Hoof comparison part 2

Silly me.. last time I made a comparison of Aristoitle's front feet I mistakenly used a photo of a Left fore and Right fore. The results are still interesting but not exactly, um, as accurate as I had first thought.

Not long ago I came across an article on thrush when I was doing some Internet surfing of barefoot hoof trimming sites. The article stated that even though a hoof may not look as though it is infected with thrush, it may in fact still have thrush down deep in the collateral grooves. One might not necessarily have the stinky, cheesy (ew) falling apart frogs associated with a bad thrush problem.. but it can still be there. Aristoitle has the occasional crumbly frogs, so I spray them with a full strength solution of Lysol after picking them out and brushing all the debris from the central sulcus and collateral grooves. I have been keeping up with this Lysol regimen for a month and am beginning to see some interesting changes. Guess what? Heel soundness and the desired heel first landing can be brought about by treating a thrush problem! So, if you have been trimming your horses feet, and you still see that he is a little tender in spite of careful trimming try a thrush treatment- it may be the missing piece of the puzzle towards your horses soundness.

Aristoitle's hoof today vs. January '06.. quite a difference! Even though the January photo isn't framed the same way one can see that the hoof is returning to its natural shape now that is free from the shoe. Notice that the hoof has become less oblong. There is a nice callous forming all around the inside on the sole (like an upside down crescent). I keep a nice bevel, or mustang roll on the hoof wall to prevent any more laminar separation.

The lamina (a.k.a. white line, which in the '07 picture looks like a dark band around the inner edge) are not feeling anything at this point. What does hurt is a long hoof wall w/o a bevel because it acts like a lever pulling upward and outward with each step the horse takes. Imagine your index finger with a long fingernail and you want to push your fingertip straight down onto a table. The fingernail gets bent backwards with pressure, right? Now if the nail were trimmed back you would be able to apply pressure to your fingertip. This is what the bevel or mustang roll on the hoof wall does for the horses bare foot.

Why does he have this funny looking white line? 1. Dietary changes, 2.Worming medications, 3.Vaccinations, 4.Anything that will cause a large disruption & die off of the flora in the digestive tract.

Vaccinations? I don't have medical proof of this, and I'm not a veterinarian, but I am starting to believe that we vaccinate our horses too much. And can it really be good for the horses system to receive 3-4 vaccinations all in one day, in combination with (possibly) sedating him for a dentistry and other treatments?? Think of all the chemicals/vaccination bodies/ whatever you want to call it that just got put into the horses system.

Dietary changes? If you keep your horse in a boarding facility that buys its hay from various suppliers, how do you know what kind of hay your horse is getting? Is that quality consistent? Variations in the diet will certainly make an impact on the horses hooves. Just start looking down there for those "growth rings" and you will see what I'm talking about. The daily feeding of hay, sweet feeds, coupled with the worming meds can add up.. especially (in my opinion) the double paste worming routines.

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Rosie said...

What an excellent hoof article!

My old farrier used to proscribe crystals of iodine. I can't remember what we suspended them in but they really worked great on thrush. The lysol sounds much gentler.

The goats get hoof rot which is basically the same thing...same nasty smell and soft ickyness. I don't have so much of a problem here since the rocks keep their hooves in good shape, but I had a few who summered here that I had to dremel their hooves once a week and apply coppertox until we got it all out of there.

Mallow said...

Probably anything that will kill the bacteria would do the trick. I'm thinking that Tea Tree Oil will be a good antiseptic maintenance product to use once I get his feet cleared out.
You are lucky to have the rocky terrain. I wish we had similar rocky (and dry) ground here too.. but no such luck.