George Geist

Bleeding for Laminitis

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Granted I know most folks have never heard of this, just the same I heard a lot of old timers talk about this 40+ years ago when I was beginning to learn the trade.

Thing I'm referring to is drilling a hole through the hoof wall in the toe area of a hot founder. Blood would spray out like a firehose at first while it relieved pressure. Soon as pressure was relieved blood would drop out in a more normal fashion till it clotted with the horse noticeably more sound. The late Burney Chapman was known to have experimented with this treatment but it's been many years since I've heard of anyone doing it. 

Any of you have any experience with this and if so how did it work for you?

George 

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I dont drill, as the articles I read wile relearning the trade after school used the nicer at an angle to the tip of the hoof so as to excise the hoof wile not contributing o further damage to critical structures. It surly makes a mess and the blood stained chops make clients nervous.

this works out well as I either forge a square toe embargo or simply punch new naile holes in the heals and reverse a keg shoe to relive stress on the damaged tissue. This is in collusion with aan artificial frog pad (I carry skirting leather, barge cement and coblers tacks to manufacture them) and silicon or acrylic packing.

for those of you not a farrier, laminitis is swelling of the lama (think blood blister under your nail after you hit it with a hammer) the cause and exact mechanics is sometimes unclear. Tho we strongly suspect that most cases are caused buy excessive sugars and unstructured carbohydrates leading to an overgrowth of certain gut flora that produce an endotoxins that leads to this, tho ingestion of certain plants like black walnut is known to cause a similar reaction. 

Laminitis is further complicated buy the conformation and Amati May of a horse. They bare 60% of their weigh on their front end and they stres the toe as there foot leaves the ground. 

Now for short turn management I tape 1/2” blue foam board on their feet, adding another layer the next day as this provides quick suport of the sole transferring stress off the toe for temporary relief untile we can get pain management and past the first cuple of days with iceboots. 

Unfortunantly it takes money and grit to see a horse threw this and back to servicible soundness and due to the heartbreak of having a client bail partway threw the process many vets and farriers I know demand a sizable deposit to ensure the horse can compleat the regiment of care (typicaly the vet or farrier will hire the rest of the team themselves). 

All said and done the faster we can manage pai and suport the hoof structures and get the horse moving again the much beter the outcome. Life long shoeing after the horse enters the chronic stage may or may not be required.

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Thanks Charles,

Glad somebody out there has some experience with this. Have you found doing this to stop any rotation and bring about stabilization?

George

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Being that I go for sole/frog support and cooling fallowed buy  tendon stress reduction ASAP I can’t say, but the animals comfort level changes for the good and I suspect reducing the pressure helps restore some circulation and reduces the amount of damage. 

Vets around here like to load horses up with bannamine and  lasic, don’t know what a diretic dose for them but pain management is always good

Everything I know about horses tells me that moving leads to healthier feet wile most of what I see is people  limiting their movement. Counter intuitive I know but standing still reduces blood flow to the feet, and with out fresh blood no healing. 

A square towed egg bar will reduce flexor tension and thus rotation much more than a raised heel (up to 60% according to a couple of engineers) so the the Equine Digital Support system (EDS) or a home grown version is recommended.  

Another trick is to use a slim long #5 nail like a MFC high drive and pre drill a pilot hole with an 1/8” drill. Poor thing is in enough pain even with ice and bannamine so a 1 hit nail is a good thing. You don’t need your best clinch here as if old Dobin feels frisky enough to loose a shoe with only 4 nails it’s a good sign.

 Have also resorted to quarter clips and bailing wire when 4 nailes weren’t enugh.  

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Don’t worry about the pad and toe of the shoe putting pressure on the tip of the coffin bone, back the web right up under it. One thinks about coffin bone rotation wrong, it’s not so much that the coffin bone rotates as it is the hoof capsule dose, so buy moving forces off the toe and providing leverage past the heals we minimize rotation. 

The vet may also consider releasing the check ligaments that guid the flexor tendons as well.  

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I don't know all that much, but my mentor is one if not  the best farrier in Hawaii, and i went with him a lot and assisted on many of his visits....it never made sense to me (or him) when vets would cut ligaments to "cure" a horse....most vets are pretty limited in foot care knowledge it seemed.

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The ligaments in question guid the flexor tendons, in fact we see soft swelling of the tendon sheath behind the pasturn when they are inflamed. Buy cutting them we can relive some of the tension. It’s not a first line treatment but as the ligaments will regrow it is preferable to rotation of the hoof capsule. I would have to go into some of my manuals to recall the actual normnclarure. I have seen it used to good effect when early intervention wasn’t forthcoming. 

One must remember that vets generally get one lecture on the horses hoof and perhaps one on the horses lower limb. Farriers who have gone  to formal training generally have many more hours specifically conserning the hoof and lower limb. This in no way is intended to impune out veterinarian partners, they certainly have many more hours in a wide range of subjects, and if we respect each other we come up with better outcomes buy combining our skills.   

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Also, when you need expert advice---consult an expert!   When I had a TBI I didn't go to my GP, I went to a neurologist. 

Even at the Vet practice my Daughter works at; there is one Vet who specializes in Horses and another who specializes in cats.

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Thanks for posting this George. It is a fascinating and educational read. Farriers spend so much time with these animals that they learn them even closer. Like having  any animal you are around and handle constantly, you get a feel that others don't. Vets are important, but a farrier will come to know nuances that a vet may not unless they themselves spend a lot of time with them one on one. Good relationship between the two should make for happy, healthy horses I would think.  But anyway, thanks again for posting

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As with any trade there are “professionals” and then there are professionals. There are electricians I wouldn’t trust to change a lightbulb and then there are consament  professionals like Steve that I would trust to wire a nuke plant. There are some good old horseshoers that are dang Sure good at what they do and some farriers who aren’t worth a tinkers dang... 

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That's true. I understand what your saying. There are people who own animals and have no understanding nor affection for them. I don't know why they even bother to have them. 

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Personally I've never seen a tenotomy work. It seems to be a last ditch desperation move by some vets. I'm not saying it's always wrong.  The words "always" and "never" shouldn't be in any horseshoers vocabulary. Trouble is whenever I've seen it done it's usually when a horse is going south in a hurry. As Charles can probably concur, when a horse goes in that direction nothing usually helps them and they usually die.

Different shoeing methodologies tend to be hit and miss. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't.  It just depends. I've probably seen barefoot work just as good more often than not too.

Reason I wonder about the bleeding is it works on people right? Old timers and contemporary Amish have and had some degree of success with it. So why do contemporary shoers and vets seem to collectively turn their noses up at the idea?

George 

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