Beau's hind, foot changes and potential laminitis

Nancy C

Hello friends

Wanted to post about Beau's (IR/iron overloaded) recent adventures for input and discussion. We may need to move the thread to EC Hoof but I'll start here with the indulgence of fellow HMs.

New Year's Day Beau sprained, pulled or tore something in his upper LH. He immediately stopped eating - a big sign - and went to stand in his pea stone. At the walk he was dragging his LH but would put weight on it. No heat anywhere but a few hours later he had a large knot high up the inner thigh. The next hours the inflammation grew in his gaskin.

Saturday night/Sunday morning was no fun - very uncomfortable all over - but the swelling in the gaskin and lower leg is much better and he has more flexibility there. With Eleanor's help, I have given extra Mg to relax his muscles.

My big question now is whether or not he's laminitic as a result. He's been standing off his front end but not on his hind end. The extra Mg made a big difference in his stance. He may be avoiding his hind end b/c of the injury and, even if laminitic, can't go to the usual founder stance. Pulses are only found at a moderate level when I use excessive pressure to make a pulse. Lightly placing my fingers does not reveal a pulse. He does have a 5 degree increase in heat on the medial side of both fronts and he shifts from foot to foot. Hoof testers show he's ouchy at the back end of the coffin bone near the bar area.

We've been working on his feet for years but in hind sight, did not make real progress, b/c I had been tempting the grass gods and his insulin continued too high. With tons and tons ( and TONS) of good foot care (barefoot, trimmed every two-three weeks), exercise in boots and pads and balanced diet, his inner foot never resolved in a significant way. He had never blown abscesses. Getting his heels down required going in to waxy sole. Having "just" a stretched white line v. dead lamina was a major accomplishment. Because of keeping him completely off grass (it takes me a while for the light bulb moment), his feet changed dramatically in the fall. His excess heels began to reveal themselves and could be lowered without going to the waxy material. After blowing three good abscesses in September, he had dramatic shedding of the frogs and bars. I took this as good news. His hoof wall at the toe was coming in much straighter his concavity was steadily improving . While his bars need more time, his frog finally looks something like a normal frog with heel expansion and a real central sulcus.

So I'm holding my breath on the laminitis issue. The question I ponder now is, does he have too little support internally or some other foot issue going on as a result of his recent changes. He's not suffered from cold related pain in the feet and has been quite happy up to this point. He did begin slight toe first landing on the 31st when footing turned hard and icy. I'm thinking, the shedding of disconnected bars has got to be affecting his inner foot. Or is it just tendon/ligament/muscle?

Straight pads don't seem to help him. Neither do two level frog support pads made from closed cell foam to support the back of his foot. Reversing these pads to make it as a wedge pad to relieve tendons has given some relief. Tendons in the foot are very tight. His muscle therapist was here Saturday and he's loving getting massage. At the moment, he's in a turn out shed with pea stone and a very small area for a little movement.

I will update his case history when the technical issues are resolved. His late October blood work showed insulin is still above normal at 47 (lab normal 10-40) even without grass and hay at 9% or less ESC&Starch. His ACTH was 17.8 (9-35). Serum Iron 194, TIBC 410, Ferritin 212, TSI 47.3.

The plan is to start J-herb/AAKG/ACL but wondering if I should be more certain about the laminitis first? And upon reading the AAKG file, I'm thinking the extra Mg might need to be stopped too before starting.

Thanks very much. Sorry for the length.

Nancy C and Beau and Gabe in NH

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