Having the radiographs this time around was quite helpful. My trimmer, Rebecca, is fantastic and I always learn so much from her when she comes to the barn... and even when she doesn't come to the barn because I harass her via email quite frequently. We discussed what she saw on the radiographs and how she was going to correct the rotation on Lilly's right front. She actually doesn't like to use the word rotation because it's such a negative term. As horse owners, when we hear the word rotation, it brings images of doom to our minds... So she thinks it's more correct, at least in Lilly's case, to think of it in terms of weakened lamina. This all happened in Lilly's hoof because her toes are way too long. As the hoof grows and grows, and the toe is never taken back (because it seems most people are afraid to bring back the toe or even rasp the hoof wall), the entire hoof structure is pulled forward (hello underrun heels...). In that situation, the coffin bone has no choice but to "rotate", as it can't possibly remain connected properly.
Also, if we look back at the radiographs of her RF, sure the coffin bone looks rotated, but if we remove the excess toe, magically the angle of the coffin bone and the hoof wall match:
Ok, I feel I'm rambling a bit, but this is as much for my benefit as it is for someone reading who might actually be interested in what I'm babbling about. It all makes sense in my head, I just hope I was able to put it into words that are actually correct and make sense to someone other than me.
So, here we go with our before and after pictures!
|Left lateral - before|
|Left lateral - after|
|Left heel - before|
|Left heel - after|
|Left sole - before|
|Left sole - after|
|Right lateral - before|
|Right lateral - after|
|Right heel - before|
|Right heel - after|
|Right sole - before|
|Right sole - after|
Rebecca and I had discussed hoof casts and their possible benefits for Lilly. We thought she looked pretty good when we walked her up and down the barn aisle, but Rebecca decided we should go ahead and cast. Hopefully they'll help her grow stronger, healthier hoof walls and soles. There's an excellent article written by Pete Ramey for anyone interested in reading about the possible benefits. The article states the following:
I believe that the most important reducer of hoof flexion and circulation is lameness; a lack of movement or worse: Compensative movement. No doubt the presence of the cast robs some of the flexion of the hoof capsule, but the casts tend to make compromised horses so comfortable, the increase in correct movement seems to create an excellent “circulatory trade-off”. In the real world the foot is healthier overall when you remove a cast. Well connected wall growth and healthy laminae will have been produced and the sole will be thicker (from what I’ve seen, every time).I'm looking forward to seeing how they work for her in the pasture and if we notice a difference in her after the casts come off. Lilly did trot to me in the pasture today, which is a first for her in quite a while, but she is still ginger in certain areas of the field.
Here are her hooves with the casting material on them:
|Too bad we couldn't have green ones...|
|Protection for tender tootsies!|