Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Rehab updates: Quin (also late, apologies)

Quin arrived the same week as Deluxe and like Deluxe I hadn't realised he has already been here 5 weeks, not 4, so this update is late.
Quin arrived already out of shoes and with decent looking feet but a toe first landing. In fact he is a good example of how you can't predict how well a horse will do by simply by appearances as, from the outside, his feet look stronger than Deluxe's. 

However 5 weeks on and he has not made such positive changes - this is not for any sinister reason, simply that he is not yet landing consistently heel first and so the good development of the palmar hoof that we saw yesterday in Deluxe has not really started to happen yet. 

He is landing better on this foot (RF) than his LF, though, and there is some improvement in his digital cushion, as you can see from the two photos above (older photo is at the top, as usual).

There aren't the same obvious changes that we saw in Deluxe because its taking Quin longer to heal - until the back of his foot is more comfortable he won't fully load it and until that point he won't really strengthen or develop it. All we can do is make sure he is on comfortable, conformable surfaces and allow his injuries to recover.

 Again no significant change, which is disappointing, but not surprising when we look at his video.

https://vimeo.com/437774846 As you can see he is landing just about heel first on the RF but toe first still on the LF. Downhill he can land heel first, so thats an encouraging sign that even though he has been slower to progress so far, he is still capable of improvement.

More encouraging is the change to his medio-lateral balance, which has got more even on the LF. I'll post more on Quin soon.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Rehab updates: Deluxe edition

Deluxe edition as in, his update - which should have been at 4 weeks but is in fact at 5, as I was convinced he had only been here 4 weeks. In fact he has made really good progress over the short time he has been here. 

He arrived in shoes and so its not easy to see how his frog have developed but he has already gone from toe first to heel first which is great to see.
Clearly this is a weak foot but there is a better, more robust foot growing in and Deluxe has a great attitude, so is happy to move around with the other rehabs and get as much stimulus to his feet as possible.  

What I like from this angle is that you can see, from the change in hairline, that his digital cushions is beginning to rebuild.
On the left foot a better palmar hoof already, compared to when he was shod, as well as a better stance. he is still very much finding his feet, literally, but its progress.

Again, hard to draw meaningful comparisons but its a foot which is heading in the right direction, as confirmed by his better landing. 

Better frog = better landing = better digital cushion = better hairline. 

Deluxe's comparison footage is here: https://vimeo.com/437773230

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Jazz's initial photos and footage

The next feet to feature on the blog this week belong to Jazz, and ISH mare who comes from Dorset. She has had an MRI which showed DDFT damage to both front feet, though her LF was where the lameness primarily showed up. 
Jazz has nice looking feet and has probably benefitted from being out of shoes for long periods in recent years. Certainly her landing has improved already from toe first at the end of May, when her owner first got in touch, to just heel first when we filmed her on Sunday. 
Jazz also has good medio-lateral balance, which is shown here in the balanced hairline, and a fairly strong digital cushion. 
The left foot has been lamer but again externally does not look bad at the moment. 
The fact that she already has good frog and heels which aren't under-run will be a factor in her having a better landing and should mean she improves quite rapidly. 
I've now added her footage here: https://vimeo.com/434045964

Monday, 29 June 2020

Ophelia's initial photos and footage

We've had 2 new horses arrive this weekend, so I'm starting the week with new photos for Ophelia, a trakehner who has come down here thanks to Chris Tufnell of Coach House Vets, who has been a long-standing supporter. He put owner Charlotte in touch with us and yesterday Ophelia arrived to start her rehab journey.  
She has only been out of shoes 3 weeks, though she was barefoot until she was 6 so should have a reasonably good level of development in her hooves originally. Currently I'm having problems uploading footage (now sorted - footage is below!) but she is landing flat/toe first which is what we normally expect to see in horses with DDFT/navicular type damage. 
There's quite a difference in the medial and lateral aspects of her hoof when you look at her from this angle, and that's something I would want to see improve. Again, her footage shows a slight imbalance, with her loading laterally on both feet, worse on the LF.
She has the typical long toe and under-run heel which we also associate with these types of injuries and a fairly flat foot but her frogs aren't too contracted and she has a good amount of digital cushion which is encouraging. 
This is her more balanced foot overall, but both feet need to improve their palmar hoof strength to get her landing heel first again, so that will be the priority for us. More on her soon, and I've now added her footage here: https://vimeo.com/434263791

Monday, 22 June 2020

Best foot forward

Deluxe has been here for 2 weeks and as always we have taken new photos and footage for comparison. 
Clearly in such a short period the changes are not going to be dramatic but as Deluxe arrived in shoes its always interesting to see how feet start to adapt to a different way of loading. 
In any shoe, the hoof loads round the edge - commonly known as peripheral loading. The bodyweight of the horse is transferred to the hoof wall and the frog has limited function. 
Once the shoe is off, the focus is very much on the frog and palmar hoof. The hoof wall is not intended to take the primary load and reverts back to a protective, rather than mechanical, function. 

This is particularly important for the horses who come here for rehab as rebuilding palmar hoof strength is critical, and the best way to do that is by stimulating the frog and digital cushion and prompting them to strengthen. 
Interestingly, supporting the palmar hoof is one of the main reasons given for using remedial shoes but, as you can see if you compare Deluxe in and out of shoes, his frog and digital cushion have more support from the ground out of shoes than from the shoes themselves. 
Again, a nice contrast between the load taken by the hoof wall, in shoes, and the load taken by frog and palmar hoof, out of shoes. 

Its early days for Deluxe and as he was landing toe first I would not expect him to have moved to a heel first landing already, but his landing is improving, on his RF at least, as you can see in his updated footage: https://vimeo.com/431375330

Best foot forward!

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Guinness' 3 month update

Guinness has been here three months and what a difference between March and June. Its always an incredibly changeable period of the year and this year perhaps more than most. 
When he arrived he was landing toe first and had obviously been uncomfortable for a while as he also had obvious muscle wastage on his RH as well as being short-striding in front. 
He was landing flat rather than toe first but his frogs were weak and his whole palmar hoof was under-developed. Today he has a shorter toe and much stronger frog, and most importantly he is confidently landing heel first. 
From this angle its clear how much his frog has developed and his heels shortened. His upper photo is typical of a horse who has lived only on very soft ground, whereas for any sort of work on harder surfaces we need a more substantial frog and for the hoof walls not to be the primary load point.
This is a more solid foot, with a shorter toe and plenty more improvement to come as the new hoof (which you can see has half grown down) continues to grow in.
From weedy frog to super frog, along with better balance. This now looks like a foot which is going places. 
Guinness' footage is here: https://vimeo.com/428815350