Monthly Archives: March 2015

It Just Keeps Getting Better & Better

Two days ago Chance’s vet came out to do a follow up and to give him and Luck their Spring shots.

Chance got some chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture as well. The vet stated that Chance was showing improvements in his Cervical (neck) flexibility and still had some tightness on his hind-end. She did one new stretch with him which entailed her lifting his front leg while her assistant had him bend his neck to the opposite side. He was able to do it on both sides while remaining balanced!!!! Where as before he could barely do cervical stretch with all four legs on the ground!

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The vet said that Chance has gained weight and could use another 50-75lbs. She asked if he is finishing his dinner (4q twice a day) to which I answered yes. She suggested upping his feed to another quart twice a day totaling 5 quarts twice a day.

Chance’s feed schedule now includes the following:

AM: 5 q of Safe Choice Senior Feed by Nutrina, Transfer Factor (immune system booster), MicroLactin (for pain and inflammation). Hay Alfalfa mix, and 2q of Hay Stretcher

PM: 5 q of SCSF, SmartPak (Senior Flex supplement, immune system enhancer),  Hay/alfalfa mix, and 2 q of Hay Stretcher.

Lucky got his first round of shots today and he was so well behaved! He stood there calmly and put his head under my arm while he got his shots.

The vet also took a look at Luck’s teeth.

There are four ways to age an equine by his teeth:

  • Occurrence of permanent teeth
  • Disappearance of cups
  • Angle of incidence
  • Shape of the surface of the teeth

Well, Luck still has two baby teeth which do not seem to have adult teeth behind them that would ordinarily push out the baby teeth. So there goes option 1. 

His teeth no longer have cups on them and are completely smooth which indicates he is around age 10/11. 

I, along with Luck’s most recent owner, thought he was about 5 years old. However, his teeth seem to tell a different story. I’m wondering if the fact that Luck still has two of his baby teeth could be the reason for the cups prematurely disappearing? Or if he really is 10/11 years old….guess it’s time for a dental appointment. 

Two Minis Looking For Their Forever Home in Virginia 

These two beautiful stallions are looking for a home. They have a wonderfully sweet disposition and are 5 years old, turning 6 in August. They’re half brothers, with papers, and will need to find a home that will take them together. Please text or call for more information at (703) 728-7473.

    

Progress

Chance BEFORE tendon injury diagnosis (I need to find the video where he was at his worse)

Chance AFTER Stem Cell Treatments

After 1 round of EPM Treatment

 Chance AFTER 2 rounds of EPM Treatments (Need to get a better video) Before there was no way he would have been able to get up that hill.

Spring Cleaning

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Today the the blankets came off and the brushes came out! Chance was none too thrilled about being inside but as soon as the brush sailed across his back he was in heaven.

Chance stood there with heavy eyes while I curried, brushed, picked, sprayed, clipped, and so on. An hour later he was free to enjoy the sunshine & instead stood there with his head in the stall watching  😊

Next up was Lucky. This would be his first ever head to toe grooming and I had no idea what to expect.

He stood there, connected to one crosstie, as I went through the motions and talked to him, trying to reassure the little guy that there was nothing to be scared of. An hour later and he was ready to also enjoy the sunshine.

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Hannibal. 

Today Chance got his teeth floated by his very first dentist from 2000!  Due to his cribbing history his front teeth were significantly worn down.  His molars were not in bad shape but were a bit jagged.  The dentist noticed that Chance’s left side was more sensitive to the filing and put a jaw opening device in C’s mouth to keep it open (see below right photo). The molars all looked like they were holding strong and there was no smell that would be indicative of an infection or decay. The dentist indicated that Chance was missing three back molars and that he felt that he was about 24 years old.

The dentist asked me about the nutritional care Chance was receiving due to his age, and I gave him the run down- 2 quarts twice a day of hay stretcher, hay/alfalfa mix throughout the day, 4 quarts of Nutrina Smart Feed Senior twice a day, 2 cups of Rice Bran twice a day in feed, SmartPak Senior Flex and Immune Boost, DuraLactin once a day for arthritic pain and inflammation, Vitamin E once a day, and Transfer Factor for an immune system booster. He continued to explain that when he asks the owners of most of the older horses he goes to sees, they do not have them on the proper diet. I explained that we are still trying to get more weight on Chance but that he has put on a good amount of weight since last summer. He suggested that our next appointment be this December before Chance has the opportunity to go into the winter and lose any weight, which is common in older horses, especially cribbers and thoroughbreds, in the winter months.

Later that day, Chance seemed to have some difficulty eating his hay; wads of hay were scattered around his stall. This is something that I have seen intermittently, maybe once or twice, but not to this extreme.  I decided to give him alfalfa cubes to substitute the hay until the next day when, hopefully, he would be able to eat more easily.  Sure enough the next morning there were no wads of hay!

Therapeutic Shoeing 

By: Christy Corp-Minamiji, DVM

Any discussion of therapeutic shoeing in the horse must begin with a discussion of what therapeutic shoeing is–and what it is not. According to Stephen O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS, professional farrier and owner of Northern Virginia Equine, in Marshall, therapeutic shoeing (or therapeutic farriery) is “the science and art of affecting/influencing the structures of the foot.” It is not a cookie-cutter, “apply shoe A to foot B” magic bullet in the war on equine lameness. To understand how the foot structures can be influenced, we should first have a clear picture of those structures and the forces that act on them.

“In an ideal world, you would begin from a diagnosis,” says Andrew Parks, MA, VetMB, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “From that diagnosis you would get your treatment goals. By goals I mean the big picture concepts for treatment. You need to have principles (a range of techniques) that allow you to implement your goals.”

O’Grady concurs: “In order to be proficient at therapeutic farriery you must understand the forces that affect the foot. Excess forces or stresses on the hoof capsule lead to deformation, and excess forces or stresses on the internal structures of the foot lead to disease. Everything we are trying to do with therapeutic farriery is to change the forces on the foot.”

For Want of a Foot …

“There is no definition of a perfect foot,” says Parks. What’s considered a “normal” equine foot differs among breeds and disciplines. Thus, when evaluating trimming and shoeing options for a horse, owners and farriers must first consider foot conformation–what you see when you look at a horse standing at rest. Also evaluate limb conformation, which can affect how the horse’s foot bears weight and the way a horse wears a hoof or a shoe. Both limb and hoof conformation might alter the horse’s stride and landing, affecting the forces upon the foot structures. For instance, a club-footed horse’s high-set heels will alter weight distribution, placing more pressure on the toe and heel. While farriery might alter the distribution of the load on the foot, one misconception that O’Grady would like to correct is the idea that you can “change limb conformation by trimming. After 6-8 months (of age), conformation is conformation,” he says. Rather than attempting to make an atypically conformed foot or leg appear “normal,” O’Grady stresses the importance of trimming “for the cards the horse has been dealt.”

Forces affecting the horse hoof

Figure 1: This illustration shows the forces around the center of rotation (the black dot) in a horse at rest. The ground reaction force is transmitted upward through the lamellae to the bony column. The extending force of the coffin joint is balanced by an equal flexing force generated by the deep digital flexor tendon. 

The Foundation: An Appropriate Trim

According to O’Grady, therapeutic shoeing must begin with an appropriately trimmed foot. While much is made of hoof “balance,” O’Grady dislikes the term as he feels it is not clearly defined among practitioners and farriers. He prefers to work from a set of landmarks as clear guidelines to trim each individual foot appropriately:

1) Pick up the foot, and draw a line across the widest part of it. This line will fall just in front of the center of rotation (at the coffin joint). A well-trimmed foot should have approximately even proportions of hoof on either side of that line.
2) Look at the frog. The heels should lie approximately on the same line as the widest part of the frog.
3) Stand the horse on a hard, flat surface so his cannon bone on the leg you’re addressing is perpendicular to the ground. A line drawn down the front of the pastern should be parallel to a line drawn along the dorsal (toe) surface of the hoof wall. This is the hoof-pastern-axis (HPA). A broken-back HPA, in which the front of the foot is angled less steeply than the pastern, shows up in low heels; a broken-forward axis manifests in high heels (club foot).

According to O’Grady, anyone can use these three parameters to assess a horse’s trim. “Trimming is the mainstay of therapeutic shoeing,” he states. Thus, any benefit to be derived from therapeutic shoeing must have a basis in an appropriately trimmed foot. “The first function of a shoe is to protect that which is trimmed and also to complement it,” he says. “Then you can add mechanics … to that trim.”

Physics and the Equine Foot

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Similarly, the support and movement of the equine foot depends upon a system of opposing forces. Understanding these forces is key to understanding the principles of farriery.

In the standing horse:

1) The ground reaction force (GRF, as pictured in Figure 1) is the force transmitted from the ground to the ground surface of the foot, into the hoof wall, and from the wall through the lamellae (interlocking leaflike tissues attaching the hoof to the coffin bone) to the bony column.1 Think of the GRF as the ground pushing up as the foot lands. The GRF extends (i.e., an extensor motion rather than flexor) the coffin and pastern joints and is centered at the center of rotation.2 The GRF is counteracted by two forces.
2) The first of these forces, the weight of the horse, is transmitted down the cannon bone through the fetlock. Since the GRF and the weight of the horse through the cannon bone are both vertical but not aligned, they cause the pastern to rotate so the fetlock becomes closer to the ground.
3) At rest, the horse’s anatomy counters this effect by the upward and backward force of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT)–the flexing force illustrated in Figure 1. Picture a string attached to the back of the coffin bone and pulled upward over the navicular bone, over the fetlock, and along the back of the cannon toward the knee.

 

Update!

After two rounds of EPM treatments, stem cell injections, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, testing, antibiotics, ultrasounds, blood work, adding DuraLactin….Here is a video of Chance yesterday!  He has gained a lot of weight back and hopefully, with the addition of the Rice Bran in his feed, he will continue to gain weight!