Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Radiograph Results

I'm late posting these because of some technical difficulties. It appears that the eFilm Lite program used to view the x-rays doesn't play nice with Vista or Windows 7. My fiance and I had to get creative last night, but we got them to work. The vet gave me two CDs, one was supposed to have lateral views, and the other was supposed to have the DP (Dorsal Palmar/Plantar) views. As it turns out they both had the same images and I'm missing the DP views. Once I get them, I'll post those too.

The new vet and her crew were super nice. Lilly was an excellent patient and stood completely still on two blocks with her hooves spread apart quite a bit... I was surprised, especially since her long lost boyfriend is back at the farm and he was screaming for her throughout the entire process. Good girl, Lilly! :)

So that you can form your own opinion first, I'll tell you what she said about the x-rays after the images. She took a bunch of notes while doing the x-rays, which were only coherent to her, so she's going to write them up so they make sense and send them to me. For now, I'm going off memory...

The left hoof looks good, except for the thin soles. She didn't see any arthritis or bone spurs, although she did see a hint of sidebone in there. When I asked her what the cause of that could be she said, "because she's a horse." Good enough for me!

Hopefully no one gasped when they saw this one!  This is our problem hoof and now I think it's clear why. She has an obvious rotation, about 4 degrees, although the vet said that's not enough to be concerned about. She said the thin soles are most likely the issue, but the soles on her left hoof are thin also, and she's a lot more comfortable on that hoof. There's a bit of sidebone in this hoof also, but it is free of arthritis and bone spurs like the left hoof.

So, in general, she said the x-rays looked good... thin soles, yes, but she was happy with everything else. If you'll recall the heel shots I've been taking, Lilly was loading the medial sides of her hooves and her pastern bones leaned to the inside. The DP x-rays were taken to evaluate that issue, but those only showed slight issues as well.

After chatting for a while about the hooves and the rotation, we think this probably showed up at some point during Lilly's rehab. It could have been when she first tore her ligament, or it could have happened during one of the abscesses she had. Either from removing the wedge pads or when she ripped her shoe off (and half of her hoof).

She did comment that she thinks Lilly is about 100 pounds overweight and that certainly won't help matters. The problem there is that she isn't eating anything as it is. She gets minimal amounts of hay because she wastes it, preferring pasture to hay, and she's only getting about 2 lbs of alfalfa pellets per day. That's fed mostly for the protein benefits, but also as a means of getting the vitamin supplement into her belly. She suggested a grazing muzzle, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go there yet.

These images are on their way to my trimmer, so I'm looking forward to what she has to say about them. Hopefully I can get the other images soon to send as well. She'll be out next Wednesday to trim.


  1. Thin soles take a long time to develop and grow thicker as the frogs and heels develop - be patient with this. It's a good idea to keep her weight down if you can.

  2. Ok, I admit it. I gave a tiny gasp.

    Paj had thin soles too. They haven't bothered him a bit since I fired his knife-happy former shoer a few years back! And we haven't had an abscess either, knock on wood.

  3. So interesting to finally see what's going on inside.

  4. Yup, saw the thin soles straight off. Keep taking pictures of her soles once a month for records and then try to walk her on different footing to stimulate growth. If you don't see improvement in a reasonable amount of time let me know and I'll refer you to someone else who might have some answers for you.

    Here's the good thing I see in the x-ray of the right fore: yes, she is rotated but look at the growth coming down from the coronet band. Can you see how it's growing tighter to the coffin bone at the top? (hopefully this isn't my eyes playing tricks on me) I think with time and keeping the pressure off the toe that rotation is going to grow right out.

  5. PS- did you happen to have a talk with your vet about her possibly being insulin resistant? Air ferns tend to have that problem...

    Could you swap out the alfalfa pellets for timothy?