Tuesday, 27 November 2012

What feet can tell you

Though Dave arrived here last week and has featured on the blog already, its only today that I've managed to fit in his hoof pics. As you can see, the sheer size of Dave's feet means I've had to take photos further away than normal just to fit him in...I've posted these because even just looking at the sole shots together gives interesting clues to what has been happening in his feet.
If you were asked to guess which foot had been lamest, you'd be safe putting money on the RF (upper photo) for several reasons. By comparison with his LF, the frog is weaker and the medial side of frog, heels and sole look less developed than the lateral side. His foot also looks as if its twisted on the end of the limb whereas the LF looks straighter. 
Most of us would immediately point to the lower photo (LF) being the healthier foot. Its more symmetrical, has a more evenly loaded frog and looks straighter on the limb.  Sure enough, Dave has been lame on his RF but not his LF and when filmed is landing on the lateral edge of his RF. 

Interestingly, on MRI many of the apparent problems were found to be bilateral (collateral and impar ligament damage, pedal osteitis, sidebone) even though he wasn't lame on his LF. However there was bruising and a possible fracture of the medial palmar process of the coffin bone on the RF which would fit with what we can still see in the photos.

Hooves rarely lie and are incredibly adaptive. They aren't static but are responding, remodelling and developing (or not) in response to the stimulus they receive and the load they are being required to transmit. There is always a reason for asymmetry and imbalanced loading and its very often apparent from the outside of the hoof.    

1 comment:

Krista said...

They are big feet! What's his history Nic? Has he been unshod for a while?