Re: New Member: Steph and Chance from Ontario (March 09/14) Very sore front feet


>>I am a new member from northwestern Ontario.  My 23 year old Cushings/IR gelding is extremely sore in his front feet.....
Hi Steph,
Welcome to the list!  Sorry to hear that Chance is having trouble.  I read your CH (good job getting that done!) and it sounds like you've been doing some reading of the files and/or on our website .  So you probably already know that the philosophy of this group is DDT/E, Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.  Good that you're getting his ACTH tested.  An out of control ACTH can cause foot pain, as well as a high insulin.  Also a high ACTH can "drive" insulin up as well.  You should add an insulin level, and glucose (and leptin level if available to you) to tomorrow's labs.  Make sure Chance has not been fasted.  We recommend having low esc+starch (under 10%) hay in front of him the night before and right up to the time of the draw.  I'm a little confused about the hay you're feeding now--if it is tested or not.  If it is tested under 10% esc+starch, then you won't need to soak it.  If not, then you should soak it for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water.  If you give him any "bucket" feed, you should wait for 4 hours after that feeding to have the labs drawn, having just the hay in front of him right up until the time of the draw. 
The Diet that we recommend is low sugar starch (tested to be under 10%) grass hay with minerals balanced to the hay analysis and to replace the fragile ingredients lost in the hay curing process, ground flax seed and Vitamin E.  Sounds like you are well on your way to this with having your hay for testing.  Have you taken Dr.Kellon's NRC plus class? Or are you going to need help with balancing your minerals?  When your hay analysis comes back you can post it in your file in ECH8, where you filled out your CH.  If you have taken Dr.Kellon's class, you can join the grads group and get help balancing your hay there if you need it.  We don't use WSC anymore--esc+starch is what needs to be under 10%.  The WSC also includes fructan which does not cause an insulin spike.  You need to stop the Buckeye Harvest salt and Grass plus.  They will interfere your balancing your minerals and the Grass Plus has added iron.  Use iodized table salt in the amount in the emergency diet here:  Also use this diet as a guide to determine how much magnesium and Vitamin E you need to give Chance.  The emergency diet is to be used just until you can get your minerals balanced.
Trim:  As you know, toes backed and heels lowered so that the hoof capsule closely hugs the internal structures of the foot.  Feel free, if you'd like, to post some pictures of Chance's current trim.  Put them in the PHOTOS section of your file in ECH8.  One of our hoof gurus can take a look and see how things are looking and help guide you, if need be.  Is he feeling better since you had the trimmer out yesterday?
Exercise, of course, only as able.  A laminitic horse should never be forced to move, but when he is feeling up to it, you can walk Chance in long straight lines with no tight turns.  Do you have boots and pads for him?  Is he in deeply bedded shavings?  These are a couple of things you might try to keep him comfortable. Boots and pads, for sure.  Soft ride boots are well thought of by a lot of folks on this list.  The pad that comes with them usually needs to have the frog support cut off, or a different pad can be used. 
Some horses that have had laminitis/founder have compromised circulation in their feet and can have cold induced foot pain.  There's an herb called Jiaogulan that can help with that.  It's not for use during the acute phase of laminitis, but can certainly help with cold induced foot pain. You might also try ALcar.  Both available at  Let us know what the vet says tomorrow.  And hang in there!
Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
March 2011
EC Primary Response


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