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Old 11-10-2006, 03:13 PM  
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Hoof rings and dropped sole

A client of mine recently brought a 5 year old mare in on trial. She seems like a nice enough mare, suitable for her purpose, but I am not sure about her hooves.

She has distinct hoof rings around her fronts, and the rings are much wider at the toe then at the heel. What does that indicate if anything? I am assuming it means her toe grows faster then the sides...but why?

As well, her sole seems dropped at her toe, with the sole being lower then the wall at the toe.

She is a pawer, so could that account for both issues?

When she trots she places her foot down flat on the ground, with a little more knee action then most of my horses, but I think that is her breeding. She looks sound enough.

I would have thought founder, but then the rings should be wider at the toe shouldn't they be?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Karen2
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:55 PM  
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Sounds like evidence of a founder episodes to me The difference from front to back could just be of that horses growth (possible contracted heels?) but large rings and a dropped sole would make me want an x-ray or two before I closed the deal.
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:36 PM  
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Rings don't necessarily mean founder. Rings in a horses hoof can be from and illness, change in diet or other form of "stress".

If she paws then the toe would be rounded off and her sole could appear lower than her hoof wall. I have one mare that paws with her left front at feeding time. Her toe is squared off and rounded. When she wears shoes it is allowed to grow out to match the other hoof.
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Old 11-10-2006, 07:11 PM  
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I'd be suspicious of a significant laminitis/founder episode too. Vet check with pictures would be in order if it was me.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:39 PM  
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pawing would definitely make the sole look lower at the toe.

Founder rings can be caused by many things, but significant ones usually indicate a bout of some severe illness (strangles or a serious infection would do it) or laminitis. Horse's toes do tend to grow faster than the rest of the hoof.
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:32 AM  
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Pictures would help EA.

Depending on how those rings are growing...seemingly straight, or wavy, will tell us more.

I'd like to see the bottom of the hoof as well. The sole will tell us a story.

We want to question if the entire sole is droopy, Heels slightly contracted, or is, as stated, the toe just worn funny because of the pawing. The pawing if it is bad enough can cause some rotation, depending on how she's doing it.

If the toe is worn back and rounded/rolled, the knee action may be exaggerated from the breakover being too far back. (Make sense?)

In any case, before purchase, I'd highly recommend x-rays.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:24 AM  
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Yeah, i am sure they will get a prepurchase done as the daughters pony has hoof issues too and is causing them grief (but one vet said she was sound so why pay attention to what others were saying... )

The owner said she has never foundered or been lame, so if she did founder it must have been minimal (the owner is a close friend to one of my other boarders), and to our knowledge she has not been severely sick. She was boarded in deep mud for the month of October though, so that may have has some affect on the hoof growth.

Is it possible that if she did paw enough to keep her toe worn short, then the hoof growth would be affected enough to cause the hoof rings to dip at the front?

Leadmare, that does make sense. I just wanted hope that there is a non-serious possible reason for the ring waves and the low sole at front!

Karen2
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:11 PM  
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She could just have fever or grass rings. Caused by un-noticed fevers or the more/less nutrition in feed sources. But, to have many of them, there would have to be feast and famine type conditions over time.

Pawing can cause Laminitis which can lead to Founder. As you know, that's inflamation in the soft tissues (with Founder being the rotation of the coffin) in the hoof capsule.

Think about road founder. Caused by concussion. Pawing with the toe can put enough stress on the inner hoof structures to cause bruising and tearing. (Bruising and tearing severe enough leads to swelling and bleeding.) If she is continually brusing or tearing the inner structures, by consistant pawing, there is no time to heal. So she is adding pressure to the pool.

If she is tearing and bruising the structures continually, Yes, it would contribute to the way the hoof is growing and the rings The cycle of inflamation (bruising) and healing could be affecting it.

Also, thinking more on this, one question unasked is: "Is the coronet band skewed at all?"
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:28 AM  
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I think it is wavy too, along the lines of the hoof waves, but it is hard to tell with all her hair and her inability to stand still. I haven't taken a close look at her feet for a little while now (the horses are knee deep in snow), but when the lady comes to ride her tonight I will take a closer look.

I think her heels may be slightly contracted too. They look ok from the bottom, but from the sides the hooves seem to curve under a bit.

This mare hasn't had much work on her, but she was in for 1 months training in October. I doubt she was ever starved (she is fat, and has been since June when I first saw her), but the rings could be from being on and off grass.

Either way, to be safe, I will suggest to her tonight that her feet are something to be concerned about, and that she should be prepared for something to be wrong with them. I don't want her to get too attached if she is not able to deal with the possiblity of founder or of needing shoes.

Karen2
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