XRay help please

Discussion in 'Farrier Advice For Horses With Lameness Issues' started by kimpeavy, May 19, 2014.

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    kimpeavy New Member

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    UPDATE - new rad's and update posted to last post. Would appreciate any advice/help/thoughts Hello, this is my very first post and hope I can figure out how to add photos. Background: Purchased Quarter Horse, 5 years old, December 2013. Purchased knowing the horse, our trainer had him for about 8 months in training and no issues with soreness or lameness. Owner took horse home and new farm manager not a "huntseat" trainer and did very little with horse. Had family member maintaining his feet, regular shoes. New farm manager not a huntseat person either, horse did not get much turnout or riding time. Spent many hours in stall and a dirty stall at that. Owner was told horse was not able to be ridden because he just was "off" too much. When the farrier who finally got to him end of last year to evaluate and try different shoes on him, he was not given opportunity to review xrays. He tried various things to get him sound and wound up using a "navicular shoes" with a leather pad and some kind of pour in clear substance. These shoes run about $230 every 4 weeks. Before we purchased we had both front feet xrayed. Vet reviewed and said he has some "changes" to his navicular bone and for what we wanted him for (flat work, hunter under saddle and very minimal jumping (hunter hack) that he would probably be just fine. That the worst case scenario we would have to keep him in the type of shoes he was wearing. But said, we could certainly try other alternatives. We re-shod him once the same way he was when we bought him. Next shoeing I asked farrier if we could try some wedge shoes and see how it goes. We did and he did great. No issues. Next time he re-shod he put regular shoes on him. He was fine, off and on sore depending on the footing he was on. We kinda overlooked the little bit of soreness due to the fact that we had changed shoeing so much and also was not using any kind of pad on his foot and figured his frogs were just trying to get used to being open again. This last time, he put regular shoes again. This past weekend we went to a big AQHA show and the ground/footing was very hard. Many were complaining about the footing. Our horse we definitely sore and we had trouble keeping him comfortable enough to show. The strange thing is, the right foot is the one that the previous owner had xrayed and was told it was the one with the most changes in it. This weekend it seemed to be his left front that was the problem. So, with that said, I'd appreciate any advice and/or suggestions you professionals can give me on the attached xrays that were done December of this year. I might add my farrier now is my trainer's husband and he is a younger farrier, but he does seek advice from a more experienced farrier when he feels he is in over his head. My trainer is a young one as well, however, lots of experience growing up with these horses her whole life. Thank you for any help you can offer. Forgot to add, I asked farrier why we changed from wedge shoes to regular shoes and he said he had too, he could not leave wedge shoes on for very long, as it would crush his heel. I've not expanded further with him on that. His next idea, I think based on what my trainer is telling me is to try a regular shoe with pour in pads?

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    david a hall Moderator

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    Left fore looks high outside... In X-ray 8 the left heel looks longer than the right relative to P3, in my experience that would make it off on the firm.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Thank you, but not sure what that would mean in regards to shoeing options or correcting the foot? Our vet said he would not consider the horse to have navicular, just because he had changes, so we really would like to not have to keep him in navicular shoes if not necessary. As I stated, the right foot seemed to be the problem before we purchased him and they previously never had any issues with the left foot. So, we were really surprised when he showed up sore in the left foot. He just seemed to be a tad ouchy on harder surface. But we definately want to fix him and not have to worry about the ground we may be showing on. I appreciate any feedback you can give me. Kim
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    david a hall Moderator

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    It needs the trimmer to reconsider what he has done... If he looks at the X-ray, and his trim he should conclude the foot is unlevel. It's a start, not a complex one but I rarely find the solution is complex.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Thank you ! :)
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    david a hall Moderator

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    Let me know how it goes..
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    david a hall Moderator

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    I would ask whoever took the films. I can't say..
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    My vet referred me to another vet/certified journeyman farrier who has reviewed xrays and wants to come look at our horse. Have appt. Sat so will update with what his findings are. He is meeting with our farrier as well so that they can get a game plan together. Keeping fingers crossed for answers and a good outcome. :)
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    david a hall Moderator

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    That sounds like a plan.
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    Rick Burten Professional farrier

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    Anyone done a lameness exam? If so, what was done and what were the results? If not, I suggest one be done before anything else is done to this horse. Regardless, because of the show grounds variations, it sounds as though the addition of pads and packing may be necessary for this horse.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Hello all. Yes a lameness exam was done on the horse this past Saturday with the suggested Vet/Farrier that my vet recommended. He is a Vet and a certified journeyman farrier. He spent a good hour with us, the horse and our current farrier. He gave him some things to try and what his thoughts were. His lameness report was this:

    Exam and shoeing consult for intermittent lameness. Radiographs taken previously by regular
    veterinarian taken for navicular suspicion RF. Today RF 1+/5 on straight and left circle and 2+/5 right
    circle. Hoof testers 2/5 across frog and 3/5 across both heels navicular RF. 1/5 respectively LF. Patient
    due for shoeing, feet some what run forward. Recommendations include bringing toes/breakover back
    adding 2-3 degree wedge +/- frog support. Conversation occurred with owner later in the morning
    discussing the current farrier would be more comfortable with me shoeing the horse once and then he
    would perform follow up work which I agreed to do.

    The above farrier was here yesterday and spent at least 2 1/2 hours with the horse, making sure he balanced his feet and had a proper fit on his shoes. He put a wedge shoe, with a very slight rocker on them and put pads over the frog. It was Equithane Pour and he put it over the back half of his foot, just covering his frog to relieve some pressure that his frog was feeling from being so low to the ground and adding some cushion for him. He reset and balanced his rear feet as well with hot shoes. Funny thing, once he pulled off the old shoes and before he started working, he hoof tested both feet and the horse had zero reaction to the testers. This was so strange because before he started, he had my daughter trot him and he was still showing lameness on his RF. His toes were very long and he told me that he didn't want to make my current farrier feel bad, but his toes were just way way too long and his heels were very low. He also showed me on his right front foot where the foot was beginning to bow out. He held a straight ruler up to it and showed me where the foot was kind of bending outward. He said that would be fixed with the balancing he was planning to do.

    Horse was finished and he said we will watch him go, but understand we may not see immediate results. It sometimes takes 2-3 days to see any improvement. He trotted out still somewhat sore and we agreed to see what the next few days would hold. He said he had balanced hit and shod him the best way he could for his needs and if that did not show marked improvement we will need to start blocking him to pinpoint where the soreness is coming from. At this point it could be his leg, shoulder anything, but we will wait a couple days and see what the next step is. I just got in from trotting him in a couple circles and he is markedly better trotting to the right than the left, which again, is weird since the right seemed to be the problem. It is a strange case for sure, but we are determined to pinpoint the problem.

    Would you guys expect him to be somewhat sore with the amount of changing that this farrier did on him? I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but he stands good on his front feet and stands resting his hind legs quite a bit. To me really does not show signs that his front feet are hurting him at all. I'll keep you updated.
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    david a hall Moderator

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    That's very interesting thank you. I probably do things a bit differently to you guys. I would put a flat shoe on a level foot to see if that improved him, I find that usually does the job of at least improving the horse if it were an unlevel hoof that was causing the problem. Much more than that I'd of had the nerve blocks done first. Good shoeing is a fundamental requirement for soundness, ancillary features such as raised heels and poor in pads etc may well aggravate the condition if the reason for the lameness isn't ascertained first.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Mr. David, maybe I didn't clarify in my first post. The vet I use is at a major vet clinic here in Ocala, FL. Prior to my purchasing the horse in December, he had previous xray of his right front, blocking, etc on his foot and they did the corrective shoeing with the Navicular/Medicine shoe full bar of some kind, with medicated packing and full leather pad. After I had xrays made of his feet in December, to check for any other changes and to get a look at the left foot, the horse had been sound with these shoes. The lameness really was never pinpointed, other than the previous owner just had the farrier trying different things in order to get him sound to sell. My vet in December in looking at the xrays and listening to the horses history, gave the ok on the purchase based on what we planned to do with him and the fact that he had been sound for some time. He said the xrays only showed changes and he would not consider the horse to be a full blown navicular horse. He said I may not even have to keep the full bar shoes, pad and everything else they had him in. I reshod him once with the same type shoe and the next shoeing I asked my farrier if we could try just a plain wedge type shoe and see how he did without the full bar and padding, as the shoe also had some form of wedge to it so I felt he probably still needed the lift. He did great with the wedge shoes, the next shoeing, he was done at the trainers barn, I was not there and apparently farrier decided to just put regular flat shoes on him. I noticed it a week or so later and became concerned as I felt that was too drastic too soon and didn't want problems, this is my daughters show horse. I asked trainer why no wedge shoes, she said farrier told her his heels were beginning to crush or bruise so he had to take him out of them. He went along fine for another 4 weeks. He reshod him again in the flat shoes, and we began to have these problems. I then called my vet back and asked if they had a foot specialist there that could read the xrays and basically prescribe a shoeing for the horse that I felt comfortable with. He referred me to the vet/farrier that saw him saturday. He had a couple ideas of what to try and when he first arrived with his "helper" their first inclination was to just put a regular flat shoe on him and make a rocker toe on him with a pad, only because his frogs were a little tender. After they watched him go and we explained that daughter had her big state 4H show coming up July 9th, they decided to go this route. He did take off alot of toe and put a small rocker on the front. I wish I had a way to upload some videos. Yesterday he was still noticeably sore. This morning sore trotting to the left, more sound trotting to right. This afternoon he looks much much better, so I am hoping we are on to something that will work for him. I'd really like my farrier to be able to take back over. The vet/farrier who did him and consulted with my farrier is more than willing to help him out and keep him on the way to getting the horse comfortable and performing again. I hope that may explain a little more detail of the horse. He said if what they had done didn't sound him up quickly, like within a week, then we would go to blocking and seeing where the pain seems to be coming from.
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    Tom Bloomer Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see pictures of the horse's feet. Bottom view and from each side.

    Also, I pass through Ocala on a regular basis while traveling north to service my clients in MD and DE. I would be happy to eyeball the situation (if only to satisfy my own curiosity :)) and report back to the forum.

    My next trip north is June 20th, returning July 3rd.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    I will try and get some photos today or tomorrow. And sure, I'd love for you to take a peak at him.
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    ray steele Administrator

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    It s always difficult to guess/diagnose via the net but.............are you saying that there is a possible question as to where the pain is coming from?

    Thanks

    Ray
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Hi Ray, We think we know it's in his right foot, heel area. However, it was super strange that when farrier took off old shoes and hoof tested the foot all over, he had absolutely no pain to tester, but had just trotted sore on the right front foot before he took the shoe off. His xrays did show changes in the navicular area in December and he hoof tested positive the Saturday before the new shoes were put on. So, we think we know where the pain is coming from, BUT, he did say if he didn't show improvement with the new shoeing job, we will then go to blocking and trying to narrow it down further. He was much better yesterday, I have not yet been able to watch him go today, as I had to get to the office early and am still here. Will check him out later when I get home and try to get some pics of the new shoe job.
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    david a hall Moderator

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    So just to recap, he was sound in graduated shoes? He then had them taken off and was lame after the second shoeing without them? The next farrier used wedge pads and poor in pads? He is clear on X-rays and both farriers are now happy the foot is level. An MRI would be useful as there are a multitude of reasons for the horse to be sore in the heel region. If it goes on much longer a shot of steroid sounds in order.
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    kimpeavy New Member

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    Here are some foot pics I took just a few mins ago. I don't know if they are what you wanted to see or not. Mr. David, he is really not clear on xrays, see very first post, I put them up. There were some navicular changes, but not enough that they thought it was crippling. Another thing to consider and this may be nothing, but this was brought to my attention by a friend of mine. When he did his hind feet, he had a thrush pretty bad in his left rear foot. I was unaware of it and it was certainly going untreated. He gave me some meds to put into it. My friend mentioned that her warmblood mare had a severe case of thrush in her hind foot and it was making her off on her front right, left rear was the thrush problem. I know there is no exact science, but how stupid will I feel if this is the main problem. LOL.

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    ray steele Administrator

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    Kimpeavy,

    I cannot and would not hazard so much as a guess on this horse and it s problems given the info, which to me seems to be all over the place,and ,

    now i ll second guess, based on the info provided and the above quoted words above , I don t understand , that as stated or seems to be stated, why a block was not given to rule in or rule out the hoof lameness and all the possible situations,especially since a vet is/was in attendance to do the block rather than guess . I m fully aware that it is an educated guess, but to me a $30.00 to $50.00 block would have taken the guess out of the equation .

    regards

    ray

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