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cowgurlup1983

To Trim Or Not To Trim

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My broodmare who has had problems with her feet since I have owned her( No she does not pass this on to the foals). When she was a 2 year old the story is she got caught in a cattle guard and they never did anything while she healed just put her in a pen until she healed. As a result her front legs are not sound and they are crooked (again not something she has ever passed to her foals). Now every single time I have her trimmed she gets abcesses, I have a vet out and they open them up and I give her bute/banimine and antibiotics. She always heals But every single time I trim her she gets abcesses in her one foot. So then I have a vet out they open the abcess wrap her foot and give her pain killers and antibiotics and I change the bandage on her foot for a week. Now when she was at the ranch she was on rocks and her feet always stayed short except for the toe I had a farrier teach me just how to knock the toe back so I did that. But I had to bring her in to have a cancer removed from her ear and take care of that. Now her feet got long and I had a farrier out to trim her and you guessed it I am not taking care of another abcess. So my question is would you trim her regular? or go longer between trims? When the abcess is healed she walks fine it just every time she is trimmed. Sorry its a jumbled mess the enter button doesn't want to work.

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I would be trying to figure out WHY she abcesses after a trim. Too short? Too much sole removed? Angle changes?

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Not trimming her when she needs a trim is not an option. What are the time frames we're talking about between trims/abscesses?

Assuming that your farrier is decent, and that this is indeed just a problem with the mares foot, I think you probably need to move in the direction of trimming more often rather than less often. How often is something you'll have to figure out. Start at the shortest amount of time you've had between trims that caused abscesses, and cut it down from there. With some horses, they really do need to be trimmed before they look like they need to be trimmed, so you need to work off a calendar not off appearance. The more frequently you trim, the less significant the changes caused by the trim are, and if your mare is very sensitive to changes, then you need to have her done more often to lessen the impact. Letting her feet get long before trimming them is only going to make the problem worse, and yes, you'll probably keep getting abscesses at each trim if you do that. It might seem pricey to have the farrier out every couple weeks to trim her, but heck, if you're having the vet out after every trim to deal with the abscesses.. more frequent farrier calls have to be cheaper than that.

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What about getting yourself a rasp and asking the farrier/someone you trust to show you how to keep her feet in good shape with it? Or if you've already been able to trim at her toes on your own, maybe you could already do this. But maybe if you just take a rasp to them once a week or whatever to knock off any bit of growth, they won't get to the point of even needing a trim.

Not sure if that would help, but just an idea...

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Something doesn't sound right here. What environment is she being kept in? Is she standing in mud? Does she have a dry stall or shelter where her feet can get out of the mud and muck? Do you pick her feet out daily and treat her for thrush? Some horses fight thrush all winter long and abscesses can be extremely common if thrush and wet conditions are the norm in your area. Regular trimming is essential for soundness and comfort so she should continue to be trimmed regularly. Perhaps you can consult her vet and farrier and get their collective opinions.

Edited by Little Cow

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Agree that it would likely be best to get with a good farrier and either plan to have him/her out more regularly--like every 2-3 weeks--or learn how to keep things up on a weekly/biweekly basis. I would also wonder if she's got some IR issues and needs to have her feed more closely monitored, what kind of living arrangements she's in (are her feet clean and dry?) and if she's got some white line disease and or separation making her more prone.

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What about getting yourself a rasp and asking the farrier/someone you trust to show you how to keep her feet in good shape with it? Or if you've already been able to trim at her toes on your own, maybe you could already do this. But maybe if you just take a rasp to them once a week or whatever to knock off any bit of growth, they won't get to the point of even needing a trim.

Not sure if that would help, but just an idea...

That was the thought I had

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What about getting yourself a rasp and asking the farrier/someone you trust to show you how to keep her feet in good shape with it? Or if you've already been able to trim at her toes on your own, maybe you could already do this. But maybe if you just take a rasp to them once a week or whatever to knock off any bit of growth, they won't get to the point of even needing a trim.

Not sure if that would help, but just an idea...

That was also my thought

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She is on a pasture during the day, penned at night. The pasture is dry. I live in New Mexico so constant wet areas is pretty much non existant. I pick out her feet every day 2 times aday. She has been treat for thrush when the vet was out they said it wasn't trush. In the summer she is out on sections of ranch land. I can get a farrier out more often and see if that will help. Im at a loss and I hate for her to be in pain. What baffels me is at the ranch she does fine and yet here she abcesses. She is not standing in mud all day, She is in a dry pen at night and 5 acres of dry pasture. Ill look into IR, Ive never changed her feed but that doesn't mean something isn't going on that feeding different wont take care of. Ill also look into having the farrier teach me how to rasp her feet if that's an option.

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Because the people who owned her when the injury happened and they didn't do anything to help her heal right her angles are messed up. Both the ver and farrier said she can be trimmed back to more normal angles if I have her trimmed every two weeks and it will be very painful for her. we are talking about huge changes on her feet. I don't plan to ever ride her so opted not to because I don't want her in pain. The farrier always trims her at her angles. I should have stated its one foot that I have the most trouble with its her front right foot which is a white foot its just so soft after they trim her she get abcesses. Ive tried farriers secret. Ive tried boots. I just don't know what to do. I feel horrible cause she hurts but I will not allow her to get slipper footed.

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When you say "angles" what are you talking about exactly?

I have a mare who had a pretty severe injury to her hoof/coronet band as a 3YO. Dang near ripped half of her foot off. Was even in a sling for awhile. I'll tell you now that she's sound as ever and has been for the last 20 years.

Anyway...she's also conformationally wonky. Her front legs basically twist out from the knee down. If someone tries to trim her to a text book photo, she's lame. Lame! But if you trim to the horse, she's fine. I sometimes think people get a little too hung up on the text book and forget to look at the horse those feet are attached to.

Aside from having separation which is allowing crud to get up in there or sole being trimmed out and she's getting bruised then abscessing, I don't really see the correlation between trimming and these abscesses. But I'm not a vet and I've not seen your horse.

What I do have to wonder is if it might be wise for you to do a little research on trimming and perhaps get a second opinion because making subtle changes every two weeks should not make her sore if the changes being made are made to suit her and not some text book.

Shoot, I've taken several inches off of previous foundered, slipper footed horses who could barely walk when I started and 45 minutes later are galloping around the pasture. Never a lame step after a trim. But I was trimming to that particular horse and not to some ideal that would have surely made him lame.

You might try to get some pics or something, but remember, this is just the internet. Lots of people claim to be experts at farrier care and they're not. There are also many different ways to skin a cat when it comes to hoof care.

I would take this opportunity to learn as much as you can so you can at least ask the right questions and/or find someone who might be able to help your mare.

Good luck.

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You know, it would be awesome if you took good photos of her feet and posted them in the Hoof Forum. At the top of the topics list is a sticky topic that tells what kind of photos will help the folks there make some assessments and offer advice. there are some incredibly talented people that stop in there, and I am sure they would have some good advice for you.

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How many different farriers / trimmers have you tried? It really sounds more like the method and "a trim" in itself. Have they tried leaving longer walls and not touching the sole during the trim? (Many farriers pare the sole, which I would think is a big no-no on an abcess prone horse) Have you had her in shoes, or was she in shoes before?

I second Buddy Roo about investing some of your personal time into researching this. As far as her angles, look up Deb Bennett and her research into conformation with relation to the hoof. Some angles can be slightly adjusted, but usually you don't want to mess with them unless you are extremely educated or you risk causing greater harm.

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Oh, I forgot my answer to your "trim or not" question. Not trimming isn't really an option unless you stay in an area where her wall is worn by itself.

The best solution would be to find someone who trims her "correctly" (not taking off so much that she abcesses) and then do so more often, so she doesn't go through alot of change between trims.

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I have tried 4 different farriers, One the vet uses and he told me he was going to trim her for her confirmation. Still got abcesses. Im at a lose with her. If I just knock back her toes and keep her out on the ranch where there are hills with lots of rocks she doesn't abcess but the minute I get her down here and have her trimmed and put on soft ground, Pen with lots of sand, arena, and a permanent pasture she abcesses. I will try and get some really good pictures of her and put it on the hoof health board and try to research more on my own, Thanks guys

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why not learn how to rasp and rasp her once a week or so? then theres no much time between trimming and your not taking off enough to cause an issue. your just addressing what little has grown in a week or so..

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I will try and get some really good pictures of her and put it on the hoof health board and try to research more on my own, Thanks guys

B) (I would have used a "thumbs up" smiley, but none on the list. This'll have to do.)

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When you have her on the softer pasture/turnout, what kind of surfaces are you riding on? It may be that when she's on rougher terrain consistently, her feet toughen up. But when you switch to a softer surface and then try to ride her on rougher terrain, she's getting stone bruises that are contributing to the abscesses.

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Oh I don't ride her at all. She is not sound for riding pasture ornament/broodmare only. Sorry I haven't got pictures we actually got some rain here so Its hard to get good pics and her pen has too much sand to take good pics.

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More answers could be found in a set of xrays. It would get the trim exactly right for the horse and give you insight as to what's going on in there. Are the abscesses always on the RF? Are they happening in the same place? How long does she wear the boots? Just for the abscesses and not for all around therapeutic effect to get her over the hump permanently?

I would want xrays, good digital ones. I'd want to get to know the pathology involved with the "event" and periosteal reaction results...if there is a bone infection involved. There may be a core of infection that is existing and everytime she's trimmed, they are hitting the tip of the ice berg and aggravating things. She may need to spit this thing out for once and for all. Maybe, but I think the xrays would help a lot to help you know what you are dealing with.

I too would like to see pics. It may help. They'll have to be good ones according to the sticky on the hoof forum. I'd want to see the twists and turns in her delivery, the trim and hoof health.

I agree with all that has been said here. You guys are so smart! :happy0203:

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