On the Thursday before last I had the vet out to take care of one issue on each horse for me.
Stampede’s issue was that his left eye had been running for several weeks regardless of him wearing a fly mask outside and me continually checking it and removing junk. The vet said he had a blocked duct, which was not something I had experienced (Thanks for adding something else to my list of things learned Stamp!). Evidently horses have a duct that runs from their eye to the nose called the Nasolacrimal Duct.
So the vet drugged the beast and proceeded to stick a flexible needle-like tip into the bottom of the duct in his nose and worked with a syringe to push saline along and ultimately unclog the duct. Of course true to Stampede fashion (and common in TB’s) his duct was very small which made it trickier to get the job done. In the end the vet succeeded though and left me with some antibiotic ointment to put in his eye for a few days.
So for a Stampede vet visit things were fairly quick and painless and we left him in his stall to sleep off his sedative while we looked at P.
P’s issue was that he has continued to get more and more sensitive to walking on hard ground. He has been barefoot for several years. Always touchy on gravel due to a really flat sole, but otherwise sound which he wasn’t when he previously wore shoes. He was clearly more sensitive on his continually bad right front hoof, but just generally more touchy on both fronts.
The vet took hoof testers to P and affirmed my opinion that he was indeed footsore. We decided that the best move was to x-ray since he’s now 26 and has had a change after several years of not having an issue. If he was just starting to have a laminitis issue it would give us a chance to catch it early. The end result was that the sole on his right front was significantly thinner than his left front at a thickness of only 8mm which is not sufficient for a barefoot horse. The vet also saw that his toe on that foot was a good 3/4″ too long and he as a result had a bit of white line separation going on there. This is to some extent not horribly surprising considering the shape of his feet when I got him back in 2010. The vet said his feet were otherwise great (Yay good old school QH/Paint genes) and with shoes and getting his toe back on the bad foot we should be able to easily get back on track.
Since my farrier is awesome he scheduled me in for the following Wednesday when I contacted him on Friday and I met him at the barn with an email including my vet’s instructions. I was very nervous about putting a regular shoe on P since he was so uncomfortable before and was happy when the farrier suggested something else before I could even voice my fears.
P is now wearing Natural Balance aluminum shoes. The farrier explained that the shoe keeps the horse’s break over farther back to take pressure off the toe, as well as providing greater coverage and a bit more lift off the ground to help us avoid having to use pads.
I gave P a few days to acclimate to his new shoes then took him for a spin in the field on Friday where he was much more forward than our last few rides despite it being way more hot and humid which I took as a great sign for how his feet felt. I’m cautiously optimistic that my boy has happy feet once again.