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

Wilberry's 12 week update

The exodus continues  with Wilberry, who has also been here 12 weeks. The changes to his feet are easier to feel than see but you should be able to spot the shorter toe with a better dorsal wall angle and less under-run foot.
Stronger frogs and, importantly, a healthier central sulcus; feet have better concavity as well which should continue to improve. 
A better developed frog with the digital cushion looking plumper and stronger.  
Tricky light in the top photo, apologies, but you can see the better angle of the dorsal wall in the top half of the foot in today's, lower photo.
That's more like it - a really good looking frog now with no central sulcus split. This is still his worse foot and he is still not 100% on this foot but improving all the time.

Its so important to deal with sulcus splits like the one he had when he arrived (top photo). Once they heal up horses are so much more comfortable and with a proper landing now this foot should continue to grow stronger and sounder. 

Wilberry's footage is here: https://vimeo.com/428814452  and its great to see the progression from toe first landing to tentative heel first then by now, 12 weeks on, a really confident and free moving landing by comparison with how he was initially. 

Friday 12 June 2020

Henry's 12 week update

Henry is also off home tomorrow so I am cramming in his update as well - a double blog post as a Friday bonus. 
I've not included side and heel shots because his feather gets in the way but you can see from these photos that his frog and digital cushion have developed nicely over the 12 weeks he has been here. 
This was his more balanced foot to start with and its looking great now. 
On his left foot, as you can see from his footage, he had a medio-lateral imbalance which means he lands laterally on this foot. It has improved but is still visible; as with Dash he should continue to improve and his foot should continue to stabilise as his hoof capsule grows down. 

Henry's footage is here: https://vimeo.com/428425941 and his heel first landing is now well established which is fantastic. He is also moving straighter now, which should also help him continue to develop good balance on that LF. 

Dash's 12 week update

 Dash is going home tomorrow and so I want to post her photos (as well as Henry's later on!) in good time.

Dash arrived recently out of shoes with feet which looked ok from the outside but were fairly flat and thin soled. 
The most obvious change to Dash's feet from this angle is the much better connected new growth which is now visible in the top third of her foot. usually its easier to feel than see this, and if you run a hand down Dash's foot it really jumps out but its also visible in a photo.
As you can see, her foot has broadened and she has much better depth of sole beginning to appear. This should continue to improve as the new hoof capsule grows in at the new, tighter angle. Once fully grown in she should have more concavity and a stronger, thicker sole.

This is a nice angle to demonstrate how much her frog and digital cushion have developed over the last 12 weeks. 

What is interesting here is that her foot was previously quite bull-nosed but it now has a completely different profile. once her new hoof capsule has fully grown in she will have a shorter toe as well as a less under-run heel.

 Again a dramatic change in frog and digital cushion as well as improved sole depth. The ridge you can see running round her frog is really common in horses who had thin soles which are now strengthening. It usually disappears once the whole foot has grown down.
It is a trick of these photos that her heels look higher than her frog; thats not the case in real life. 

As with the other foot, much better frog and digital cushion development and a more well-balanced foot as well. 

Dash's footage is here: https://vimeo.com/428418077 and as well as a more confident, heel first landing on all four feet her medio-lateral imbalance has improved. Its not perfect but her lateral landing on the LF is better than it was and should continue to improve as her new hoof capsule grows in.