Your horse has laminitis, maybe even foundered. How should the horse hoof trim be carried out? What is the best way for your horse to recover hoof health? In this brief article Dr Kellon describes the way to use a realigning horse hoof trim to recover the foundered or laminitic horse hoof.
There is only one proper trim, and no one but God can claim ownership of it;
……. the proper trim is one where the hoof capsule correctly conforms to the bones within it.
Eleanor Kellon, VMD
What is horse founder
Founder can be capsular rotation, bony rotation, or often a combination of both. It frequently can be hidden by simply mis-reading the shape and proportions of the hoof capsule.
This is the foot of an insulin resistant, laminitic horse that had consistent hoof care. Even with correct diet in place for many months, the horse continued to be lame.
By understanding the basic proportions of the foot, one can see that the toe is too long and can take appropriate trimming measures to start the realignment of the hoof capsule with the coffin bone.Find out about a realignment trim for laminitic horses described by Dr Eleanor Kellon VMDClick To Tweet
A long toe and incorrect trimming can perpetuate horse lameness
Lateral assessment of this foot shows this long toe as well. The upper part of the wall is aligned with the current position of the coffin bone. There is a point of angle change in the toe wall, classic with history of founder.
One fundamental aspect of the realigning trim backs the toe so that it is in line with the current position of the coffin bone. This reduces the pull or leverage on the lamina during breakover by allowing the coffin bone to breakover correctly.
Note that Dr Kellon states:
This does not mean to rasp and this thin the wall all the way up for alignment with the higher wall
Start with backing the toe from the top with the toe on a stand, and with frequent, often weekly trims, the hoof care professional can start to smooth and blend the wall as it grows down.
Use X-rays to confirm the correct horse hoof trim
X-rays confirmed the long toe flare which perpetuated the capsular rotation. The degree of separation of the coronet band and the extensor process (orange lines) demonstrates a moderate amount of distal descent. It is probable that the diminished support by the out of balance hoof capsule in relation to the coffin bone was enough to allow the bony column to descend.
Bony rotation is demonstrated by the bones having rotated out of correct relationship with the ground, and each other.
This demonstrates bony and capsular rotation. The palmar angle, or back of the coffin bone usually sits at about 5 degrees (+/-) to the ground (yellow lines). By lowering the heels to the blue line, another fundamental aspect of a realigning trim with bony rotation, the bones will be “derotated”. It usually happens as quickly as that.
There is also capsular rotation that can be addressed by backing up the toe to rid the foot of the toe flare.
The realigning trim is just the start. It can take up to a year for the hoof capsule to totally grow out and be replaced with a new one. During this time it is essential to feed the right diet and give the right type of movement in the right environment. Overall healing takes time as well. Appropriate comfort and overall support measures can be boots/pads, taped on construction grade styrofoam or anti-fatigue matting cut to the shape of the foot, casting over pads, casting over packing, glue-on appliances. These allow relatively easy to very easy access to the hoof for frequent touch ups of the trim.
This article has been taken from the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance website.
About the work of the ECIR Group
An estimated 10%-15% of all horses (over 1 million in the USA alone) will suffer from painful laminitis every year, with 80%-90% caused by metabolic disorders including Equine Cushing’s Disease and Insulin Resistance.
Proper diagnosis, diet, trim (and exercise, when appropriate) can provide these horses with a dramatically improved quality of life and can often prevent painful laminitis.
Unfortunately, the early warning signs of a horse prone to laminitis often go unnoticed.
The mission of the ECIR Group Inc. is to improve the welfare of equines with metabolic disorders via a unique interface between basic research and real-life clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal. The ECIR Group serves the scientific community, practicing clinicians, and owners by focusing on investigations most likely to quickly, immediately and significantly benefit the welfare of the horse.
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