Unfortunately we have had some problems recently with intermittent lameness in his left fore.
I put it down to his side bone... but then started to doubt myself and had the vet visit.
He has horrifically flat feet...something that was picked up in his vetting when he was a 4 year old and also something that my farriers have always tried to correct. He has very poor heels and his HPA is incorrect.
I took photos of his feet from the last time he was shod, and you can see a real difference in the two fronts.
So then this was our next step...
As you can see from the x-rays he has coffin joint DJD (low ringbone) in both front feet; he has changes at the insertion at the distal margin of the flexor surface of the navicular bone; he also has marked foot balance issues.
His palmar angle should be somewhere between 2-10 degrees but this is almost in the minus degrees! As a result he has changes within the DDFT and insertion on the navicular bone. As his HPA is broken back the compression on the early ringbone is also causing lameness.
He needs gradual remedial farriery to correct his HPA and his palmar angle. We don't want to change too much too quickly and we can't make his feet something they aren't. I would put either a roller motion or natural balance shoe to encourage breakover and open the coffin joint longer during the stride. Ideally we would put some heel extensions on but he will just rip these off as he over-reaches.
So... I want maximal breakover, I want very tiny heel wedges to start and I want his sole packed... If you are happy with this Mark? Once we have got somewhere with his foot balance we shall discuss medications. These medications will most likely be coffin joint medication with steroids/sodium hyaluronate and intramuscular osphos (a bisphonate similar to tildren but without the side effects and having to come into the practice to administer).
This isn't a shock to me, and I am glad we have thought up a plan to make him more comfortable and try to sort this problem out. Nothing is going to be a quick fix, but after our kissing spine rehab, I don't believe in quick fixes anyway. He is being kept comfortable with Devils Claw Flex (James Hart) and is ridden every other day, either hacked lightly or schooled lightly. Vet told me that work is going to help him stay more comfortable, as long as its nice and steady.
At the moment, he is very happy and the best he has felt in respect to attitude and forwardness. I am 100% sure that if he was in any horrific pain, he would of told me by now as he is usually a very sensitive flower!
The best part though, NFU accepted my insurance claim today and his new Nike Air Max shoes are being fitted on thursday, so I suspect he will be feeling a bit sore.
I'd like to apologise for the rubbish gap I have left between my blog posts. As you can imagine, I have felt rather gutted about this, as he's had a fantastic showing season and was going so brilliantly. I felt very closed off about it all up until I had a solution and a plan. This is not the end of Scaddy!