim? (Taking the horse's comfort as a guide.) I notice that many of the horses pictured here seem to start with low heels - what would you do in the situation of a (metabolically-challenged) horse that consistently grows high heels - would trimming the heels be advisable then, in order to protect the angle of the pedal bone and the pressure on the tendons? Or would it still be the case to let the hoof grow unchallenged on the assumption that the heels are necessary in some way? In the example I am thinking of, trimming the high heels does seem to improve foot comfort, but the horse does seem to grow in very upright feet as a "natural"(?) tendency. Is it possible that this might be breed-related?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts! If it is more appropriate to pose these by email, please let me know and I will do that!


Pat v d B said...

I too would love to hear the answer to Tamsin's questions, especially the second one as I too have a horse that answers just that description. So far I have not trimmed her (not for some months anyway) but I too have a bit of a worry in the back of my mind re possible tendon and pedal bone damage. Having just finished laying a hard area (bricks) and gravel area in her night zone, I am hoping she may trim herself naturally with more access to hard surfaces. She does do some tar work on a reasonably regular basis.


Anonymous said...

Pat, I'm interested to hear that this is not just my experience! Out of interest, what breed is your horse?

I am envious that you can put down a gravel area - I am at livery so don't have any possibility of that, which makes things trickier!


Pat v d B said...

Hi Tamsin,

She is a Warmblood x TB. And yes, I am very excited about the gravel - actually 6mm granite chips. When I see the results Nic is getting I am very hopeful for improvement in the hoof department with regular access to harder surfaces. Up til now she has been on grass or soft sand apart from the bit of tar work. Sadly she is very bad with traffic, so I have to be very careful. Pat.

Nic Barker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic Barker said...

Hi guys, sorry for the late response! In answer to the first question we have had horses here who have had metabolic issues - Cushings/PPID, IR, EMS - and they do well here but there is no point a horse coming here if that's their primary problem.
The reason is not because of trimming but because the management changes necessary for a metabolic horse need to be in place at home. If that's the case there is no benefit the horse coming here.

The metabolic horses we have had have all been here not for that but for a biomechanics lameness.

Trimming, as long as the horse is more comfortable, can be done usefully. Of course with a metabolic horse you need to be even more careful because the stress of even a mild trim can sometimes be enough to tip them into a bad episode.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nic - that is really interesting! And makes perfect sense re the specialism of what you do for the biomechanic lameness cases.

So just to clarify - in your experience, have you found there is a risk in leaving high heels untrimmed (ie risk to the angle of the pedal bone and tendons), or is that not always the case? The horse I'm thinking of is an Icelandic, and I'm wondering whether more upright hooves is perhaps breed related, but then all of the other information I have been able to find suggests fairly vehemently that leaving heels high creates knock-on issues in the feet, and that trimming is needed in order to restore the correct angles of the feet asap before more significant damage is done. Luckily at the moment her metabolic issues seem to be under control, so that is something, but it is a bit of a vicious circle, trying to keep them comfortable enough to be able to exercise them enough to keep them more comfortable, etc! I will discuss this all with my trimmer when they are next out, but I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can in the meantime!

Thanks for your thoughts!

Nic Barker said...

What I see more than high heels is weak frogs - so look at Columbo in today's blog as an example.

Looking at the photos you could say he had "high" heels but its actually his frog that has atrophied.

In his case, taking the heels down wouldn't have helped - the frog has to become stronger before it can develop and be up to the extra load.