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Discussion on Cracks in soles

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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 688
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 4 year old twh gelding has small cracks in both soles on his front feet. They are only about 1 1/2" long and not very deep and most surprisingly, not painful. Our farrier was surprised he wasn't in any discomfort when she saw him last about 6 weeks ago. Since then, these cracks have not changed. We have been spraying iodine into them to try and keep them clean, and it is winter so he's on snow most all the time. Both cracks are close to the frog. All I can think of is that he blew absesses out both soles, but he's never been lame, not even for a minute. Just a stoic horse with high pain tolerance?? Any ideas??

Farriers advice was to just watch and apply iodine to the cracks, and if he did show signs of discomfort to start soaking them in epsom salts.

Two days ago, the same gelding came up to the barn with the other horses with a swollen knee and a slight limp. At first we thought it was his cracked soles until we noticed the swollen knee. It looks like he may have fallen on the ice. It's not hot and this morning he looks much better, but we did give him 2 gm. of bute last night.
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Diane Edmonds
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Username: Scooter

Post Number: 215
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 1:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sherri my horse has had them since this summer, but all over his sole. Vet or farrier didn't seem concerned. When he gets trimmed, and gets his sole cleaned up they are gone. They then come back the closer he gets to needing a trim. Weird.
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Sherri L. Hueser
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Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 692
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 2:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Really! That's so interesting Diane. The only thing is that they were still there when she trimmed his soles the last time, but maybe when she comes back to trim again in a few weeks they'll be gone. I'm just not used to having problems with hooves. All our horses have such great hooves and we've never had any problems with them in the past. These cracks don't look more than an 1/8" deep but then it's hard to tell how deep they are because they are only about 1/8" wide too, if that.

I looked everywhere on the internet and couldn't find anything about cracks in soles.

Is there a hoof supplement that really works that I should be feeding him to strengthen the soles?

And then 2 days ago he shows up with a swollen knee! So of course I'm thinking that maybe an infection started in the cracked sole and has worked it's way up to his knee joint, but it's not hot and today he seems to be moving around more freely. The two likely aren't related (hopefully)...just my brain working overtime.

I just hate all the ice we have this winter!! Too many thaws and then freezing temps. It's going down to -31 tomorrow night with windchills of -40!!!
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Holly Wood
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Username: Hwood

Post Number: 982
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 2:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Are you sure that the "cracks" aren't just normal? The sole grows extra layers, too, like a callus (never can remember if it's callus or callous) . . . and it's normal for the old sole to get pitted and cracked . . . When trimming, you can choose to leave some false sole if your horse works on rocky ground, but if the hoof looks too long from the top, you may want to carve out some sole (sometimes the false sole will just fall out in chunks if it's been allowed to grow out for awhile) and see how much horn there is to trim.

I had an Arabian that would grow an easy 3/4" of false sole. His feet would look long from the top, but when I lifted them and looked at the bottom, there didn't seem to be any horn to trim. By picking with a hoof pick one day, a big chunk of sole popped out. I could see the live sole beneath, so carved out the rest of the false, dead sole, and was able to trim him so that his feet looked "right" again. Since that time, I always check to see how much false sole is there when I trim. The rate of growth can vary greatly from horse to horse.
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 694
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 3:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I hope you're right Holly, except the only thing that keeps me from thinking that is that when the farrier trimmed his soles last time the cracks remained in the new sole.
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Diane Edmonds
Member
Username: Scooter

Post Number: 216
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 3:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sherri maybe your farrier isn't taking all the dead sole off. Hank had alot of false sole as hollywood stated and it was also softer. Plus there is alot of it. When I first saw his it worried me quite a bit, but now I am used to it and it doesn't seem to bother him. We are getting your weather tonight. For the first time this winter the horses are going on lock up as the ice with the winter storm coming worries me.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 983
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If the cracks ARE in the live sole, Sherri, then you are very right to keep them cleaned and medicated. There must be some reason the farrier didn't feel as if he could dig them out. If the blackness in the cracks looks like thrushy bacteria, then maybe an application of ThrushBuster or Coppertox would be good . . . I don't know about ThrushBuster, but I know that Coppertox is supposed to "seal coat" the sole if you give it a minute to dry before you set the hoof back down on dampness.
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 695
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think the cracks are in the live sole. What would cause live sole to crack?

We are just using iodine in the cracks. The cracks looks clean. Maybe we should switch to Coppertox. Is it possible that he had absesses that blew out his soles. Wouldn't I have known that??? I see him everyday.
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 696
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I should try and take a picture with my digital camera tonight.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 984
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 4:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Don't know the answer, Sherri.
Maybe pics will help Dr. O. give a better answer to you.
I have often seen little squiggly, wrinkly black lines in the soles of some horses . . . (like dirt in the wrinkles of the skin of my hands when I've been working in the garden) . . . but if the cracks in your horse's feet are straight like slices . . . then maybe he's cutting himself on something? I'm sure if he had abscesses you would have noticed.
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Diane Edmonds
Member
Username: Scooter

Post Number: 217
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sherri this is a pic of Hanks sole earlier in the year, it's not the greatest but if you look close you can see the cracks. Are they like this?
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 697
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 4:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,
They're not like the squiggly kind of wrinkly black lines like you describe. These are more like slices, and maybe if they were just on one front sole I might think he stepped on something, but they're on both front feet. There are a lot of fallen branches that probably do have sharp edges covered now with a lot of ice and snow in the slough they tend to hang out in.

Gosh Diane, I wish the picture was clearer, on my computer screen it's very blurry but the cracks I see in this picture look like they are probably like the squiggly, wrinkly black type line crack that Holly describes.

I sure do appreciate you guys trying to help me though.
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Shari Robertson
Member
Username: Srobert

Post Number: 98
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 5:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sherri: My kid taught me this.....If you right click on the picture and click on "view original image" you can often get a much clearer picture than what originally pops up on your computer. It works for me anyway!
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 698
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 5:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Shari,
But the original image wouldn't be on my computer so I wouldn't have that option. My only options when I right click are to save it or print it..etc. But thanks anyway.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14813
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 - 6:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cracks appear in the sole from time to time that are not clinically important as they grow out without exposing sensitive tissue to bacteria. I agree with the assessments above that suggest this is probably older sole that has become dessicated and cracked and perhaps the snow is the reason: normally this sole might be abraided off by the ground. Some clear close up photos with good lighting might help.

Abscesses almost never blow out the horn, usually they blow out at the edge of the hoof wall and skin. The one exception might be when the abscess occurs by penetration and thrush involvement.
DrO
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 699
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 - 7:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

But would this be older sole when the cracks were still apparent after the last hoof trim where the farrier did take the old sole off? Maybe she didn't take all of it? I've given her a call and am waiting for her to get back to me.

Thanks Dr. O, and everyone. I wasn't able to get a photo last night - it's -41 with the windchill here and the horses have taken refuge about 1/4 mile away in a low grassy and treed area.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14832
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 - 6:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You see cracks in just trimmed soles all the time Sherri, but without seeing yours I cannot really comment if they are average.
DrO
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Shari Robertson
Member
Username: Srobert

Post Number: 99
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 - 10:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

SHerri: It doesn't matter. I do this with ebay pics and pics from this website all the time. I don't know why it works, but it does. CLears them right up.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1179
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 - 11:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sheri - I don't have that option with my computer either. Maybe it depends on the OS or browser you use?
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