Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hoof Pathology: Holy Crap!

Back in May, Tiffany's farrier resected her front hooves--basically, the front half of her hooves were chopped off. The explanation given to me at the time was that it would relieve pressure within the hoof capsule. It made absolutely no sense to me; and after reading this article on hoof resection, I am still perplexed. The article explains that some laminitic cases require resection of part of the coronary band area because:

 "The lower rim of the coffin bone becomes [infected] due to compromised blood flow and dying tissues... and fluid resulting from this can travel up..., breaking out at the coronary band. If initial treatment, usually a poultice, doesn't stop the process, the coronary band will swell and prolapse over the hoof wall. The wall then cuts into the swollen tissue, causing further inflammation and restricting blood supply to that tissue.Performing a resection...can relieve the pressure on the laminae and thereby allow the critical blood circulation to be restored. With meticulous aftercare, the foot's underlying tissues can then repair."

But, looking at theses hooves, it is apparent that her resection is completely different from the one described above. Neither were resected at the coronary band and they did not go completely through the hoof wall. Furthermore, she did not require any "meticulous aftercare" that the article goes on to describe--no Betadine-soaked felt or tight bandages. So, why was this done to her hooves? I certainly don't see how the procedure would have relieved pressure withing the hoof capsule. I am certainly open to hearing any information/ideas/guesses you all may have.

Also note the backwards shoe

And, even after such drastic measures, poor Tiff was still spending much of her days either lying down or standing in a classic founder stance:

Those pictures were taken back in May. Over the next few months, I watched Tiffany's feet grow and grow. And grow. And grow some more. For some reason, her farrier just did not come out to do her hooves. By September, she was in agony. And it's no wonder, as her hooves looked like this:

Are you spitting Diet Coke all over your keyboard and screaming at the computer screen yet? Well, take a deep breath and scroll down; it actually gets worse.

Yes, Tiffany's hooves went untouched from May to September (possibly October--unfortunately, I don't have exact dates for everything). I am ashamed to say that I didn't go around screaming at people and demanding that action be taken. Shame on me for letting her suffer. But shame on the farrier for allowing these hooves to get in such a condition while under his care. I'm no farrier, but I can take one glance at those hooves and tell you at least ten things that are glaringly wrong with them--namely the fact that they are about a mile too long. She's tipped up onto the point of her coffin bones, which is putting her in even more pain than she was previously.

But at least there was one thing I could do for Tiffany: her back hooves were unshod, and of course they were also grossly overgrown, so I grabbed my rasp and went to work. Sadly, I was too angry to take true "Before" pictures, but I'm sure you can imagine how terrible they were--there were so many flares that, when you picked her hoof up, the edges were scalloped and wavy. The toes were so long that she could barely get out of her own way.

These pics were taken after the first rasping:

Also note the overlaid bars--they were so long that it sounded like Tiff had rocks stuck in her hooves. I ended up rasping the bars back as much as I could

Under-run heel (one this farrier's trademarks, unfortunately)

And these pics were taken after the third rasping:

Big improvement, but still a long way to go. At least backing up those toes made it a bit easier for sweet Tiff to walk:

And that's on three grams of Bute. :-/

I know this is heartbreaking and very difficult to see. But, trust me; it gets better. In fact, I'm right in the middle of "Better" now. :-) But I do want to tell this story from the beginning, so I'm doing a bit of backtracking at the moment. Hopefully, I'll get all of you caught up in the next few days.


Anonymous said...

Good for you for stepping in to help this poor horse. The good thing I see (other than your good work on the backs) is that the new front growth doesn't look too bad, which may mean there's hope . . .

eventer79 said...

Geez, thanks for making my head explode! Where is owner? Why didn't she call new farrier? I know you mentioned she had health problems, but was she in hospital or something? This better have a happy ending.

smazourek said...

Kudos and hugs to you for doing what you did, now hang on tight because you're about to become a trimmer (unless your trimmer is available).

Why did the farrier do that in the first place? Cause he had no idea what else to do. Sad, eh? What he should have done was just take all the hoof wall off the ground but that won't fit into his paradigm, so...

Get yourself a ruler, a left and right F. Dick knife, and some time. Measure those hind heels to 1 1/8 inches and rasp them down to that point, then take your knives and dig out all that bar, leaving a smooth ramp down to the frog from the heel purchase (chase them from the outside in towards the frog, much easier that way). Then put a much heavier mustang roll on the edges.

When you've got that covered pull those shoes (I've got a post on that on my blog) and do the same thing for those front feet (getting the hoof wall off the ground, the coffin bone back in correct alignment, and the bars out will help IMMENSELY). Get her some deluxe slippers and pads for after the shoes come off.

If the owner objects ask her how Tiff could get any worse. Because seriously...?

PS- Cheryl will be out your way soon...

achieve1dream said...

This breaks my heart!! How could anyone do that to an innocent horse???? That guy needs to be turned in on animal abuse. He should not be calling himself a farrier!

I'm so glad you stepped in and are helping this poor girl. I hope she improves/improved quickly and is no longer in such horrible pain. That video makes me want to cry for her. And it makes me want to cut the farrier's toes off and I'm not a violent person!

Frizzle said...

eventer, Judy was certainly around--but, like a lot of horse owners, she put her trust in the professional. She trusted that Farrier was an expert, had her horse's best interests at heart, and would do his job. She didn't know there was anything wrong with what he was doing (and not doing!) until I said something.

When I pointed out to Judy that Tiff's hooves were in desperate need of trimming, she immediately began hounding the farrier to come out and do Tiff's hooves. Unfortunately, he has a bit of a reputation for making clients wait FOREVER and she had a hard time pinning him down.

Then, one evening when the vet was out, I mentioned that Tiff's hooves were really bad. He said, "Yes, I've been trying to get Farrier out here." I'm guessing he must have then put a call into Farrier and somehow finally got him to come out a few days later. They both came out on Oct. 7th to do Tiff's hooves.

smaz, THANK YOU for all the advice! Thankfully, I don't have to follow it. :-) Like I said, things have gone in a whole new direction. I just have to get ya'all caught up! (Oh, and hopefully I'm going to meet Cheryl when she's here in January--yay!)

a1d, how about we practice the art of Japanese foot-binding on Farrier? I think that would be a fitting punishment, eh?

achieve1dream said...

Yes! That would be perfect lol. I'm glad she had you to speak up for her and that she's getting the help she needs. :D

Judy Marine said...

Hi Everybody...This is Judy Here...Tiffany's owner!
I want to thank Meg and Candy for making my horse more comfortable.
Have had Tiffany for 19 yrs she just god Cushings in 2009.
She stared the Laminitis in about March of 2011.
I shoes removed feet filed down but still she was uncomfortable.
I ask something else be done to help her, could't watch her in pain & was seriously thinking of putting her down...Quality of life just not there....
Hopeing something would work ferrier tried diff things but nothing was helping.
Nothing seem to be working and all I ever saw was bandages and wraps. Never saw hooves or what they looked like after being treated..
I never saw them was because I Severe Asthma can't breathe in heat so my visits to Ranch are at night when no one there, ferrier worked daytime.
I unfortunately am a 61yr old with COPD, FYBROMALGIA,RA,ARTRITIS OSTEOARTHRITIS,in both hips, with limited mobility myself, my 85yr old DAD'S caregiver living 50miles from the barn trying damndest to travel back and forth weekly to care for Tiff.
Meg % others are contantly careing for their own Horses & offered to help me with Tiff's Daily care which I'm eternally grateful for.
I can see how others think I was negelecting her, which couldn't be further from the truth.
I no clue what hooves were like under bandages or, Meg & Candy would have been working on her sooner.When saw pic's w/o wraps for 1st time,was very Angry at myself for not knowing how they looked under bandages, I was trusting professional care and different procedures that were being tried, but obviously were not working...
Meg saw how distraught I was,
ask if I'd consult with Candy, I said ABSOLUTELY, I'll try anything to help Tiff. They explained the process, & gave me reading material about process Tiff was about to begin.
Now sparkle's back in her eyes, she's much more comfortable, has appitite back & feels like living again..Meg continues to care for her daily, I'm there as much as possible every night I can be.
Candy comes every week and does her Expert Work. My Vet has her Cushing under control & I make sure she only eats the best feed
STARCH /and Eevery thing EMERALD VALLEY sells.
Pic's from 2009/2010 of her true color,& how beautiful body was are on my FB page that is shared with the public.

I felt I needed to write this to all concerned about Tiff,& let all know that I have never nor could I ever Abuse/Neglect my horse intentionally, I'm so glad to have all the help I do have & know she is going to feel much better...

Thank you Meg and Candy from the bottom of my heart and Tiff's too!!