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Old 03-18-2011, 02:57 PM  
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Nail causing lameness?

Im pretty much new here and have posted a few times but now I need some opinions and advice. A few months ago i go an off the track throughbred, I had a farrier put on steel shoes and he was fine. Second time around the day before the farrier came he through a shoe on his left front. The farrier put new shoes and all that and from than on he has been lame. He had abscess which blew on his coronet band about a week afterwards, and I thought that maybe there was a link between him not having a shoe on for a day and him having an abscess a week later. But the abscess his healed up and he is still lame. Not as bad as before he blew the abscess though. So I was looking at his hoof today, and granted i dont know much about shoeing a horse, it seems like one of the nail's is put in very high up. The nail is below where he blew the abscess on his coronet band. I feel like at this point its the nail thats causing him to be lame. I gave the farrier a call and Im waiting for him to call back but I would like to see what yall have to say about it. Im not happy with how is hoof is looking and am looking for a new farrier at the moment also. I feel terrible about not thinking about this earlier Here is a picture: (keep in mind he ripped a shoe off which is why it looks so bad)
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:07 PM  
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His hoof angle doesn't seem to match that of the coronet band as it should.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:31 PM  
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Regardless of finding a new farrier(good idea!) or not... call this one and tell him you need him to come out ASAP if not sooner. Since the last shoeing the horse is lame on the foot he tossed the shoe from.

If what I think I am seeing (hard to see clearly with the shiny goop on the foot, sorry) he may indeed have what I think is referred to as a hot nail... nail to close or hitting into sensitive feeling tissue. Left like this it can create more problems... who needs that!

Call the farrier and at least give him the chance to remove that high nail and make sure he didn't make any other spots sensitive. No farrier would intentionally do this to an animal...
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:52 PM  
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Did you get the hoof xrayed?

I would for two reasons:

1) to see if there is more of an abscess brewing. They can fester for a long time, particularly if under the frog.
2) To help your farrier trim your horse better. I would guess the angles are wrong, and too much toe and heel is being left, but it is much easier to fix a horse's foot/angles when you have xrays showing the coffin bone and spacing. (I would also expect more shoe out behind the heel, but maybe your farrier is worried about it being pulled off?)

I have only seen a "hot" nail once, and the horse let the farrier know right away that it was too high. I have not heard of a high nail causing long term subtle lameness (not to say it isn't possible, just that I have not heard of it!).

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Old 03-18-2011, 08:03 PM  
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Originally Posted by Slim Pikkens View Post
His hoof angle doesn't seem to match that of the coronet band as it should.
i agree... it looks kinda whacky... not just the fact there are chips (as u stated from ripping a shoe...) but the angle is off.. and hoof looks too long... its not rly a smooth slope either.. way at the top u can see how it should be... but then it just kinda starts to change angle a little bit.. i wouldnt be too surprised if that was the prob (along with the nail being high... ive often wondered how that cant happen... apparently it can though) though im by all means no farrier lol so i might be wrong
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:40 PM  
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Looks like the horse is developing or being corrected from what we used to call a 'coon foot'.

I see a high nail in the left quarter (that nail furthest back and highest up). The nail might be the immediate cause but as slim says, the hoof isn't balanced at all.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:16 PM  
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The horse looks like he had laminitis and foundered. look at how the hoof wall is growing in at the top and then how it flares at the toe after that
Look at the hoof wall, and you can see the defect at the white line where the wall is crumbling.
I would suspect x-rays will show rotation
How did the white line look when he was re -set?
I would expect stretched, and the nail was probably placed where it was because the hoof does not have much wall integity below it
Abcesses are very common in a foundered hoof.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:53 PM  
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I agree that are signs that could indicate history of laminitis. There are an awful lot of rings on the hoof. My laminitic mule had the same type of rings before I got her on a low carb diet and managed her IR. Then her hooves came out smooth as glass with no rings.

The nail doesn't look high to me. All of mine are nailed high. Every farrier I have had nails them that high. Only had a hot nail once, several years ago.

I would wonder if the abcess might still be brewing.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:48 PM  
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Okay, first things first. The work presented in the photo is not that of a farrier! It's someone who has no idea on God's earth how to shoe a horse that is trying to pass themselves off as a farrier.

In simplest terms possible, there isn't a single thing about that work that is correct or even close.

The trim is abysmal, incorrect for this horse and doesn't even begin to address the needs of the animal.

The shoe doesn't fit, is poorly shaped and set far to 'course' at the heel quarters. This is why the nailing is so poor.

The abscess and ongoing pain is almost certainly from the heel nail. If he hit blood it's called a hot nail. If he impinged on sensitive laminae without actually drawing blood, it's called a "close nail". Either will often lead to an abscess and both cause discomfort and lameness. Hot nails usually show up as pain right away. A close nail may not cause serious discomfort for a day or two. The discomfort/abscess has nothing to do with pulling the shoe.

When he set the shoe overly tight at the heel quarter it caused the nail holes to be too far from the outer edge of the hoof wall. The nail holes were effectively sitting "inside" the perimeter of the white line. This is what we mean by "course". Since the person doing the work had no idea what they were doing, they just drove 'em anyway and hit sensitive tissue.

The clinching is awful and why your horse lost so much hoof wall when he pulled the first shoe. The large clinches tore out the hoof wall instead of pulling through cleanly.

Someone mentioned the potential for laminitis. They were right to do so. The hoof capsule is severely distorted and run forward. While there may be no current laminar inflammation (outside that caused by the hot nail), there is almost certainly mechanical failure of the interdigital laminae associated with the stress at the overly long toe and the DDFT pull involved.

Step one. Get that mess of a shoeing job removed immediately. Do it yourself if you have to. Rasp off the nail clinches or just cut them off with a pair of wire cutters. Use a large pair of pliers and pull the shoes.

Step two. If the horse presents lameness after removing the shoes (he likely will), tape some foam pads on his feet and get a vet out to do some xrays.

Step three. Don't even think about calling that "farrier" back out. Find someone who has a clue as to how a horse is supposed to be trimmed and shod.

Expect the first visit by a competent farrier to run on the expensive side. The horse is probably going to need more than just standard shoeing. Expect pads, pour-in supportive material, possible wedges, etc.

Consider this a high-priority, if not emergency, situation. That hot nail can/will create secondary infections. If the horse does have any ongoing laminitis outside that caused by mechanical forces, an infection will just make the situation worse.

By the way, the issue isn't that he drove the nail so high. The problem is where and how he placed the shoe. Don't expect miracles on the first competent shoeing. That foot didn't get that bad overnight and it's going to take a long time before it gets better.

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad tidings but most farriers I associate with work too hard at what we do to tolerate this kind of backyard hack stuff. There's just no excuse for this kind of work.

Owners deserve better and so do their horses.

If you have specific questions, by all means, just ask.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:56 PM  
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You mentioned that you don't know much about shoeing a horse. You should at least have some idea of what half way decent work looks like. Not saying mine is textbook quality but it would go a long way towards helping a horse like yours.

By way of example, I shod this gelding yesterday.







Cheers,
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:03 AM  
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see now THAT is a nice looking hoof! im aweful at explaining things lol... but these guys did a great job of it! and i KNEW that type of hoof looked familiar!!! i saw it a few times with horses that foundered and for some reasoni couldnt pin point tonight y this type of hoof looked familiar... now to stick it into my memory bank!
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:02 AM  
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Ha, it wasn't until I went back and re-read your post that I saw he's an OTTB. I've seen lots of pics of OTTB's with these terribly shaped feet, and mine was very similar when I first got him. If you look at the top of the hoof, where it's growing in, that first part is growing at an angle matching the pastern. With better shoeing, hopefully that correct growth will continue. One thing that helped my horse was using wedge aluminum shoes on in front for several months. They're basically thicker at the heel, so you're essentially adding some height to the heel, but less than using a pad under the shoe. Your horse will probably need more intervention as Mark indicated, but that might be something that your horse could "graduate" to on the way back to flat shoes. Good luck, and I hope he feels better soon!!!
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:21 AM  
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Mark, your illustrations and explanations will help a lot of people understand hoof angles. As horse owners we are forced to trust our farriers and don't always recognize good work from poor. We are grateful for your knowlege.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:22 AM  
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wow, those 2 hooves are like night and day....what a great illustration of what a properly shod hoof should look like mark! i went through a lot of farriers before I found my current one that I just love (2 here in MO and 2 when I was in FL). I hope the OP can find someone she trusts to help correct the problem
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:19 AM  
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Glad you joined in Mark.
I did not go into the support shoing that this horse will probably need, as that is your expertise, but laminitis immediately jumped out at me, having dealt with a few laminitic horses, and re-habilitating them with both an excellent farrier that used a very good method of support shoing that he developed (yes, I know, the general concept is the same ), support the coffin bone, and allow the rest of the hoof to share some of the load on the hoof wall, allowing a new hoof wall to grow down with correct angle and attachment, and also did it with hoof boots and pads and a trim that also takes the weight off of the compromised hoof wall and stops the flaring as the new hoof wall grows down
I suspect the horse can also be sore from just the reduced sole depth and pull on the lamini, esp at the toe.
If you were shoing this horse, Mark, do you agree that it would take several shoings until the foot would profile as nice as the one of the pic of your shoing of a healthy foot? Would you lower the heels much as possible, back up the toe to the white line and then pack in support material , filling all the sole area, then use a pad and shoe?
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Last edited by Smilie : 03-19-2011 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:53 PM  
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Originally Posted by ottb10125 View Post
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, it seems like one of the nail's is put in very high up.
It's not about the hight of the nail, but about the placement (white line) of the nail.


Also, what Mark said!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:17 PM  
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[I agree with Slim that people have to recognize correct angles, but more than that, pathology in a hoof itself.
The shoing itself per say did not cause the incorrect angles of the OP's horse, although the 'farrier' failed to try and correct the pathology that existed by corrective /support shoing
The picture Mark posted is of a nice job done on a horse with a healthy hoof
The laminitic hoof of the OP's horse, on the other hand, just had a shoe attached poorly to a pathological hoof, which will just worsen the condition, as the sick hoof walls are bearing the entire weight, often causing more mechanical founder without the proper support shoing
Just a lay person's observation that has studied hoof pathology quite a bit, esp laminitis /founder, both objectively and through personal experience
The comparison would be even better, far as educational value, if Mark would post a before and after pic of a similar laminitic foot and how he would shoe it, including the support
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:48 PM  
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Glad you joined in Mark.
My pleasure.

Quote:
I suspect the horse can also be sore from just the reduced sole depth and pull on the lamini, esp at the toe.
Sole depth is, in my view, one of the most critical criteria when evaluating a horse with any indication of laminitis or mechanical founder.

Quote:
If you were shoing this horse, Mark, do you agree that it would take several shoings until the foot would profile as nice as the one of the pic of your shoing of a healthy foot?
It varies a lot depending upon the metabolism of the horse (hoof growth rate), time of year and how much wall thickness and sole depth I have to start with. In general, I'd guess between 6 months and a year before things are what I'd call "normal". The first shoeing usually delivers the most visually dramatic improvements, with progress less obvious with each subsequent reset.

Quote:
Would you lower the heels much as possible, back up the toe to the white line and then pack in support material , filling all the sole area, then use a pad and shoe?
Without a solar view and xrays, any specific suggestions would be largely speculation. In general though, trim to align the bony column (P1/P2/P3) as much as possible and then orthotics to engage the secondary support structures with emphasis on the caudal 50% of the foot. Lots of variables can play into the general philosophy. Alignment may require wedging, dependent upon heel length and horn strength. Shoeing may include a heartbar if the animal can manage the frog pressure; else a straight bar or bar heel wedge pad. A pour-in pad (vettec equipac, etc) can be helpful to distribute pressure over a greater surface area, avoiding the anterior solar tissues. As I said, lots of variables and ways to address a foot like this but good basics go a long way.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:04 PM  
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
The comparison would be even better, far as educational value, if Mark would post a before and after pic of a similar laminitic foot and how he would shoe it, including the support
It always seems that the worse the horses feet are, the less likely I am to take photos. In the bad cases, my attention is usually on trying to get the horse some immediate relief. I'll have to do better in the future at taking photos of the serious cases. I happen to be working on a case now that is a serious neglect/founder situation but took no "before" photos. The horse has made a dramatic turn around after two shoeings so current photos wouldn't be as meaningful.

That said though, it's not hard to show "bad work" and what can be done, sometimes with nothing but a trim.

In example...


I was asked if I could "reset" this fellow. It took a bit to convince the owner that he needed a bit more than just a "reset".

Notice that the shoe doesn't fit; it is not placed correctly and the nail exit points are, of course, a disaster. If the horse had pulled this shoe, those large clinches would have torn the wall off with it.





Notice that the heels of the shoe on this solar view do not cover the heels of the foot. The width of the shoes (web) is too narrow, the heels are too narrow and the entire shoe is "racked" to one side. Just because a shoe has eight nail holes does NOT mean your farrier should be filling them all with nails! The holes are there to provide placement options. No need to create that many holes in the hoof wall to keep a shoe on.



And after a proper trim...








So why no shoes on this one? Because a horse whose primary job is munching grass in a pasture rarely needs more than a maintenance trim.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:09 PM  
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Sometimes a simple pair of barshoes can go a long way towards making a horse more comfortable.







Hopefully this is providing the original poster with some idea of what shoeing work should look like.

Cheers,
Mark
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