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Sonny's feet 'take 3' new xrays & treatment regime
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Clarissa
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Location: Gympie, SE Qld, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:25 am    Post subject: Sonny's feet 'take 3' new xrays & treatment regime Reply with quote

Yesterday I took Sonny for his front feet xrays. The vet has given me enough instructions to get the ball rolling until the farrier comes into play whoever that will end up being.


The vet basically said I wasnít being aggressive enough with the trim around the toe area. There is good thick front wall & now reasonable sole depth, enough to start being more aggressive with the toe Ďgrooveí †to cut out a bit of sole behind the wall that is causing the toe to run forward all the time.

Because of the thicker walls & slightly thicker soles there is now more Ďmeatí around the toe quarters causing more leverage. The only way to bring the toe back is to cut deep enough to remove some lamella wedge & hence expose torn lamina. That WILL make the horse sore but the blood capillaries will recede away from the 'groove' allowing deeper cuts each time.

Thatís where I have been going wrong. I have stopped short of making him sore. I have not been removing anywhere near enough so I have actually been facilitating the long toe. As the toe walls run forward the sole builds up to bear the weight because the toe walls are no longer reaching the ground efficiently. The long toe drags the heels under & the heels are currently way too far under. I have always known that.

However, shortening the heels is the incorrect approach apparently at this point. The angles of his P3s is within normal range but the bones are moving forwawrd with the toe leaving the heels behind & causing that huge heel cushion with elevated hair line.

So the remedy is cut deeper & give bute for 3 days spanning trim & repeat every week making the groove cut a tad deeper each time. The soles will keep trying to fill in the groove for a while until the internal structures begin to move bakwards into a better place with the growth of the new angle coming down.

If he is shod the shoes should be rockered & set back under a little from the toe walls but that will prevent access to the area immediately behind the toe walls that we are trying to shorten. So shoeing is a double edged sword in many respects right now but will have more benefit in a few months time once the new angle is well on it's way down. I mentioned that I had a new angle growing dow just a few weeks ago & that almost overnight it just disappeared. Vet said it was overcome by the leverage applied at the toe during the walking process. I am to keep the wall short of the ground for several weeks yet.

The vet suggested the heel Ďrotí problem may have simply been due to overworked heels from Sonny putting more weight on the heel sole area (which is still a bit too thin) as the toe got more sore. With the bute & as the leverage comes off the toe quarters, the vet suggested Sonny should start to use his toes more allowing the heel sole area to thicken somewhat.

The fact that the heels crumbling & caving in happened right at the worst of the wet season is just coincidence. Vet said there had been so many horses that had suffered some sort of major foot problem during this last wet season due to imperfect trims/shoeing. It seemed that the extra wet had magnified even the smallest problem that usually would not have been an issue to most horses.

So that all makes me much more relieved I can say.

Once home I scooped out a groove from the soles behind the toe walls of both front feet until it showed a little pink. I will check him for soreness in the morning. Vet said best not to let the hooves get too sore to begin with ie to give bute upfront to act as an anti-inflammatory, because to let them get sore increases the blood flow to the parts I am wanting to cut into, hence making him even sorer. A bit like a vicious circle. But I forgot to stop & buy bread on the way home!! So I have to make bread tonight, so he wonít get the first bute until tomorrow morning.

Vet didnít think blood element tests for copper & zinc were necessary because Sonny didnít look to be deficient. He suggested I just put a non molasses block out & let the horses help themselves. I said they were eating the trees & bark like crazy. The trouble is there isnít a block that focuses on copper & zinc even though those are the main offenders along the whole coast of Australia. The only blocks that I can find are just general mineral blocks. Rumivite make one that is supposed to have more copper but when the ingredient percentages are read it is apparent there is hardly any extra except for the $ the block costs!



Next morning....

Sonny is not sore! This is bad news †It means I wasn't 'aggressive' enough † †drats †


Here are the xray shots along with those from 2yrs ago for comparison. Then some photos from after the trim yesterday.














So this amount of pink showing in the groove is apparently not enough. Vet said I HAVE to make him sore because that is the only way to get rid of the torn lamina. He is to get bute for the 3 days spanning the trim. The first bute is to be in the morning of the trim so it has time to act as a mild anti inflamatory prior to trim. Then for 2 days after by which time the blood capillaries should have died & receeded back.

Well I'm going out to have another go!


I want to make mention of Leah at this point to thank her for her initial help. In the beginning Sonny had very thin weak walls & soles. She helped me develop thick walls which are evident in the xrays. During the last almost 2yrs between xrays he has also developed slightly thicker soles which in itself is a major improvement as well.

Vet did say the walls around the toe quarters might now be a bit too thick † †Not to worry they will hold Sonny in good stead for the next phase †
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Gillies_mom
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously?? your vet says you need to trim your horse till he's sore??
My god!!
I was always taught that if I'd trimmed a horse and made it sore or drew blood that I hadn't just made a small mistake but a really seriously bad judgement call.

I've seen a horse with severe lamella wedge walk in hobbling, get trimmed back, taking all the wedge away in one go, and walk away normally, let off in field and trot around.  Trimming lamella wedge does not sore a horse.  

Your toes are too long, this will be wearing the heels away.

Your diet is off - crumbling wall, WLD, signs of copper and zinc defiency.

Lick blocks don't work.

If you contact Carol Layton here:
http://www.balancedequine.com.au/nutrition/nrc.html

She'll advise you how to get your forage tested.  She'll tell you what minerals your horses are deficient in, she'll tell you were you can buy the raw minerals, how to mix your own supplement, how much to feed.  She's a good source of knowledge in Australia she may know of a decent vet and a decent farrier/ trimmer in your area.
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarissa, you only need to take him back to the white line, you don't need to make him sore. He might be a bit "weird" on his feet because his muscles & joints will all change, but that passes. I've had a number of good barefoot trimmers say "ANything from the white line forward is yours to play with". Ie - Get rid of it. John says all the time, 99.9% of horses foot problems start with the feet. He has cured navicular, seedy toe, laminitis, ringbone, simply by getting the toes off.

I remember ages ago, Leah posted a post about "trimming from the top" or putting a mega mustang roll on your horses foot. I adopted that trimming method, trimming back to where the hoof colour went from dark to "white" (at the sole) and John said Sante's feet were *still* a smidge long. (ie, I should have gone through the white line a little)

When  I started consulting with John (before i put shoes on Sante) He simply took the rasp and rasped back to just behind the white line.

I'd put money on the fact that Sonny's heels will improve way outta sight once those toes are gone?
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JackPNH
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarissa,
I realise everyone is throwing advice at you left, right and centre and it can all become very confusing and very difficult to wade through and come to a conclusion of what is right and what is a lot of BS.

I realise that you have consulted a vet and he/she has advised trimming till sore, that concerns me greatly.

From viewing your photos it is obvious that the hoof wall angle is completely incorrect, note the concavity. Some of that outer wallneeds to be removed, and yes I realise a lot of "Barefoot experts" will disagree totally with me, but it is plain fact. LF is showing flare that needs to be corrected.

The outer wall should have no concavity in it whatsoever, no matter where you put a straightedge from the coronet band down the wall it shouldn't be hollow.

I could go on here for pages but I am sure that somewhere along the way I would upset someone with what I say and I am far from interested in that.

I suggest that you contact David Farmilo and send him the pics and take advice from him.

Or, if you like, I am happy to offer more particular advice either via PM, email or if you prefer I am happy to phone you, just an offer, up to you.

regards
Steve
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackPNH wrote:
Clarissa,
I realise everyone is throwing advice at you left, right and centre and it can all become very confusing and very difficult to wade through and come to a conclusion of what is right and what is a lot of BS.

I realise that you have consulted a vet and he/she has advised trimming till sore, that concerns me greatly.

From viewing your photos it is obvious that the hoof wall angle is completely incorrect, note the concavity. Some of that outer wallneeds to be removed, and yes I realise a lot of "Barefoot experts" will disagree totally with me, but it is plain fact. LF is showing flare that needs to be corrected.

The outer wall should have no concavity in it whatsoever, no matter where you put a straightedge from the coronet band down the wall it shouldn't be hollow.

I could go on here for pages but I am sure that somewhere along the way I would upset someone with what I say and I am far from interested in that.

I suggest that you contact David Farmilo and send him the pics and take advice from him.

Or, if you like, I am happy to offer more particular advice either via PM, email or if you prefer I am happy to phone you, just an offer, up to you.

regards
Steve


^^^^ I agree so far :D
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Gillies_mom
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackPNH wrote:
Clarissa,
I realise everyone is throwing advice at you left, right and centre and it can all become very confusing and very difficult to wade through and come to a conclusion of what is right and what is a lot of BS.

I realise that you have consulted a vet and he/she has advised trimming till sore, that concerns me greatly.

From viewing your photos it is obvious that the hoof wall angle is completely incorrect, note the concavity. Some of that outer wallneeds to be removed, and yes I realise a lot of "Barefoot experts" will disagree totally with me, but it is plain fact. LF is showing flare that needs to be corrected.

The outer wall should have no concavity in it whatsoever, no matter where you put a straightedge from the coronet band down the wall it shouldn't be hollow.

I could go on here for pages but I am sure that somewhere along the way I would upset someone with what I say and I am far from interested in that.

I suggest that you contact David Farmilo and send him the pics and take advice from him.

Or, if you like, I am happy to offer more particular advice either via PM, email or if you prefer I am happy to phone you, just an offer, up to you.

regards
Steve


I agree too, and I'm a 'barefoot expert', which is why I keep harping on about diet, Steve you also have a much better way with words than me!
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Clarissa
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Location: Gympie, SE Qld, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to hand my computer over to ComboFix for more malware scans & fixes so I'll get this post out of the way now as I don't know when I'll be back online if the extraction fix goes wrong.


OK a bit about the vet who did the xrays. Heís an equine hoof specialist vet & is familiar with David Farmiloís methods which is why we settled on this treatment to begin the process. It is not a be all & end all. It is a starter to getting the angle change the way David would do it anyway.

The reason about the soreness is that Sonnyís lamella wedge is full of blood capillaries & whenever they are cut they get inflamed, therefore sore. You can see how close to the surface they are in the photos above where I made the groove. Unless I cut into that material the lamella wedge will never go away & the capillaries will never recede. I was always thinking I was cutting into the wall/sole connection & tried not to go there. But now that I know how far away that connection is I am more comfortable cutting into the lamella wedge. There are farriers who deal with long toes & lamella wedge by cutting it all out at once, shoeing to the new shape & keeping the horse on bute until new hoof grows down This is a far more gentler way to achieve the same result in the same timeframe. Iím not cutting into live tissue. Itís just lamella wedge with profuse capillaries in it.

The vet doesnít believe that rasping away all the front of the toe will achieve anything. He said not to thin the walls yet. He felt it was better to leave all the toe wall keeping it just short of the ground to prevent leverage which develops the lamella wedge. The sole is taking over the job that the wall would normally do if it was in good contact with the ground. But because it doesnít contact the ground, the sole grows right across pushing the wall out even more. So removing some of that sole along with enough lamella wedge to begin the process of pushing the capillaries back will make Davidís job easier & quicker.

If you look again at the photos you can see that the way the groove has been made & the fact that the wall is slightly off the ground, brings the break over back about an inch right away. To begin with, that itself may make Sonny a bit sore & if he doesnít like feeling sore the bute is there to help him get past those few uncomfortable days.

I feel that since I have chosen a farrier (who is yet to say he will take Sonny on) I should try to stay with his method until it proves one way or the other. There is one other farrier in this area who may soon be in a position to take on Sonny. He mostly gives clinics these days & has been too busy for 2yrs. However this year he has been training up farriers to take his place at clinics allowing him to do more problematic cases. Vet suggested I contact that farrier again if David canít do it. The local guyís method is quite similar to Davidís anyway apparently.
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RickB.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what its worth, I think your vet has given you some seriously bad advise.

Steve, et al.  OTOH, have given you some good, reasonable and rational input.

Your horse's hooves are seriously out of balance and suffering deformity both at the toe and the heels and addressing the toes, in whatever manner, without concurrently correctly addressing the heels is a recipe for both failure and disaster.

Laminar wedges, if and when they bleed, do so because the interdigitation of the laminae has been torn resulting in the bleeding.  Rip your fingernail out of its bed and see what happens.  Its basically the same thing.  Because the horse stands on the end of its nail, the laminar wedge will continue to be present until the leverage is removed and the laminae re-attach starting at the proximal end of the hoof capsule.  
Quote:
Iím not cutting into live tissue. Itís just lamella wedge with profuse capillaries in it.

If its not 'live tissue' then it won't/can't have 'profuse capillaries in it'.  The blood you are seeing present in the wedge is 'pooled(trapped) blood', ie: residual from the time the actual live tissue was torn and assumed its disinterditated, wedged appearance.
Quote:
Vet said I HAVE to make him sore because that is the only way to get rid of the torn lamina.

Outrageous!!!
   

Butchery belongs on the abattoir floor, not the hoof care professional's mats.
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TakinabreakFromtheVirtual
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm glad to hear you have some sort of a plan.  As scary as it sounds to some...if you keep doing what you've always done.....(well you know the rest of the story)

This will be interesting to follow for sure.
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Mandy'sMarty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarissa, It appears that you and Sonny are facing two primary issues that must be handled simultaneously. One is the mechanical issue of poor hoof wall connection, persistent flaring, and the resulting lamellar wedge. The other is Sonny's diet and the apparent deficiencies it creates in Sonny, resulting in his inability to grow a normal, strong hoof.

I understand your vet's concern about removing the lamellar wedge. My experience with lamellar wedge was to frequently trim the hoof wall so as to avoid the leveraging forces at breakover that your vet mentions. Otherwise, you are only perpetuating a persistent problem of long toe and flare. My experience was to trim the hoof as a normal hoof, and thus treat the lamellar wedge as normal tissue in that it was gradually abraded away by frequent trimming and exercise as it grew out with the separated hoof wall. My concern about your vet's strategy is that perhaps there is still too much exposure of hoof wall at the toe. If so, hoof wall will only continue to be pulled away from P3 by the leveraging forces at breakover as he moves, even at a walk.

It's difficult for me to see, in the photos you have recently taken, where the toe wall is now in relation to the ground at breakover. I would perhaps consider more of a 45 degree bevel that could be achieved with some careful nipper technique.

In hindsight, I suppose that what worked so well for me and Mandy was that I invested so much in supporting her metabolically with a balanced diet. During her rehab, I boosted her diet with constant supplementation of a sea vegetation blend ( not kelp) that delivered the minerals she needed to grow strong hoof. I allowed her heels to grow a bit long because she was landing heel first and needed the strong support of her heels to buttress the load while her weaker lamellar wedge at the toes gradually grew out. Over the months of this process, I watched her rebuild a new foot from the heel forward as the tight hoof wall connection flowing down from the coronary band hit the ground first at the heel, then to the quarters, and then finally to the toe.

Mandy's new hooves were able to grow in a mechanically correct form because she was encouraged to land heel first while wearing hoof boots with pads. The key is to do whatever it takes to encourage Sonny to land heel first as he moves. That heel first landing triggers the innate ability of the horse to heal itself and build healthy feet. But the horse needs the proper minerals in its body to create the healthy feet. A balanced diet is mandatory.

In summary, it takes a holistic approach. Mechanical adjustment with trimming is critical, but that alone is not enough. It also takes movement, stimulation, the diet that delivers what the horse needs to build healthy feet, and the metabolic support that enables the horse to assimilate the nutrition it needs from that properly balanced diet.
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Chablis
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As JackPNH said, I know you are getting advice right, left and centre but I also don't understand the logic in making a sore horse even sorer in order to heal it? † Surely, there has to be a less invasive way of helping Sonny?

I, too, think sending the vet's info/advice and a copy of the xrays (if you can) to the farrier (either David F or the other one you mentioned) is the way to go.  At least then, whichever one sees Sonny, will be able to see where his hooves are at, and think about how to fix them.

Chin up, Clarissa.
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Clarissa
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some shots of Sonnyís feet taken yesterday. The toes are really shortening. There is quite an angle change growing down. I just hope I can keep it going long enough to reach the ground. Every other time Iíve got it about this far I loose the advantage because if the toe is longer it seems to lever it out more.

So I am keeping the toe short enough not to apply any leverage until the new angle grows right down.

Iíll try to save some extra money & make an appointment in the next few weeks hopefully with one of the farriers Iíve recently contacted. However Iíll keep up this trim until I see it works or not.


I started the trim on about 7thNov by making the groove in the overgrowing sole behind the wall. You can see how much lamella wedge is present at the toe. Then nipped off the excess toe on 11Nov, then finished rasping on 13Nov. Spreading the trim across that many days seems to alieviate any potential soreness. I'm still being really conservative about how much I'm removing in the groove. I'm sure I could be a lot more agressive but I can see progress as it is so that is enough for now.





There is a lot of tearing occurring up inside of the walls & I am hoping it will now stop & grow out.
Compare these 2 shots below which are 5wks apart. It's easy to see the new growth on the later shot is a lot steeper. This is the worst hoof.


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Last edited by Clarissa on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Clarissa
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm editing this post because I forgot to add this part in from the thread in "Horses General Chat" that actually gives the reason why I am looking for ice boots etc.

I spoke at length about Sonny's feet to JK (Dr John Kohnke) & he suggested magnetic bell boots to be warn 12hrs daily for 3mths until a full cycle of hoof has grown right to the ground. He assures me it is the only thing that will cause stronger horn to develop again. He said there is now a laminitic cycle preventing strong horn growing & he is not surprised that after all I have done or tried, nothing has worked. He said the magnets will bring greater blood flow to the coronet band & cause the shunts to close a lot more often, forcing the blood down into the laminae causing stronger horn to develop. This must be a treatment he is currently working on.

The sole on one photo of a cut in half cadavar hoof looked remarkably like Sonnyís do now. It was really good to see what the xrays donít show about what is going on inside his feet. He said my current trim method will work as a stop gap measure to stop the toe running forward but will never produce stronger horn because it makes him sore so much, nor will all the supplementation including his own supplements which I had been using for over a year since I last talked to him.

He went on to say that it wouldn't matter what type of pasture I had him on or kept him off, once a laminitic cycle starts causing weak horn to develop, there is no way to get the horse back to soundness easily. Shoeing is the best stop gap method but is not a permanent fix & can later cause really bad secondary problems due to weak hoof growth. One of the things shoeing can cause is for the soles to collapse due to the shoes keeping the soles off the ground whilst they are still flat(sunken).

So the bell boots will be ordered as soon as I have funds available. As yet no idea about the cost because they are hand made to order. What a pity I didn't know this before I had those flamin expensive xrays done!



I have been hunting around websites checking out icing boots & magnetic bell boots for Sonny.

this is the best site so far but boy o boy the prices!! †

Maybe I can make some.


http://www.equestrienne.com.au/in...?main_page=index&cPath=20_197
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Clarissa
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After I posted that link to those good boots I found, I discovered plenty more available online too. However I got to thinking there is no reason why I couldn't use the same bell boots for both the ice & magnets. It would just be a different insert used in the one pouch around the top of the bell boot. Also I was thinking of making a simple bell boot with velcro added to attach either a shaped pouch containing the magnets or a deeper pouch with the ice in it.

I am madly drawing diagrams & designs to work it through in my mind then I might make a twarle (simple test version). Since I no longer own an upholstery sewing machine I will have to take my design to the local tack store to get them to sew it. Or maybe I can get them to share with me in this project & when the design is right we can manufacture them for sale.

Magnetic & cryotherapy seems to be a new therapy which is taking off & being used more widely. There was heaps to read online about it.




Anyway things are moving along ok with Sonny's feet. There is improvement in the shape & shortening of his toes which is good. I do have him on bute daily & I can see changes in the rings of his feet. Sometimes you have to give in & use the pain relief.

This afternoon during some very blustery rain my horses went galloping & cavorting all around the place racing each other to the corner to cut the other off & do proper sliding stops on the wet grass. Sonny was doing just as much & wasnít sore after. He has been doing more moving around lately which could be the cumulative effects of the bute but also a renewing of the shape of his feet.

Once this rain dries up I will take photos.

I was so excited today to see for the first time in a few yrs hoof growing down below the level of the sole rather than bending outward along the ground. Of course it will most likely get worn off again if the rain stops & the ground hardens but it shows Iím on the right track & as soon as there is stronger horn it should be able to stand up properly & withstand the weight of the horse.

The heel platforms are regressing also back to their rightful place.  

Itís all good!
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Clarissa
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sonnyís magnetic bell boots have arrived & he is wearing them as long each day as I can keep him in for.
Because I donít keep him in 24/7 I donít want him wearing & loosing them down the paddock at night. So as soon as I see the horses in the morning I let them into the house yard & put his boots on him. I let them out after dinner at night so often he hasnít been wearing them 12hrs. But itís as best as I can manage.

Here are a couple of shots of his feet this morning. Note the great new growth all smooth & tight. That must be finally a result of the hoof supplement heís been on for 9mths now finally working itís way through his system plus the low dose bute for a bit over 4wks. Also the ground edges are very soft now breaking off very easily.

I stopped giving him bute night before last so it will be very interesting to see how much effect that has. His feet certainly cooled down & even now just 2 days later they seem to be warming up again. I didnít want to be giving bute & using the magnetic bell boots conjointly. But if his feet get hot again I will have to go back to the bute for sure.

However I am also sure there will be some rings appear in a week or 2 from walking around in wet conditions because this last week we have had up to 4Ē rain each day & the whole property is soggy again already.

 


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