Koda is a 16 yo paint horse that has been in shoes all his life. According to his owner he had been shown extensively in jumping events before she acquired him and the owner was having problems with Koda being lame constantly while in shoes. He was set in egg bars in the fronts and regular shoes in the rear. When I first met Koda and his owner, he had just had shoes set a few weeks before I came out to see them. I did not want to remove the shoes just yet because he would immediately go lame and there was nothing to trim anyway. He had very flat and thin soles as well as thin hoof walls and there was barely anything holding the shoes on his fronts. He is also extremely contracted in the heels, so much so that it is causing large quarter cracks in his quarters. His digital cushions were also atrophied. I told the owner that we needed to wait at least another couple of weeks before we pull the shoes and I recommended that we use hoof casts for a while until his walls grows out some.
I did not trim a whole lot off of his feet. Like I said, his soles are thin as well as his walls but I did scoop out the bars a bit as they were overgrown and would contribute to his discomfort, balanced his feet and rolled the edges. His heel measurements were 41mm RF and 42mm LF. I commenced to do the casting on the fronts before proceeding to trim the rears to keep him comfortable . I opted not to cast the rears at this time to see how well he would do. Koda has a long way to go before he's sound but I am very optimistic.
June 20th 2012 - Did a second round of casting. No real spreading of the heels just yet. He is still lame off and on on the fronts and the owner continues to give him bute.
July 23rd 2012 - Koda's feet are progressing. The quarter cracks are growing out as well as the cracks in his toes. The cast wore out a little quicker this time and the owner says he has been moving around pretty good. His heels have started to spread which is great. His rf is at 45mm and the lf at 46mm.
Aug 27th 2012 - Owner called and was ecstatic in the fact that Koda was actually running around without any real discomfort. She has also bought him hoof boots. Good news! I went to trim him and his heels continue to spread (51mm rf, 52mm lf). He is coming along well.
Sept. 30th 2012 - Owner called again few day ago saying that it has been a long time since she has seen Koda running like he did that day. Said the dogs got out and were chasing the horses but Koda had his tail and head up and was leaving them behind. She has not been giving him bute for a number of weeks now which is great. When I went to trim him he was very bright eyed and alert which is the first time I have seen him like that. Usually his head was down and he looked like he hurt but he looked happy today. All cracks are gone and heels continue to spread and his frogs and digital cushions are looking healthier. All in all I think he is doing extremely well. I did warn the owner of the possibilities of him abscessing just because his feet were not in good health in the beginning. I explained that that is just part of the transitioning although he may not abscess at all, it is a possibility and I wanted her to be prepared for it. I will take pictures next trim to compare where we are.
Nov. 15th 2012 - Koda was bright eyed again and after looking at the initial images I took when I started, you can see substantial changes. No more cracks and his heels continue to spread (55mm rf, 56mm lf). I have told the owner that she can go ahead and start riding him lightly. He is showing no "ouchiness" on hard surfaces anymore and he is moving pretty good. We did find where a small abscess had erupted on his sole but she had told me had no signs of any lameness.
Feb. 11th 2013 - Koda has experienced a setback. He is having a laminatic event in both of his fronts. His owner had radiographs taken to confirm this although I unfortunately was unable to diagnose it as laminitis as he was not acting like that was the case. His owner and I doing all we can to get him through this. This is just a set back as he will recover from this and continue on. It just sucks because he was progressing very well.
Oct. 31st 2014 - Koda is doing very well and is being ridden on a regular basis. His feet are looking really good and the owner is very happy that he is sound on everything but road gravel. His heels have spread out to a distance of 56mm lf and 57mm rf considering they were contracted at 41mm and 42mm when we started this adventure.