After Misty had been here for a few days on 2 grams of bute twice a day and housed 24/7 on deep sand, I did her first big trim. I had trimmed about 1.5 inches off her toe out front and lowered her heels a week before while she was still at her previous owners. Now, based on having seen radiographs I took off as much as I dared off the front of her toes. The goal is to improve her break over and get rid of the deformed hoof capsule to prevent further deformation.
I took radiographs after her trim, and while much improved, there is still a lot of material in front of her coffin bone. Her angles are hard to assess because she was variably weighting her feet during rads, and I wanted to take them quick and not make her stand on a block for very long. The best news is that she actually has some sole depth! We have something to build on!
I shot really quick rads of the solar margin of her coffin bone (totally rough because I did not take the time to clean the sand out or pack the grooves with playdoh (because of all the sand and how painful she was standing on one foot). It is really hard to see, but the solar margin of the coffin bone at the tip is eaten away. At one point she had some pretty significant pedal osteitis. I don't think it is active right now though. It has a sclerotic rim and seems well defined. That bone will never come back. There are also pockets at the quarters where the hoof wall is not connected to the underlying tissue. These feet are a disaster.
The next day, I took her out for a walk and I could not believe how good she was moving! She looked almost normal while walking through my round pen, striding out and looking comfortable. While standing, she still shifts from one foot to another constantly, but the walking comfort is huge. Before we got to this point, Misty wasn't really rocking back on her haunches, but reluctant to move and carefully setting a hoof down while quickly walking up with her hind feet to support herself. So, this striding out and looking seriously almost normal is amazing!
While her improvement is wonderful, it is only the start. She still needs to grow a whole new hoof, if even possible. Previous growth rings show that she is growing very little at the toe, and quite a bit at the heel. I will have to continue to keep the heel rasped down as new growth comes in. And she will continue to be at risk for abscesses. She has previous evidence of blowing an abscess out of a heel on each hoof, and out the top of the coronary band on one.
Hope and Possibilities
16 hours ago