Aragon's hoofs


Hi everybody, first i'm so thankfull for this group...
Aragon had laminitis diagnosed in 2017, he had a very bad crisis after eating hay full of alfalfa. He had weared reversed horse shoes since january 2018 until june 2020, under farrier recomandation. He had another bad crisis starting mid january soil was pure ice and very hard.. Farrier came and put back his reversed horse shoes, did'nt help very much... i feel helpless... i'm waiting for his diet to be balanced to start somewhere... and his four hoofs flares as they grow...

After radios from his front feets in august, it was determined that the laminitis had evolved. I tought it was gone for good. And that he has very thin sole (7mm) He suffers from hypo thyroid, acceptable low limit of thyroid test... vet gave him Levrothyroxine sodium for three months.
And also i have been literally fighting with some kind of mud scabbies on his pastern since this summer... seems to be better with local cream application.

Since about a year, he does coprophagia, it worrys me since in summer his paddock is on sand...

Please help me to help him... i'm not shure that his horse shoes are the best for him... he talso take previcox, an anti-inflammatory  and this either does'nt seem to help much...and he can't do any exercise, except for walking... this is the only exercise i do with him, is going walk him with a leash half hour every day hoping to have his blood at least circulating a minimum... He has hoof boots, but farrier said not to put them on since it was keeping hoofs very hot, and it was no good for him. 
And he suffers from obesity, he is a 6-7 quote. Cresty neck, fat deposit on shoulders... no muscles, even when he was doing exercices... 
Thank you so much for help and support
MyriamD. QC, Canada, 2021

Aragon case history.pdf ( | Album

Sherry Morse

Hi Myriam,

Looking at Aragon's x-rays from last year his toes are still quite long and he has a bit of a ski tip developing on his left coffin bone.  It's hard to say anything specific about his current trim other than it appears to be uneven behind and he doesn't appear to have very much sole on his front feet.  If you would like assistance with his trim we would need current x-rays and hoof pictures.  Directions on how to do those are in the Wiki:

Looking at the pictures of Aragon he appears to have insulin resistance (his cresty neck being very obvious in the side shots).  With that in mind he could be experiencing winter laminitis. You can read more about this here: In order to stop the cycle of laminitis you need to remove the cause.  Anti-inflammatories are contraindicated in cases of metabolic laminitis.  If the medication isn't working there's no reason to continue giving it to him.  However, if he's been on it for an extended period of time you need to wean him off of it to avoid a rebound effect.

Start tapering by keeping the current dose the same but stretching out the intervals between doses. E.g.:START: 2 grams Bute once a day
DAY 1 through 3 of Taper: 2 grams every 36 hours
DAY 4 through 6 of Taper: 2 grams every 48 hours
DAY 7: 1.5 grams every 48 hours
DAY 8: 1.0 gram every 48 hours 
DAY 9: 0.5 gram once, then stop

If he's lame do not force him to exercise as this will only make his feet hurt more.  Make sure you read the section on exercise in your welcome letter:

In order to get his diet balanced you need to test his hay and then you can contact one of the balancers listed in our files: (scroll down and open the HAY BALANCING-1.pdf file). 

You also need to know how much he should weigh.  How tall is he?  If he's a 7 at 1300lbs I would expect he needs to lose at least 200 pounds which would give him an ideal weight of 1100lbs.  We recommend feeding either 2% of ideal weight or 1.5% of current weight (whichever is more until his ideal weight is reached and then reevaluate his diet).  For Aragon that would mean he should be eating no more than 22lbs a day TOTAL.  That includes hay AND concentrates.  So you need to weigh his hay starting now and until you get it tested make sure you soak it as per the directions in the emergency diet ( and please stop the Purina Equalizer as it's not suitable for an IR horse.

It would be helpful for you to have your vet test Aragon's insulin level so you know if he is still in the danger zone for laminitis.

One last note - if you decide to stop the Thyro-L please be aware that you need to wean off of it so the thyroid can start to work again. While it may help with weight loss, it will not help reduce insulin levels.

Maxine McArthur

Hi Myriam
Well done for getting your links copied into your signature! Much easier for everyone to access your information. 
Have you read the information in your welcome message?

Let's get you started on one thing at a time. Number one: You need to start Aragon on the emergency diet. This will help him lose weight and it will help reduce pain in his feet. Even though the hay in your haytest photo is under 10% sugar+starch, some horses need lower sugar and starch to be comfortable. As he is sore, let's assume he needs some help with lowering the sugar and starch.

Step One: Estimate his weight. There's a link on how to do this in your welcome message. 
Step Two: Weigh out 1.5% of his current weight OR 2% of his ideal weight, whichever is greater, in dry hay. So if he weighs 500kg now [this is just an example], 1.5% of his current weight is 7.5kg. If his ideal weight is 450kg, then 2% of 450 is 9kg. 9kg is more than 7.5kg, so you would feed him 9kg of hay per day. Divide this up into as many feedings as you like. Many of us use haynets with small holes to make the hay last longer. 
Step Three: Soak the hay -- submerge it in plenty of water -- for one hour if the water is cold, 30 minutes if the water is hot. Drain the hay, and throw away the water where the horse can't drink it. Don't re-use the soaking water. 
Step Four: Don't feed any bagged feeds, no supplements, no treats, no grass even if it looks dead. Do feed salt, linseed (for omega 3 fatty acids), magnesium (about a teaspoon of mag oxide if you can find it) and Vitamin E (most of us use human gelatine capsules; make sure the capsules contain oil). Your hay has reasonably balanced major minerals, so if you can't get the magnesium, don't let that stop you starting the emergency diet. This diet is only temporary until you can get your hay balanced. 

If he starts to improve on the emergency diet, you could try feeding some of his hay without soaking. But first see how he goes for a week on this diet. 

Number two: You said that his laminitis was bad last January also, when it was very cold and icy. Have you tried keeping his legs and feet warm to see if this makes him more comfortable? Many horses that have experienced laminitis get sore again when the weather is very cold. Many of our members use pads (rubber, felt etc) and woollen socks in hoof boots, plus leg warmers in order to keep their horses comfortable in deep winter. If you haven't tried this, please do so, and let us know if it helps. If you haven't got boots, you can get creative with heavy-duty plastic bags taped on over socks and rubber pads, diapers, anything to keep the feet warm. There are many ideas in the Messages--do a search for "winter laminitis". 

Number three: Go back and read your welcome message :) There's a lot of information that should answer some of your questions. The only thing I would add after viewing your case history is that you don't seem to have tested his insulin--is this correct? If so, it would be wise if you could test it, as high insulin is a risk factor for laminitis. 

Our hoof-savvy moderators will be able to say more about his trim, but please remember that the best way to address inflammation in the feet is to fix the diet. 

And keep asking questions if anything is unclear.

Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010
ECIR Primary Response