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Discussion on Lameness as a result of trimming

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Posted on Tuesday, Aug 10, 1999 - 8:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My eleven year old mare became lame after being trimmed approximately 3 weeks ago, apparently she was trimmed too short. My concern is she still seems stiff in her front legs and unwilling to trot (although not limping any more in any obvious way). Her left front hoof appears to be cut shorter than the other front hoof, probably due to the farrier's efforts to control a hoof crack. The trimming wouldn't . cause any permanent problem,would it? It just seems like her stiffness should have resolved by now. Thanks for any input.
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 11, 1999 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Eliz,
Yes it can take a full 3 days to 12 weeks to get well depending on the horse and how closely trimmed. Founder is possible in a horse trimmed to close but as long as she is getting better, even if slowly, I would not worry. Keep her on soft ground and limit exercise until till well. A large sandy paddock would be ideal.
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Anne s. Breden (Makakoa)
Posted on Saturday, Mar 16, 2002 - 2:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O. and members:
I have owned horses for more than 25 years, but I had a new situation crop up this week. A fellow boarder called a new (to her horses) farrier out because she was dissatisfied with the length of toe that her old farrier was leaving on her 2 horses. Both of these horses are retired thoroughbreds, 19 & 21 yrs old, the elder has several hoof issues, such as under-run heels and
coffin joint pain if used too heavily.

At any rate, when the "new" farrier trimmed the toes and soles of both horses, there was fairly major bleeding from the front hooves on each horse. (By this I mean several teaspoons and a lot of bloody hoofprints in the aisle, not arterial gushing.) The farrier heated up a rasp and cauterized the soles to control the bleeding. He seemed very unconcerned about the whole thing, and later told my friend that the horses were going to feel so great after their feet were shortened and the angles changed that she would need to be careful riding them at first, since they might be very fresh and rambunctious.

Well, the next day, the older horse was dead lame in his right front, and pretty short-strided in general. Owner called her vet, who advised epsom salts soaks TID for 5 days, and one gram of bute
once daily for 5 days; vet is concerned about
possibility of abscess occuring. (Hoof is shod with a full pad.)

She called the farrier, who seemed pretty relaxed about it; just said that he guessed he should have told her the horse might be sore at first.

So, here's my question: Is it really all that common to make the soles bleed like that? I have never seen such a thing in 30 years of horse care. If the foot length needs that much alteration, wouldn't it be wiser to take a more conservative approach, and take off a little bit every few weeks until the foot is at the desired length?
Are there any dangers to this horse's future hoof health...he is wearing a Davis protective boot and
on stall rest for now; along with the bute and soaks, he seems more comfortable. I note that Dr. O. mentions founder (as in laminitis?) as a sequela to excessively short trimming...could this be a danger here?
I would welcome your thoughts, Dr. O., and also would like to hear of others' experiences with short trims.

Thanks you so much,
Anne Breden
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Suzanne Moore (Suzym)
Posted on Saturday, Mar 16, 2002 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

NO, it is NOT common to have sole bleeding like that! I've been in horses for 25 years myself and have NEVER seen such a thing. My own farrier is loath to trim on the sole AT ALL.

Personally, I don't think I would EVER let this guy touch my horses again.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Saturday, Mar 16, 2002 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Anne,
A "world renown" was invited by our local AFA to give a lecture and demonstration. Horse owners with problem feet were invited to bring in there problem horses to have them correctively trimmed. We had one QH come in with long toes and low heels he worked on. When he got done this horse did not bleed but was pretty short and be cauterized the sole as you describe and the horse moved a bit better, I think it dehydrates and immediately toughens the sole. The farriers were so impressed they applauded.

This was not a client of mine but I ran across a farrier who attended that demonstration and he told me that horse ended up foundering, came through the bottom, and end up being put down.

No bleeding like this would be considered a boo-boo by any farrier I know but one that may occur rarely during an attempt at correction. I like what you are doing now and would proceed cautiously, particularly slow to begin exercise and slow to stop the bute. Perhaps a little mild antiseptic (betadine if the soak is cool chlorhexidine if the soak is warm) could be added to the soak. At the first sign of worsening consider radiographs and cutting the pads out so that the bottom of the soles can be examined and treated directly.
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Anne s. Breden (Makakoa)
Posted on Saturday, Mar 16, 2002 - 10:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O and all:
Thanks so much for the prompt replies! I will relay your suggestions regarding antisepsis to the concerned parties (This is NOT my horse; I definitely would not allow such an action with my own geldings!) I am involved with after care, however, since the owner's work schedule makes it hard for her to manage all the soaks, I am picking up the slack and helping get all of them achieved. The affected horse seems to be improving, he is weight bearing now (2 days post trim) and seems to move pretty well on soft muddish ground. He had been turned out in a small stall-side paddock today, but since he tends to jump about a bit when he sees the other horses playing, perhaps it would be a lot safer to simply confine him for the duration. I must confess that I had not thought about the possibility of P3 coming through the bottom of his foot. What a truly ghastly thought!
You can be sure that I will be very watchful as to his status regarding any worsening of lameness.
He has had the bute for 3 days, unfiortunately, he has not tolerated bute well in the past, becoming anorexic by the 4th or 5th day. I'll suggest that the owner discuss this with her vet before totally discontinuing all NSAIDS. Perhaps there are GI protective actions that could be taken, such as administration of omeprazole concurrent with the bute, or whatever.
Again, thank you so very much! Will keep you posted--
Anne Breden
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