Wednesday 27 January 2016

Norman's 3 week update

I'm trying to crack on with the updates this week so here is Norman's. He arrived in bar shoes and these had helped to give him  heel first landing but he has maintained that well without shoes, I am pleased to say.

There are a lot of changes still to happen, of course, as he is only at an early stage of his rehab but its good to see his feet starting to look more balanced. 

The aim of bar shoes is generally to provide "support" to the back of the foot but in reality it removes almost all stimulus from the frog, as you can see. Out of shoes its a healthier looking foot!

This is his more unbalanced side and he arrived landing on the lateral heel on this foot.

As with Josh last week, you can see that the digital cushion is starting to work harder now that he is out of bar shoes. This should over time give him a stronger palmar hoof which will provide the support he needs internally - no need for bar shoes!

The beginnings of a more balanced foot and as his hooves grow in stronger the lateral landing should change as well. 

This is Norman's footage and you can compare his landings in the bar shoes and out. As you can see, he is heel first in both but there is a considerable lever effect as he lands in the bar shoes, which is something you often see with them. Personally I prefer his landings as they are now.  

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Josh's update - landing changes

I posted Josh's update on Friday but hadn't managed to get his footage uploaded, so here it is now.

We saw some small but encouraging changes to his palmar hoof in the photos and that is confirmed in how he is landing. The original footage is particularly dark so I've grabbed some stills to make life a bit easier.
Firstly here is his worse - left - foot with his landing on day one above. By comparison he is landing better in his recent footage (below) and is happier to engage the back of the foot.

Its not an established heel first landing yet but its good progress, particularly as he has weak, under-run heels and a poor digital cushion. 
On his right foot he has managed to do as well, if not better, with a more definite heel first landing and a good improvement on what he showed us initially. 
I should add that I do normally try to film in the same place but the weather and very poor daylight this winter has meant I have had to abandon filming in the barn as there just isn't good enough visibility, even with additional lighting. 

The full footage is here for those who are interested:

Friday 22 January 2016

Josh's 3 week update

Josh has been here about 3 weeks so time for a quick update. Apologies for the mud, which I had mostly washed off but some escaped me - our one dry, frosty day was sadly a one-hit wonder and we are back to mild and wet again...
The clearest change so far is in the back of the foot, which is good as thats the area we are trying to strengthen. If you compare the hairline from today to when he first arrived you can see that its more level, with more bulk at the back of the foot. Small changes but good to see. 
Not a lot to see here - if I had done a better job with the mud you could compare hairlines from this angle too but I failed, unfortunately. I did a bit better with the left foot, so have a look at that instead!

Again, apologies for the mud which makes it hard to see what is going on. If you look at where the heels are in relation to the frog you can see that the foot is becoming less under-run; the frog is doing more work too but its not the best photo. 

These photos give a clearer idea of what I mean - again, the easiest place to see the changes is at the hairline, which is less contracted in the lower, more recent photo. 

Although you can see changes from the hairline, they are less clear at ground level although the frog is slightly less contracted today than it was. 

Once more the hairline is the place to look but its good to also see the old nail holes nearly grown out. More on Josh, including his landing footage, when I have a pair of helping hands next week!

Wednesday 20 January 2016

We interrupt this blog... bring you a hound puppy fix...
We couldn't walk hound puppies this winter but yesterday Edward, Catherine and Victoria brought our surrogate hound puppies over - Andy and I are their godparents!
 Meet Rockley...
 ...and Rowan!
 Smart as paint :-)

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Another new horse - Minty's first post

Minty arrived this week, in front shoes and with a mystery lameness which makes an exciting change! As you can see, his feet are long and have some growth rings which typically indicate a nutritional or metabolic challenge.
There is lots of false sole on both fronts - long bars and deep collateral grooves are a hint, plus the chalky, cracking sole, and its a dead giveaway that these are feet which will look a lot shorter very soon. No need to trim, even though its tempting, as the sole will wear away naturally over the next few days on the tracks without any need for dramatic intervention. Minty will be more comfortable doing this in his own time in any case.
As you can see, the shoes are twisting and not wearing evenly which gives a clue that there is a medio-lateral imbalance on these feet. Sure enough on video he is landing on the lateral edge on this foot.
Same story on the right foot though this has better medio-lateral balance. Its a weak palmar hoof, though, and Minty can only just about manage a flat landing rather than being consistently heel first.
Better medio-lateral balance, as you can see, but a frog which is desperate for some stimulus - time to get those shoes off!

Monday 18 January 2016

Lameness and landing change

I've got more new rehab horses to post about this week but first I wanted to talk about a couple of contrasting photos which I have lifted from video footage of Darcy.

Darcy arrived here about 7 weeks ago and is a good example of the fact that how a hoof looks can't always tell you much about how well it is functioning. I could point you to a dozen horses with apparently worse looking feet who were nevertheless far sounder than he was.
Darcy had feet which didn't look bad at all, with a palmar hoof, frog and digital cushion that looked well developed, as he had spent most of his life barefoot. 
Despite this, he was definitely one of the lamest horses on arrival, graded at 6/10 lame by his vet and with a visible unlevelness even in walk.

Edited to add: Darcy was about 1-2/10 lame when he had an MRI which showed navicular bone bruising and related soft tissue damage (impar ligament and DDFT). He was remedially shod and his lameness worsened to 6/10 lame; this lameness persisted when the shoes were removed and at this point he came to us. 
Although his feet looked strong enough, there was definitely something wrong has his landing was clearly toe first and he struggled on turns. 
Darcy is still far from being fully sound but in his last piece of footage, taken a week ago, there are signs of improvement which are encouraging to see. Its all about movement, after all. 

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Finnick's first photos

Another day, another new horse, this time an Irish sports horse called Finnick. I'm behind with uploading footage but he is landing flat and intermittently flips to a toe first landing on his LF.
To my eyes he has a medio-lateral imbalance which is borne out when you look at the caudal hoof but its not a terrible foot by any means.
Finnick is only 7 years old and was bought to event but has been diagnosed on MRI with pedal osteitis and navicular damage. He came out of shoes while his owner was waiting for him to come down here.
His age and the fact that his feet are reasonably strong and well developed are in his favour and it will be interesting to see how his feet rebalance during the course of his rehab.
Apologies for the blurred shots - Finnick is a charming boy but a fidget when it comes to hoof photos, and poor January light is also unhelpful...

Monday 11 January 2016

Norman's first day photos

Norman is our next new arrival and unlike Josh arrived in shoes. As ever with bar shoes, you are left to guess what the frog underneath is really like but I will post "naked" photos of his feet soon.
Like Josh, Norman has been diagnosed on MRI with DDFT damage to the LF and also like Josh, remedial farriery had not resulted in an improvement in his lameness so now its up to us to see what we can do - no pressure then! 
 From this angle though there is an interesting twist in the shoe which I suspect was not there when it was put on but as hooves grow and shoes don't, mismatches are quite common a few weeks after shoeing.

There is quite a shunt in the hairline on this foot, although I accept that the camera angle and lack of light don't help - taking photo and video at this time of year is the bane of my life to be honest. 
On this foot the medio-lateral balance when he walks is much better and its probably this which has left this shoe much straighter than the LF. Overall not a bad heel and digital cushion and Norman was landing heel first in his bar shoes so we will see what the next few weeks hold.