locked Updated x-rays and where to go from here


 

As an alternative to soaking in front where Zahr has thin soles, poultice the soles only with a drawing poultice inside the boots. You apply a seriously goopy amount of the poultice to the sole and enclose the hoof in a plastic bag inside the hoof boot. The plastic bag keeps the poultice moist. Check every day or every other day for signs of exudate. A disadvantage is that the plastic bag is slippery and can make hoof boot fit tricky. Alternatively you can use a very small baby diaper, assuming you can fit it inside the hoof boots. I had to poultice for 7 - 10 days.

I like Numotizine as a poultice. Epsom salt gel from Durvet and true Ichthammol are other drawing poultices. Many people are attracted to Animalintex because of the convenience of a pad, but Dr Kellon suggests there are better drawing salves. There's no problem (other than expense!) using an Animalintex pad over the poultice on the sole and then enclosing the whole hoof in a plastic bag or baby diaper. You may see signs of discoloration when the abscess drains. An abscess can drain from the tiniest crack in the sole, so you may never see anything dramatic other than a big improvement in hoof pain.

--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
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Mikaela Tapuska
 
Edited

Does sugardine count as a drawing poultice? It was recommended to me last year by the vet when we suspected an abscess. I have lots of betadine that I can mix with sugar to put on his foot right away and then can pick up an actual drawing poultice at the store. Ichthammol looks like it should be easy to get ahold of.

Would we be better off to poultice only the frog/heel area where it would be ideal for the abscess to come out rather than the entire sole? Just so that his sole isn't further compromised from the moisture being held on it and in case he loses a chunk of sole from the abscess blowing? (That was recommended to me at the same time as sugardine, too, but perhaps that is being over-cautious and would minimize the efficacy of applying a poultice).

Also thinking, if we are doing a poultice rather than soaking would it be okay to do both fronts at the same time? With the way he's been flipping back and forth between favoring his LF and RF the last several months, with the RF currently being the worse of the two, (plus from his x-rays and the changes made) it would make sense if he had something brewing in both feet. 
Edited to add: Is a plastic bag better than vet-wrapping a poultice bandage around a sensitive foot to avoid any additional pressure on the hoof capsule?

Apologies for all the questions, up until Zahr developing laminitis I've been fortunate to never have to deal with abscesses! I know how to wrap up feet from a few encounters with them last year, but that is where my knowledge on this ends.

Thank you!

--
Mikaela Tapuska in Calgary AB, 2021

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Mikaela%20and%20Zahr

Photo Album : https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=274255


 

Hi, Mikaela. I’ve never used sugardine so I hope someone else will answer.  I gave up on betadine years ago because it stains everything. But I’m a big fan of using what you have on hand instead of buying new stuff. It’s probably fine.

I have poulticed both front hooves at the same time. I never had a major abscess blow out a big piece of sole; rather it drained through tiny cracks including anywhere there was hoof wall separation/flaring. That’s why I’d do the whole sole. We rarely know where an abscess may be brewing. They can blow out the coronary band, at the heels and anywhere on the sole. The overall size may not be obvious until long after the abscess drains and the sole exfoliates to show its size and location.

There are a dozen ways to poultice— but clays like numotizine and Epsom salt gel dry out, which is why I mentioned the plastic bag. It’s not fun to do, so keeping the poultice moist, active and drawing is your goal. Once it dries out, time to start over. You can vet wrap over the plastic bag. Just keep in mind that you’re limited by what fits inside the hoof boots. 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
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Mikaela Tapuska
 

Cass, thank you so much for answering all of those questions. That makes a lot more sense now (something simple, but my brain was turning it into a big deal). I'll try the sugardine and the plastic bag wrap tomorrow when I see Zahr and worst case scenario, if it is considered a drawing poultice I can pick up something else to try and change it on Friday, as I will see him that day too. 

--
Mikaela Tapuska in Calgary AB, 2021

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Mikaela%20and%20Zahr

Photo Album : https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=274255


Lorna Cane
 

I've used it,Cass . Years ago.It was recommended to me by an old-time farrier. It does work.
I guess the drawback is that it's less convenient than poultices on the market.but I would use it again ,if I had nothing else on hand.

--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


Mikaela Tapuska
 

Today was a bit of a day. The plan was for Zahr to have his massage in the morning to help his muscles adapt to his new trim and then to get poultice on his front feet in case his body is trying to mobilize abscesses.

He was quite sore, though, and is shifting back and forth frequently as he stands again. He's definitely trying to relieve the weight on his front end by putting more on his hind. However, he is still eating completely fine and was very bright and perky at rest, more than I would have expected for how sore he is. His feet don't feel any warmer than normal, and pulses were maybe slightly elevated but also no higher than they've been in recent weeks. I was trying not to worry too much and ride this blip out one day at a time.

The massage therapist wasn't comfortable working on him. From what she saw, she thinks he might be having a laminitic episode and therefore she didn't want to increase circulation in his body. She told me to call the vet right away and get him on painkillers (bute) to help him out and stop the inflammation, but that anything we did that could increase circulation would be contraindicated for now. She also wanted to see what changes we'd made to his feet as his last massage was about two trims ago. Her face told me everything I needed to know when I showed her the mark-ups and she further told me why this approach was a bad idea. Even though I tried to explain what I am trying with Zahr she wasn't interested - for example, discussing bute and inflammation and why that doesn't work for metabolic laminitis, I was told it is better than having his foot fall off.

Just to clarify, I completely respect her right to decline to work on a horse if she thinks it would do more harm than good, and in fairness she doesn't know me well or what I've been working on with the guidance of the group (although again, clearly wasn't interested). But the circulation thing seems a very odd reason, to me, not to massage a chronically laminitic horse's back and hind end? Especially considering how far removed those muscles are from his feet? Massage has helped Zahr a lot as his get tight from the arthritis and various compensations, so I would still like to have bodywork done on him if that won't cause further issues. Am I crazy for not seeing the logic in her argument, and would it be alright to get some body work for him anyways?

My other concern is, given how he is presenting now, would it still be reasonable to to start Zahr on the jiaogulan? If Dr. Kellon sees this and could offer her opinion please, I would be very appreciative. 

Currently I am not doing any walking with him. He only goes out to his paddock and back, as going out is something he looks forward to every day and him standing outside in fresh air and sunshine is better than standing in his stall. I did get sugardine poultices on his feet with some help - unfortunately in my haste to get them on before he pulled down only the back two-thirds of his hoof is covered, but it's a start and we'll fix that tomorrow.

I'm not sure if me calling the vet would result in any advice different than what we are already doing... I have seen him like this before and we just back off walking, usually I ice his feet, and in days past I would have done bute, BUT I know now that won't help metabolic laminitis and if there is abscessing we want those to drain. If he does indeed have abscesses in both fronts, I expect he could present similarly to a laminitis flare up (and from some of the threads I've read on the forum, horses can have some extreme responses to abscess pain).

This is kind of on a side note, but his hind boots with wedges arrived in the mail. Should I hold off on putting those on for now while he is leaning back onto his hinds more? Definitely want to stop the chronic compensation and underrun heels, but unsure if changing  that at this point in time will make things worse or not. 

Thank you!

--
Mikaela Tapuska in Calgary AB, 2021

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Mikaela%20and%20Zahr

Photo Album : https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=274255


Lorna Cane
 

Mikaela,you are far from crazy.
I will leave the other questions for others. But if Zahr were here I would be relieved not to have him worked on by someone with her issues. 
I must say, though,  that I have been very happy with massage for my horses who sloughed all their hooves years ago,as well as a laminitic pony mule. I also highly recommend acupuncture for laminitic horses. I will never forget the first time the vet used AP on the above mule. His feet were hot and he was very unhappy. By the time the needles were removed the heat had dissipated.


--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


Mikaela Tapuska
 

Thank you Lorna, I really appreciate that. I was caught off guard by that turn of events this morning and had been really hopeful a massage would help him out. And then of course worry that I am doing all the wrong things sets in.

Awesome to hear about your experiences with those treatments and know we are on the right track with them. Zahr had a couple of acupuncture appointments earlier this year and I was pleased with how he responded. Unfortunately, that vet has not been able to make it back out since and I've yet to find another who practices acupuncture and travels out our way, but I'd love to try it again. That is quite amazing about your mule!

--
Mikaela Tapuska in Calgary AB, 2021

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Mikaela%20and%20Zahr

Photo Album : https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=274255


 

Hi, Mikaela.
You're not alone in this. Trust me when I say that you'll get a lot of opinions that are not helpful. It is very trying. I faced the same thing. Let's just say advice ranged from being told to reduce pergolide (NO!!!) to change my tested hay to a specific packaged forage (NO!!). Friends, professionals and family told me my horse would never recover from laminitis. It's not easy to ignore them, but we can help.

Horses have amazing healing powers. Our job is to support them in that. It's not unusual for a recovering laminitic horse have good days and bad days. We don't always know why but we do know the formula for our support. Review the article on Acute Care for Endocrinopathic Laminitis at this link and look to the factors listed when Zahr has a setback. https://www.ecirhorse.org/proceedings-2017.php
Read about pain relief and how Jiaogulan works by vasodilation.  If you want Dr Kellon's specific input, you should start a new thread and include her name in the subject.

In some ways, we are supporting our laminitic horses as they grow thicker soles to provide better support for their coffin bones. That means we don't reintroduce any of the factors that caused laminitis and we don't interfere with recovery by using drugs that impair recovery. You're on the right track. Hold the course. 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
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Maxine McArthur
 

Mikaela, perhaps you might ask Zahr what he finds comfortable in the way of a massage? You can do many things yourself to relieve tight sore muscles—gentle efflourage (running the flat of your hands down the muscles); old-fashioned ‘sweating’ (just holding your hands flat in one spot until it feels warm, 3-5 minutes); grooming—with a sheepskin mitt or a towel around your hand if he doesn’t like a brush; t-touches are very relaxing too; and my mare’s favourite—a towel soaked in hot water then rung out and placed across loins or rump, not too hot but not lukewarm either. I add a few drops of lavender oil to the soaking water. (Pretty sure I heard this last one from Dr Kellon.)
The nice thing about doing some of your own bodywork is that your horse starts to view you as the bringer of another pleasant thing. Or, in my mare’s case, she adds another thing to the list of activities her slave (me) must perform, haha. 
--
Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010
ECIR Primary Response

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Maxine%20and%20Indy%20and%20Dangles 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=933

 


Nancy C
 
Edited

Hi MIkaela

I support the conclusion that this body worker is not who is needed for Zahr.

In addition, when we were confronted from suspected recurring laminitis, abscess or foot pain, the biggest relief came from addressing the trim. Even if a trim was done recently -- just a day ago -- addressing things that have changed can give enormous relief. The interior of the foot is changing, shifting all the time.

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President 2021-2022



Kirsten Rasmussen
 

The easiest way to get Dr Kellon's attention for a specific question is to start a New Topic and put her name in the title.
Sorry to hear he didn't get his massage.  That theory that increasing circulation is bad for laminitis is misguided, you want to increase it!  It's hard when there are so many conflicting opinions out there, and everyone has one.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (EMS + PPID) and Snickers (EMS) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
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Mikaela Tapuska
 

Thank you all, it means a lot to have your support. I have posted a new thread for Dr. Kellon as recommended, and I read through the article Cass linked about acute care for endocrinopathic laminitis (breathing normally again).

The barn owner texted me this morning saying that Zahr was worse, not wanting to walk really at all although he tries when he is asked, so we are leaving him inside in deep bedding today. He is still bright and ate all of his breakfast well, good signs, but I don't think he is laying down right now which is a little concerning. I know up until at least last week he was still rolling outside because he was coming in covered in dust, but he may be too body sore right now to go down without difficulty getting back up. 

I will be out later today to check on him and will do some some massage myself on his hind end because I can imagine he'll be very tight currently. A friend of mine has a proscope that she has treated him with regularly in the past, and that seems to bring him relief. And, if there are abscesses it can help bring them to a head faster, so if I can get ahold of her I might try that this weekend instead of finding another bodyworker. Not sure if he'll be willing to hold up his feet long enough to change his poultice, but we will try and see what we can do.

I will be speaking with the vet this afternoon to keep her in the loop, and to see if she has any thoughts (but not bute) based on what she has seen in him leading up to this point. 

--
Mikaela Tapuska in Calgary AB, 2021

Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Mikaela%20and%20Zahr

Photo Album : https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=274255


Jean Hurrle
 

I agree with Maxine, and others who suggest finding a more experienced and knowledgeable  bodyworker. The suggestion to doing your own gentle bodywork should be a big plus. Animals are good healers and will let you know what feels good, tending to move away when they have enough or it feels unpleasant.  I have seen amazing results watching experienced bodyworkers do their magic on horses, including stretching and self adjusting with release of tension. There are some great books out on basic massage for horses for owners & trainers, just stick to gentle along the direction of muscle fiber. Lime us, pain in the feet will cause protective tension in musles of back and butt; masage can alleviate this tension. Also true for arthritis, which only adds to discomfort along with hoof pain.
While that previous massage therapist is right to not treat beyond her comfort,  training and experience, her comment about a hoof falling off is more drama than reality. Her concern about inflammation depend on the condition.
I'm a massage therapist (for humans, not trained in equine bodywork). The issue of inflammation is specific to condition ... no massage on inflamed wounds, surgery incisions etc., but it is wonderful for arthritis, whether we humans or four legged friends. 
I'd like to add a heartfelt thanks for all on this site, helping me and my IR mare Shorty, hopefully to a pain free life. 
If anything I've said - meant as encouragement to utilize massage to alleviate pain and tension in our horses and not to be taken as medical advice -is inappropriate, please discard the message.
Jean and Shorty

--
Jean Hurrle
Illinois; 2022
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jean%20&%20Shorty%20aka%20VG%20YSA%20Tstar


Ronelle
 

I learned of an energy/gentle body work called Conformation Balancing and Fascia Fitness.  I'm using a book by Margret Henkels called "Is Your Horse 100%?"   My horse likes it as he will physically relax to the point of almost sleeping, his bottom lip loosens up, yawns and sometimes curls up his upper lip during a session.   I've seen subtle changes- he is holding up his back more and is starting to stand more squared up.  He is also  more relaxed after a session.   I also am noticing he's more eager to do ground work and go for long hikes. (I'm not riding him).   I'm still figuring out how to do this on him and don't do it enough, but so far so good.   His chiropractor has noticed Yoyo generally doesn't need as much adjusting when I've done a session a few day prior to the chiropractor visit.   
--
Ronelle and Yoyo
2015 Bend, Or, US


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

This topic belong on Horsekeeping.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001
The first step to wisdom is "I don't know."