Please help. New to all of this.
Tiffany Woodward - located in eastern North Carolina
My 10 year old Appaloosa mare "Maggie" was diagnosed with insulin resistance in early October following a sudden episode of laminitis and founder. I was told that her thyroid levels were within normal range, but on the low end as well.
She had initial x-rays taken on Sept. 22nd which showed rotation in the left front (estimated at around 15 degrees), and little to no rotation in the right (1-2 degrees per the 2nd vet who looked at the x-rays). I pulled her shoes on Sept. 26th per the first vet's advice, and put her in Soft Ride boots with laminitis pads on Sept. 29th. Since the 1st vet did not come back out for bloodwork, a 2nd vet saw her and drew blood the following week, with results coming in on Oct. 8th.
She ate hay only from Oct. 1st through Oct. 17th, and then she began eating Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care in small amounts. She also began Thyroxine-L starting twice a day on Oct. 9th, and reducing to once a day starting Nov. 9th. She was on varying amounts of Bute (1 gram twice a day at the onset, reduced to 1/2 gram twice a day, then 1/2 gram once a day, and then 1/2 gram every other day, and then no Bute and only Previcox). Since Oct. 1st, Maggie has been improving slowly but steadily. Her comfort level was increasing, she was allowing me to pick up and inspect her feet (during boot cleaning) every day, and she was very comfortable during her last foot trim on Nov. 7th. A second set of x-rays was done on Nov. 5th showing very little change in the left front (originally estimated at 15 degrees and estimated at 17 degrees on Nov. 5th), and a lot of change in the right (estimated at 15 degrees). Last week (11/9 - 11/15), she felt good enough to try to pace in her stall while waiting for feed (a habit she's had since she was very young) and even tried to bounce around her stall a little on the morning of Nov. 15th (we had a cold snap here in the east).
On the morning of Nov. 16th I noticed that she was very uncomfortable again, particularly on her right front. She was rocking back in the laminitis stance and having a lot of difficulty bearing weight on her right front. Her pulse was increased on that foot. I contacted the vet clinic and the on call vet advised me to give 2 grams Bute 2x per day and she would see her on Monday the 17th. While inspecting her feet on Nov. 16th, I noticed a crack on the sole that had not been there previously. The vet came on Monday and when she saw the crack and felt the pulse, she felt that there was more rotation and perhaps sinking. We took more x-rays (per my request) and the vet felt that they actually showed no change. She was so uncomfortable that the x-rays were taken with her boots on, so measurements could not be done, but it was pretty apparent that there was no sinking, and there didn't appear to be any more rotation. The vet speculated that she may have hurt herself while trying to play in her stall, and this was exacerbated by the cold weather, causing pain. Why the crack appeared, I do not know. The vet had no explanation with a lack of additional rotation/sinking.
Since Nov. 16th she has been receiving 2 grams of Bute twice a day, 2 1/2 cc of Ace three times per day, and is back on Thyroxine-L twice a day. She was a little better Monday evening, and seemed quite a bit better on Tuesday evening as she was trying to pace in her stall again. Then, this morning (Nov. 19th) she seems quite painful again and has gone back to laying down quite a bit. When I took off the boot on her right front (while she was laying down) I noticed that there seemed to be a small amount of fluid draining from the crack on her sole.
Does anyone have any advice? Are these sole cracks common even with a lack of sinking? Is there anything else I can do beyond what I'm doing right now? I'm including a link to all photos of x-rays and her sole that I have.
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