|OVERWEIGHT WITH CONSTANT PAIN
|JUNE 14, 2010 (SIX MONTHS LATER)
|YES, THIS IS THE SAME PONY !!!
Little Bit is a small pony that was suffering
from chronic founder. She was not getting the right diet or trims for quite a while and was not only fat, but also her heels
were left much too upright by the farrier. She was turned over to me in mid-February of 2010, with "elf shoe" hooves,
and large, lumpy fat deposits over her body. Her owner was no longer able to take care of her and I took her on to fix her
Here is her history. She
was always sound until a few years ago she was given some grain and she began putting on weight, without a single, specific
"founder" she was developing the laminitic rings on her feet. Eventually came the abscessing as the farrier, who
will remain unnamed, tried to shorten the toe, and leave some heel to alleviate the pull of the flexor tendon, which
is a very traditional method of trimming for founder, and on larger horses would usually be coupled with a
shoe. With these trims she became so lame she wouldn't even go out of the barn to eat grass, but laid around in pain. The
owner was trapped in a cycle of giving bute to alleviate pain/inflammation but feeding too much of the wrong thing in an effort
to get her to eat the bute. Abscessing was a constant occurrence, as well.
I brought her to my place in February 2010. She had curling toes, really steep
heels, with foul smelling abscess discharge and thrush in her soles and frogs. She was miserable standing, much less trying
to walk, and this was on bute! A vet exam and x-rays revealed that she had a lot of rotation, a sub-luxated coffin joint (the
bones didn't meet correctly in the joint) and pedal osteitis (the bone was beginning to de-mineralize and erode away from
the pressure on her sole from the upright heels that caused the coffin bone to crush the circumflex artery, and
the constant infections). It was presumed she had metabolic problems such as Cushings Disease or Insulin Resistance.
|LITTLE BIT WHEN SHE ARRIVED
| RIDEABLE JUST 7 MONTHS LATER
|MOST RECENT PICTURE
Another intresting note about her pictures. You can
see how her hoof seemed to cover her whole pastern, like the coronet was rubbing on her fetlock joint in her old pictures.
This is because her coffin bone had "sunk" so deep within the hoof capsule. The next hoof picture shows a little
healthier foot/leg, with some pastern visible, but still knuckling over. Then, finally, her last hoof pic shows a complete
pastern, and it's in line with the hoof like it should be; no more knucking over, no more "sunk" coffin bone!
HOW DID SHE RECOVER?
First, I changed her diet. From her immobility she was getting too many grains/calories and
not enough hay. Her feed was given to her in such a way as to not encourage movement. If she hurt, it was all in a big pile
in front of her so she didn't have to take as many painful steps and she was on Bute. So, when she arrived, I did allow her
a little bute for a couple of days, and in the mean time, cut out the feed full of NSC's and put many piles of prairie hay
At first she did have a hard time getting from
pile of hay to pile. She blew another abscess and the stress from a 7 hour trailer ride was hard on her. But getting her to
start moving was the hard part. I trimmed her the morning after her arrival and soaked her in White Lightening. I taped foam
pads to her feet since the ground was frozen. The first couple of weeks was hard to watch. She did not want to move! She laid
down hours at a time. She was in with our other horses after a couple of weeks, and they helped make her move while they all
settled the pecking order. This helped take her mind off her feet and made her competitive for the hay piles, which also kept
her moving more.
Then I started hand walking her 10 mintues
a day. Then we worked up to 15, then 20. I walked her every single day, snow or not, often in the dark. When I could, I would
walk her twice a day. Then about the end of March, I saw her trot with the other horses. Then I was able to "longe"
her at a walk, and I often ponied her off one of my other horses. I can now longer her 30-45 minutes straight, and she canters
and trots freely. She has even snorted and bucked a couple of times.She keeps improving.
I trimmed her every 2-3 weeks initially. She had a total of 2 White Lightening treatments
and I put Equi-Casts on her once when the ground was frozen solid. and used hoof boots and pads other times. She was
barefoot between workouts. I even used some Magic Cushion hoof packing every other day when she was tender and flat
soled. Now she's at a 4-5 week trimming interval and I don't even use boots on her. She is careful over the gravel road, but
I don't push her. She isn't ready for rocky terrain yet. She has developed some solar concavity, but she may always need
hoof boots over rocks since her coffin bone had degenerated some, which means her foot won't ever be as strong as it was with
a complete coffin bone.
She was started on a supplement
called D-Carb Balance for insulin resistant horses when she arrived. Later I added an herbal supplement called Smart TLC available
from Smart Paks to alleviate inflammation and she has done very well on these. She also gets a hoof supplement and a handful
of alfalfa pellets to help "wash it down". Now that grass is green, she is turned out at night with a grazing muzzle
on, and is in a dry lot during the day, with hay spread in many piles. She is in with several other horses so they play musical
piles during the day and she is exercised 5-6 times a week. She is 16 years old, but acts young again. She also had her first
"heat" in a long time in May. She is not on any special treatments other than the supplements and grazing muzzle
and the fact that I make a point to exercise her. She eats all the time, but it's grass hay only and she's completely drug
Hooray for Little Bit, a success story already.
She was being considered for euthanasia last winter,just 5 months ago, but is now healthy and active and the very picture
of health. Look at that shiny coat! Your laminitic horse can recover, too. It takes diligence on the caretaker's part.
The exercise is crucial, as is regular trimming and a PROPER diet. Don't give up if your horse has severe rotation, abscesses
and some bone degeneration. There may still be hope for future soundness if you are willing and able to provide the diet and
exercise and let the barefoot trim set them up for proper mechanics!
|SOUND BY SEPTEMBER
|NOTICE HOW COMFORTABLE SHE IS WITH A RIDER