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Discussion on Why do horses walk stiff legged in front with laminitis?

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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5050
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Oct 10, 2009 - 6:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I once again screwed up and let the horses out this afternoon for a few hours, we had our first frost/hard freeze. They were locked in the paddock over night/dry lot until I turned them out...so I highly suspect the grass, all was fine up until then.

I am not terribly concerned, his pulses were bounding and he had that walk...where my question comes from. What tuned me into it was when Hank came up he wasn't bending his knees as much...the stiff walk that mimicks a bad shoulder...it was hardly noticeable and to tell you the truth most people wouldn't pick it up unless they had seen many times. So I checked his pulses YUP KA_BOOM.

This is very early and very mild, I gave him a dose of banamine, locked them in the paddock and threw away the key. I think he will be just fine.

BUT what makes them walk like that...I know in bad cases of founder it is to take the weight off the front hooves, with too much experience I can pick up just a not quite walk, like they don't bend their knee quite as much ...what is the mechanism behind that? He was striding right out, trotted into the paddock. I KNOW the cause is his hooves and probably a very mild case of laminitis...I've seen it before.
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PattyB
Member
Username: pattyb

Post Number: 237
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Saturday, Oct 10, 2009 - 7:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Diane.......I think I'd like to take a guess on this one: Could it be that they walk that way trying to keep the weight off of the front of the front feet and onto the heel as much as possible? It's just a guess but isn't the front (toe) of the hoof more sensitive during a laminitis or founder attack? If so, then the horse would be walking funny trying to walk on the heels as much as possible? Hmmmmm, now you have me thinkin.........
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5051
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Oct 10, 2009 - 8:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't know With this mild episode it looks like he just doesn't bend his knees quite as much. The keeping weight off the toes does make sense. I often have wondered if it's because they don't want to pick their hooves up as high so it doesn't hurt as much when they hit the ground.

BTW I just checked Hank and he is fine but this has always been a curiosity of mine. Horses are suppose to land slightly heel 1st anyway, so how do you tell the difference? It really does make it appear as a shoulder injury and I can see why people get confused when it is a very mild episode.
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Julie Masner
Member
Username: juliem

Post Number: 662
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Oct 10, 2009 - 9:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Diane, along with what Patty speculates: the horse normally lands heel first and then "rolls" over the toe as that foot begins to leave the ground (breakover). If they're trying to avoid toe pain, they would try to avoid that pushing off at the toe part. Wouldn't that look like not bending knees? Get up from the computer and try walking on your heels....really!
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5052
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 7:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

YUP that's it, I walked like Hank was to my coffee.

It's strange that he could have "symptoms" of laminitis in just a few hours. When they came in I cleaned his hooves and the sole was packed with mud beyond the wall, I had a hard time getting it out it was so hard and thick.

Last night at night check he was walking fine and Dp's were gone, he did have a half dose of banamine paste. This morning he is still fine. I wonder if the packed mud was putting a lot of pressure on his soles and making him walk like that...It really was very subtle. Regardless he is not going out on grass until this weird weather straightens out!
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5054
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 8:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It must have been the mud SHEEW! I just let them in the dry pen, which is froze solid and irregular...Hanks hooves nightmare He walked wonderfully and even trotted, I couldn't even find his DP.

Thanks for the explanation and making me walk like a foundered horse tho...I understand much better!
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5410
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 11:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'd bet on the mud. We have clay here, and when it gets packed into the horses' hooves, it is very uncomfortable for them. If it builds up it becomes dangerous, just like snowballs in their feet.
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Vicki
Member
Username: kpaint

Post Number: 262
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 12:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Packed mud and packed ice balls are a nightmare to this not so smart owner...Packed ice led to bruised soles on Diva mare last January. We had an extremely icy winter here in north central Indiana last year and the vet had recommended front shoes due to thin soles and I had a heck of a time keeping up with the ice--even at twice a day cleaning.

And good ole packed clay is hard to get out--like thick peanut butter, only harder... When I was gone to Lexington last weekend, we had a lot of rain. DH didn't clean Diva's feet and she is shod. When I got home after three days, her front feet had caked mud past the point of flat across the sole, and had a slight convex mud cake almost like a "weeble" toy as she was rocking back some on her heels to avoid the pressure on her toes. She had picked up enough small stone, manure, straw, clay to create an adobe-like brick... I had to clean a little on each foot at a time, because it was very uncomfortable for her to put weight on one front foot...grrrr. Husband said, "I noticed her shoes didn't click right on the concrete..." I hope I can get this Diva mare barefoot in the front some day.

I read Diane's post last night and thought about Diva girl on the grass which has had a lot of rain the past several days, and thought about her stiff legged walk since the mud trauma last week, and I rushed right out and brought her in...thinking of course, "What if I'm wrong about the mud balls and she is foundering...although she has never foundered and isn't overweight...

Better safe than sorry. Thanks for posting about the stiff legged walk and the mud/ice balls Diane and Sarah. Makes me feel better.
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5059
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 2:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Vicki I hate the ice balls! Hank got bruised soles from them too.

Have you ever tried snow pads? what a back saver....never an ice ball in the winter, they also keep the hoof open so no thrush...I LOVED them when Hank had to wear shoes in the winter!

BTW sorry my post sent you out in the middle of the night!
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Vicki
Member
Username: kpaint

Post Number: 263
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 4:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The open snow pad was supposed to be used Dec 6...my farrier didn't show 3x in a row--even with his reschedules...so that it was late Jan before she was reshod, and by then, it was too late, the damage had been done. If I would have known then, what I know now...this is the farrier who is really, really, good, and comes with a zillion credentials, but rarely shows up. so what good is he? None for me. His unprofessional behavior coupled with my ignorance = a miserable January for my horse. It was an extremely frustrating experience as I was really depending on him since I was new to the shoes in the winter and really, we haven't had shoes on too many horses in the first place... And would you believe I ran into him in town one day early last summer and he said sheepishly, "Did you give up on me?" What could I say, but, "Yes." ?!!!!! Uh, you made the appt at your convenience and failed to call or show (for the umpteenth time), rescheduled and failed to show again...and you guessed it, failed to show a third time, so I called the vet for a farrier recommendation. I didn't say all that of course, just "Yes." He had the gall to say, "If you ever need anything, just call." ? So, two weeks ago, I called and asked him if he could come out and take a look at the horses and see if I was "on the right track" with their feet. He said, "Sure." And would you believe, he didn't show up last week or call? Unbelievable to me.

so, Thanks for the tip Diane and the pix, I really appreciate it. The mess wouldn't have happened had he showed up or if I would have had the sense to call the vet and see what to do if I just pulled the shoes...my fault ultimately. I'm the one responsible for horse.

So I've spent umpteen hours reading about feet...and trying to be smarter so my horse gets the care she should have. She is just lots different to manage than anything else we have ever had...so the lack of owner knowledge pops up more often.

I will say, I had the best two hour one on one conversation/lesson with Joriah, the asst farrier at the KY Horse Park Farrier bldg when I was in Lexington. They have all the apparatus, appliances, etc. from days gone by and current stuff. He explained it all. No one was in the bldg and he was glad to have someone who was interested. He finally asked who my farrier was, and he knew him, knew his reputation for being an excellent farrier and all the work he does for the association...I didn't tell him the bad history.

So. Mud and Ice Balls are a sore point with me and triggers the memory and frustration from that experience!!! As Sara said on another post...lie awake and worry...and if someone would just tell me or I could get someone here to tell me...it's not like I want the advice for free...I'd gladly pay for it, pay for time, pay for travel, whatever...just tell me what I need to do...:-)

Thanks again Diane for all your posts about Hank's diet, his feet, and crumbly "member", etc. I appreciate it.
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 5061
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 4:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

UMMM Vicki have you ever considered posting Diva's hooves on here??? You want an education you'll get one There are many members on here who are very good at critqueing hooves not to mention Dr.O. I know your frustration...
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Vicki
Member
Username: kpaint

Post Number: 267
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009 - 8:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes I have. I'm going to do it, but I want to lie on the ground which is no small feat by myself as the cats and dog think that is an immediate invitation and would foul up my shot not to mention I might get stomped as two of the cats are fearless or stupid and wrap around the horses' legs which causes a pretty startled flinch and foot stomp... My little camera would probably distort the picture if I take it looking down.

I did just post pix of her Highness under the Nutrition/Fat Obese section. See what you think.
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