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Chocomare

How's This For A Club Foot

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Brand new client. Horse hasn't seen a trimmer in months. The owner said she will rasp herself occasionally, but methinks she was not trained and doesn't do it often enough to stay on top of it.

He was a good boy for the grinder, but oh that club... :( They have just moved to their own farmette, so at least he's now getting 24/7 turnout and freedom of movement on everything from grass, to concrete, to dirt & rocks. I'm trying to get her to switch to a much lower sugar/starch feed (on Strategy on the moment), but that'll come with time.

In the meanwhile, I gave her a program to get the fungus under control and evict the Yeasties from the hoof buffet. Will probably recommend a Clean Trax course next go 'round.

Couldn't do much with the club, except to roll what was there. Of course, he's totally flat-footed. Never a dull moment in the horsie hoof world!

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Edited by Chocomare

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Glad you are helping the horse!

Any solar shots of that club foot?

I guess only thing I would have done different, is try and eliminate the stress on those cracks by blending out those ripples on the front, from the top

I imagine that there is separation at the toe?

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Actually, the angles aren't bad. He's used the hoof well from the last trim and held onto the balance decently. Maybe its thanks to her timid trimming, she's been able to maintain it. Its just been pounded and now shorter. Coronary band speaks the truth on it, a lot of stress and jamming up going on. By the way its being used, it hasn't fared as well as the others. Side walls are collapsing inward and heels need to expand. This is medial/lateral balance that needs correction.

I would return in two weeks and tweak again, just what you can. I'd like to see the bevel go consistently across the whole front of the hoof to bring the hoof together during torque of breakover across those cracks as well as consistency of wall height across this area.. Also because of those cracks, I'd recommend the Clean Trax immediately. 2 sessions, a week apart, plus diligent thrush care and crack care.

I think this hoof needs to reveal itself and obeying the sole will get you there nicely. Its easy to see that the health of this foot has been compromised. I like the space to move, but must be protected, Its that flat sole that needs to be protected, especially considering the variety of terrain out there. That bump on the front coronary band on the side shot could be a sign of poor circulation...another reason for padding. It needs a chance to heal and grow right and be stronger. Protection to prevent further trauma and destruction/abscessing/setbacks etc. You want to move forward, not backward. I agree that Safe Choice doesn't cut it. The high iron in Farrier's Formula doesn't cut it. California Trace with low iron will, in the mineral dept., but if the horse is lean and lacking from not being on grass, then I'd go a step up to Formula4Feet and tackle the big picture of needs. The grass will certainly help, but if he hasn't been on grass and is now, consider it springtime for this horse and keep a sharp eye out for related hoof changes. The strength of the white line is your ace in the hole and you don't want to see that one played on you. Good blood flow, good movement, diligent cleaning and adequate amounts of the right nutrients and listen carefully to what this foot wants, no matter what it looks like, barring xrays. Best wishes.....

Edited by missyclare

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Yes, Smiley, separation is evident. Although you can't see it from the 1D pic, there is a HUGE dish in that front-on wall shot.

I couldn't bevel as strongly as I normally would do. This boy was sore already and I was not about to risk making him worse. This is a new client and I must tread lightly, letting her gain trust in me as Baylee improves.

I have her soaking 30 minutes in the morning in Organic ACV and squirting the snot out of all the cracks with Thrush B Gone in the evening. (It's a new, local product and I'm very pleased with the results I've seen.)

When I go back in 2 weeks, I'll tweak again and highly recommend a Clean Trax treatment.

I will also, gently yet firmly, suggest a change in feed OFF the Strategy. I'm a big fan of Plain Beet Pulp and Equipride with extra Vitamin E. Simple, no sugar, low starch. Plus it's easy to add extra protein via soaked alfalfa cubes & extra fat with oil or Cool Calories as needed.

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Hi Chocomare

I think you are doing what you can at this point

I have two horses with club feet (not related )

Both are sound, because I have learned to manage them

I know for a fact that you have to keep all stress off of that hoof wall, thus remove all and every flare, from the top

Missy, I also agree that you need to support optimum hoof growth with a good supplement, but you are not going to 'cure; a true club foot with any diet

The separation is not due to NSC, but rather by a pull by the DDFT

There is way too little sole under the toe area, and you cannot take the heels down below what live sole dictates. You do need to be very aggressive in removing any flare from the top, and putting a pronounced bevel at the heels

In a true club foot, the collateral groove is usually very deep at the back of the foot, with the frog often off of the ground, and thus often affected by thrush-so yes to treating that, and trying to get the horse to use more of the back of his foot

You also allow for the difference in hoof angle between the 'normal and the club foot, making sure you do not allow the opposing hoof to become long toed with under run heels, as is common in these cases

Most club feet will also be contracted at the heels

Also, many horse s with a CLUB FOOT HAVE AN ABNORMALITY FURTHER UP THE LIMB-often at the shoulder level. Look at the horse form the back, with the horse squared up.

The club foot is compensating for that defect further up the limb. Often a combo of massage and working the horse, so that he develops evenly on both sides, does wonders, far as soundness on a horse with a club foot

In faCT, Charlie lopes deeper on the lead of her club foot than the other foot, and is perfectly barefoot sound. Most people do not even notice that she has a club foot, and she is an exceptional mover

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...There is way too little sole under the toe area, and you cannot take the heels down below what live sole dictates. You do need to be very aggressive in removing any flare from the top, and putting a pronounced bevel at the heels

In a true club foot, the collateral groove is usually very deep at the back of the foot, with the frog often off of the ground, and thus often affected by thrush-so yes to treating that, and trying to get the horse to use more of the back of his foot

You also allow for the difference in hoof angle between the 'normal and the club foot, making sure you do not allow the opposing hoof to become long toed with under run heels, as is common in these cases

Most club feet will also be contracted at the heels

*************

You've nailed it Smilie. I barely breathed on the heels with the grinder. To have taken more would have resulted in him being negative to the solar plane. The frog is virtually in active due to the steep angle of this clubbed hoof. There is NO making this hoof "pretty." It is what it is but can certainly be managed better. The owner is no where near experienced enough to manage it (as was evidenced by what I saw upon arrival) and the farrier/trimmer she employed before was lazy and not interested at all in being proactive, in conjunction with the owner.

The laziness was evidenced in the opposite hoof that, like you said Smilie, wound up long-toed/underrun heel. No, you don't force the opposite hoof into a more upright angle to sorta/kinda match the club. You let the hoof be what it needs to be in its own right... properly balanced, with the toe back where it belongs. Again, a combination of a lazy farrier and an inexperienced owner with a rasp in her hand, all came together and resulted in what I found this past Saturday.

I'm pretty confident that I can get these feet back into working order and then, hopefully, she'll let me trim her other two horses.

PLEASE NOTE: Since this is the worst club I've seen in my limited experience of 2 years, I am consulting with the farrier/trimmer who trained me. In fact, she may come with me next time I go out.

Afterall: A wise person recognizes their limitations ;)

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Any update?

Club feet, and the separation that occurs at the toe, is not diet related, but rather due to the pull of the DDFT.

'

Club foot is defined as a flexural deformity of the coffin joint and is a common problem in young, growing horses. Characteristics of a club foot are a prominent or bulging coronary band, a very upright hoof wall angle, a heel that doesn't touch the ground, a dish in the hoof wall at the toe, growth rings wider at the heel than the toe, and other abnormal hoof growth. While foals can be born with a club foot (congenital), most develop between the ages of two and six months (acquired), during the time of most rapid growth. Therefore club foot is part of a group of conditions known as developmental orthopedic disease or DOD. One theory is that the long bones of the leg grow faster than the soft tissues at the back of the leg, so these muscles and '''tendons become "contracted," pulling on the coffin bone in the foot where they attach

Here is a good link

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/10589/the-club-foot

Thus, while I agree with Missy that it is always important to manage diet of any horse, one also has to realize that etiology of a true club foot goes way beyond the hoof itself, and management is aimed towards preventing any rotation due to the contracture and thus pull of the DDFT You can have the diet 100%, and that club foot is not going to normalize. You can though, help keep soundness, by letting that hoof be what it needs to be, and also not neglecting the opposite foot, where that hoof will tend to become long toed with under run heels

Edited by Smilie

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I wasn't able to get pictures when I was out 2 weeks ago, but there's been improvement - albeit minor, but improvement all the same.

The "normal" hoof: I was able to back up the toe up much more and put a stronger roll on it.

The Club hoof: Also able to strengthen the roll and take the heels down a super wee bit.

Most of all: Baylee is comfortable and moving, moving, moving. His owner has agreed to switch him to EquiPride and get him off the Strategy--hallelujah. And she let me trim one of her other boys. He was a GEM for the grinder and trotted off happy!

I'm due back there on January 11th, so will try to get updated pics.

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UPDATE: Well, again, it's not pretty but it's healthy.... NO THRUSH. He's comfortable and not been a second sore since I took over his trimming. Right front is no longer under-run/crushed. Happy horse, happier owner.

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I'm sorry I didn't get a straight-on shot, but the massive double split is now a single, small crack. The growth is extremely slow on this hoof, but it is going away.

Edited by Chocomare

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Thanks.

Note: I'm not posting these pictures/case studies to toot my own horn. I want others to be able to learn should they be confronted with these anomalies and do their own work successfully, by learning from my mistakes.

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