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Curled hooves.

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betwys1

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I have been sad to see several miniature horses with grotesquely curled hooves which provided at best a halting gait; one was within my power to trim, but I was held back by reading that a plain cut through an extended hoof with e.g a sawzall could intercept an invasive blood vessel or - who knows - a nerve.
Yet since that time, I have seen a video clip of exactly that: an amputation of a multiple curved hoof to something close to a normal shape in one fell swoop. Can anyone suggest just how risky this kind of rescue operation is?
 

chandab

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They rarely if ever state whether or not x-rays were taken before those major adjustments, so an x-ray would be something to consider. Venography for equines is likely very cost prohibitive.
 

betwys1

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They rarely if ever state whether or not x-rays were taken before those major adjustments, so an x-ray would be something to consider. Venography for equines is likely very cost prohibitive.
In country districts, in view of the cost of radio dye injection and X-ray, I don't see this as a routine precaution. Which leaves a lower cost alternative; cut off half the excess hoof and inspect; then cut off half the remaining excess and recheck. Probably unrealistic, but I was hoping someone had executed this duty several times without bleeding, or further crippling. Sometimes I suppose the remedy is worth the risk if carefully executed.
 

chandab

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In country districts, in view of the cost of radio dye injection and X-ray, I don't see this as a routine precaution. Which leaves a lower cost alternative; cut off half the excess hoof and inspect; then cut off half the remaining excess and recheck. Probably unrealistic, but I was hoping someone had executed this duty several times without bleeding, or further crippling. Sometimes I suppose the remedy is worth the risk if carefully executed.
Standard x-rays aren't that expensive, and while they wouldn't show blood supply, they do show location of coffin bone in the capsule; the venography would be cost prohibitive.
 

Taz

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I've only trimmed hooves that weren't as severe as you are talking about but did have 6-8 inches of extra toe. My farrier and vet have both done it without x-rays and they just saw/nip whatever method works to get the majority of it off. You have to look at where the angle if the hoof is from the coronet and where the frog is so you have an idea of what's going on with the coffin bone but if you're not going back quite to a normal looking foot you won't get near it. My vet said that a lot of times that's the only thing to do for them and my farrier said she'd rather they were sore for a week if she got too close than leave them the way they were. The two that I've done were foundered rescues that I took right back to the point of the frog in one trim. One was instantly sound from it the other 75%. It did not go into any live/sensitive tissue and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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This is an interesting topic. We've never had to deal with "curled" hooves. But we've had a couple of rescues that had what I called "snow shoes" for hooves. That is when we called in a licensed farrier. (With so many horses here we mostly do our own.) But we have one farrier we give business to once a month.....just in case. He's the best in our area and fortunately likes us. (I give him coffee and either my banana or apple bread. LOL.) Anyway, when we've given him a "project", he was cautious and allowed for TWO trimmings a couple weeks apart. He explained that if you are too drastic in trimming the first time, you can strain or damage the fetlock, which will cause another problem.
We happen to have an older mini mare who has Cushings! That is now his current project. He also happens to be a licensed equine chiropractor! So, he's worth his weight in gold. (He is also a sponsor to our daughter who is an Oregon County Fair and Rodeo Queen for 2020 and 2021. So he trims her mare's hooves and does chiro work on the mare for FREE!)
 

betwys1

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I've only trimmed hooves that weren't as severe as you are talking about but did have 6-8 inches of extra toe. My farrier and vet have both done it without x-rays and they just saw/nip whatever method works to get the majority of it off. You have to look at where the angle if the hoof is from the coronet and where the frog is so you have an idea of what's going on with the coffin bone but if you're not going back quite to a normal looking foot you won't get near it. My vet said that a lot of times that's the only thing to do for them and my farrier said she'd rather they were sore for a week if she got too close than leave them the way they were. The two that I've done were foundered rescues that I took right back to the point of the frog in one trim. One was instantly sound from it the other 75%. It did not go into any live/sensitive tissue and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
That was reassuring! Thank you Taz.
 
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betwys1

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This is an interesting topic. /snip/ Anyway, when we've given him a "project", he was cautious and allowed for TWO trimmings a couple weeks apart. He explained that if you are too drastic in trimming the first time, you can strain or damage the fetlock, which will cause another problem.
/snip/
Wonderful! Another encouraging response. When & if I find another curly foot, I will try to be more conscious of the up side. Thank you Maryann.
 

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