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Shiney Update: Shoeing the Laminitic Horse

Our mare Shiney foundered two months ago after treatment for a retained placenta. She's recovered from the acute phase now, but recently she has seemed to be increasingly sore on her left front. Last week, we took her into the arena, took off her Soft Ride Boots, and let her walk barefoot in the sand. It was apparent that on her left foot she was stepping first on her toe and then rolling to the outside of her hoof. When we turned her, expecially to the right, she was obviously in pain.

The next day, our vet, Dr. Brian Dahms, looked at her feet and determined that as her hoof has grown out, the inside of her left hoof, which suffered the greatest insult to the lamina, has not grown at the same rate as the outside hoof. Consequently, she was developing a significant imbalance. In addition, when she was forced to put pressure on the inside of the hoof, she experienced pain. The right foot appeared to be growing normally and was pain free. Brian suggested that we bring Shiney into the clinic to meet with farrier Blair Underwood, who does all the therapeuatic shoeing for the clinic.

On Tuesday, we hauled Shiney and her foal to the clinic and met with Brian and Blair, who suggested we use an EDS shoe (pictured) which would provide Shiney with a balanced foundation and support for her frogs. But most important, with the EDS shoe we could float the inside, short side of her hoof so that it would not touch the ground (the pad). The EDS shoe has a thick, rigid silicon pad attached to the actual shoe. Blair filed away about a fourth of an inch from the pad where it would have touched her inside hoof wall. He then put putty in the center of her hoof and molded it to the frog. When the shoe was in place, Shiney's weight would be supported on the frog and outside of the hoof with a gap between the pad and the inside hoof wall.

We will have to keep the gap free of dirt so that we can keep the inside hoof wall floating. Also, we will need to have the shoes reset every four to six weeks. Blair estimates that she will need to wear the shoes for about six months. The new shoes seemed to give Shiney instant pain relief. She is walking normally now.

I'll keep you updated as Shiney progresses.

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