Well, if you’ve been following along, or read back, you will know that Luke, the hackney pony has been lame for the last 2 weeks or so ever since his feet overgrew too long because I’m a bad bad bad mom who let him go to 9 weeks before a trim. Once he got trimmed, he pretty much got crippled. Actually, he looked OK driving, but while trying to walk on the driveway/walkways around the barn, which recently went under construction and are now very rocky, he was pretty well crippled.
Never having a lameness problem before with Luke, I was very concerned. Then, after many inspections of his feet, and a call in to the vet and farrier (both of whom were on vacation this whole past week), I noticed that his frog has a pencil-eraser sized hole in it. So, OK, I figured he had an abcess and that explained it.. and then he was still lame. His left front foot has a ridge and dish to it, making it look like a horse whose hoof sloughed due to founder or something. I thought there’s no way he could founder, because he’s not on grass, gets no grain, and even though I give him treats-a-plenty it is NO WHERE near enough to put so much sugar in him that he could founder. But, none the less, his foot is not right and he’s lame on it, and I thought he was also lame on his right hind. So the vet came out yesterday and looked him over.
The vet’s first concern upon seeing Luke walk out his paddock was that he was taking a few sore steps. The ground is rocky. Second concern upon seeing Luke close up was that he could be cushingoid or thyroid-y because he’s a solid, sturdy pony. The vet thought he looks fat through the next and he’s definitely a plump little guy through the body. So, since he was there, he drew blood to test T4 levels, and insulin and a liver/kidney panel just to be sure. The vet said if he’s that hefty on just hay and treats, he could have foundered due to it. Vet agreed that there was something fishy with the left front hoof wall and that he was sore to the sole on both front, but nothing seemed to be visually wrong on palpation of the right hind.
So, we took xrays! And cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching… boy did the cost jump up. The vet had a digital xray machine that talked to him. It was interesting 🙂
Here are some of the xrays of his feet.
No rotation, no signs of problems from the abscess through his frog, nothing overly concerning on xray at all. The only major thing the vet noticed was that the pony’s soles are very very thin, and he suspects that during the last trim, the farrier took away too much sole and not enough toe. Luke is practically walking on his coffin bones right now, so his recommendation is to get shoes on him ASAP and keep on some anti-inflammatories to help with discomfort until he’s better.
All in all, good news and fixable problems, and we now have a full set of xrays on Luke for future reference if ever needed. In light of this, though, I am thinking I will probably not use the same farrier again. He’s been trimming my ponies and horses for 4 years, and nothing like this has ever happened before, but I’m not one to mess with horse feet. My farrier screwed up and should have known better. He left Luke too long through the toe, and took so much sole out it left him tender footed and thin soled, which caused a bruise which turned in to an abscess which in the end, turned in to a $600 vet bill for me.
That’s the bad news. LOL. $600 for the vet exam, xrays, bloodwork and medication. Oh well, at least it’s all done and we will have a baseline. I know that there’s no way Luke’s blood work will be off at all, because he’s just a solid, strong, healthy boy. Hey, he pulls 500 pounds of weight everytime he drives… he’s muscular from it and I don’t mind keeping him a little fat, because he does lose weight in the winter, and it took me 2 years to get him to where he stayed pretty plump all winter.
Maybe someday I’ll find a nice sturdy sound horse for myself… lol.. prolly not!!!!