Reggie - 17 year old Arabian Gelding
at our facility Saturday, November 1, 2003, referred to us by
Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. He
arrived wearing a single layer of styrofoam pads, and
exhibited a Obel grade 4 lameness on both front feet on 4
grams of Bute.
These first two
pictures are the lateral and bottom view of Reggie’s right
front foot before we started to work on him.
two pictures show the lateral and bottom view of the same
foot after rockering his toe and preparing a base at the back
of his foot. Notice the bruising and stretched seedy toe as a
result of the lamellar wedge.
Reggie had a
history of chronic laminitis and recurrent abscessing in
both front feet, on-going for 2 years. He had been on 4
grams of Bute per day and had been wearing Heart Bar
shoes for most of that time.
discontinued the Bute immediately, as we needed Reggie to
be able to give us some honest responses to what we were
planning to offer him. We then monitored his comfort
level for the next 48 hours.
November 3rd, Reggie was still an Obel grade 4 on both
fronts, but became non weight bearing on his Right Hind
due to an abscess which had probably been developing for
some time, but was retarded due to the Bute intake.
health professionals disregard Bute as inhibiting the
abscess cycle. But we have found Bute to be a very
consistent interruption in a horse’s ability to release
abscesses. We do not think it is a coincidence that
Reggie’s right hind abscess erupted within 48 hours of
discontinuing the Bute. We have seen this cycle many
Front Feet - We
removed the single layer of styrofoam and significantly
rockered his toes to unload the dorsal wall and provide
drainage through the lamellar wedge. Dental impression
material was added to the back of the foot, then the entire
foot was covered by 2 layers of Purple Podiatry Pads (3P’s)
with a duct tape wrap. This type of support lifts the coffin
bone up and forward in the hoof capsule, via the digital
cushion, while minimizing the load on the hoof wall.
The Right Front
was grooved horizontally below the coronary band to relieve
the pinching of the extensor process, restore vasculature to
the coronary band and further relieve the load on the dorsal
wall. This technique allows the horse more appropriate use of
the back of the foot. The improvement was immediate.
November 4th, Reggie was standing more comfortably on his
fronts, but totally non weight bearing on the Right Hind. We
continued to soak. The right hind abscess drained two days
later (Thursday), and he showed immediate and rapid
November 7th - Applied a glued on Double Nail Pad system
(DNP) to both front feet, and then grooved the Left Front.
The glued on
DNP system allows us to relieve the stress on the compromised
hoof wall, offer support and protection to the compromised
anterior sole, increase the depth of the palmar region of the
foot and reduce the tension on the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon
(DDFT). This system also minimized the torque on the distal
boarder of P3 and the interphalangeal joints. This has been
an effective method to initiate healing on compromised feet.
Reggie did well in this system and his activity increased to
the point where we had difficulty keeping the glued-on
package in place. On November 21, we applied the Equine Digit
Support System (EDSS) with rails and frog support, to both
front feet. We hand walked Reggie and he bucked and played on
the end of the lead rope, showing rapid improvement.
hand-walking Reggie for several days, then started him on
some limited turnout in the round pen for 1-2 hours per day.
He continued to do extremely well, and had had no Bute since
were taken just before Reggie went home, wearing the EDSS
system. You can see the distal displacement of P3 relative to
the coronary band. The coronary groove is also visible, it’s
purpose, to give the extensor process a place to go when
being lifted up and forward in the hoof capsule by the load
introduced through the EDSS frog support.
In these before
and after pictures: While this hoof capsule still has a lot
of remodeling to do, this is a very healthy, functioning
foot, even though it’s appearance at this stage is unusual.
Horses that have suffered severe laminitis will ultimately
have a nicer foot, in both function and appearance, than they
had prior to the laminitic episode. This is due to the fact
that most domestic horses do not receive all of the important
ingredients that are offered to our “model” feral horse, such
as, load sharing capabilities through the back of the foot,
maximum sole depth underneath the tip of P3, and proper
equilibrium of the hoof capsule around the coffin bone.
Reggie went home the second week of December. We expected
Reggie to stay in an EDSS system for 2-3 more shoeing
periods, at 7-10 week intervals. Vital to his continued
recovery is appropriate hoof preparation followed by proper
application of the EDSS therapeutic system.
after he returned home. - “Thanks for all the great care of
Reggie. He is still doing great! I rode him around the arena
4 times, and he was so fluid in his stride. It’s wonderful to
have him back to his totally obnoxious self”.
We don’t know
why horses like Reggie recover so rapidly, when other
horses take significantly longer and some never recover.
It probably has to do with a whole combination of things,
age, general health before the laminitic episode, and
other perhaps unknown systemic issues. We still have a
lot to learn.
We’d like to
thank Washington State University Veterinary Teaching
Hospital for their referrals. What a pleasure it is to
work in conjunction with true equine health care
professionals who are committed to the health and well
being of the horse.
17028 Trombley Rd.,
Snohomish, WA 98290
Phone: 425 890-3043