Wet keeps vets on their toes

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WE seem to be seeing an increasing number of remedial farriery cases.

Many are being seen at our Whorral Bank surgery, where we are able to do more investigative work and more extensive remedial work than the farrier.

Many of the problems are due to the ever-changing weather and, as horses’ feet basically expand in wet conditions and contract in the dry, the current prolonged wet weather has meant that many horses have had continuously expanded feet leading to cracks developing in the hoof wall, which has been the most common complaint we have had to see.

We have been working closely with the farriers involved in each case, often nerve blocking the affected foot so the horse is unable to feel anything, much the same as the dentist injecting local anaesthetic to carry out dental work on you or I.

Most of these cases involve opening the crack up, cleaning out any infection and then stabilising the foot by shoeing and often applying a plate across the deficite and applying a synthetic substance to fill the deficite.

The main aim of all these cases is to stabilise the hoof wall and prevent further tearing of the supportive and very sensitive laminae within the hoof capsule.

With this in mind we have organised a meeting with Graeme Moran DipWCF entitled ‘no foot no horse’.

The purpose of this meeting, to be held at our Whorral Bank surgery on Saturday, is to highlight the importance of correct foot balance and remedial farriery in managing the normal and some conditions in the horse, namely Navicular syndrome and spavin (an arthritic condition affecting the hocks).

Farriery is extremely important in managing your horse and even in those which are unshod, correct and regular trimming is of paramount importance. We are hoping to have a practical meeting with discussions about the anatomy of the foot, an assessment of lameness and their diagnosis, followed by treatment with correct trimming and shoeing of the feet.

I’m sure that it will be a lively and interactive meeting and if anyone is interested then please contact the surgery. Everyone is welcome. We will be holding the meeting from 11am until 2pm and lunch will be provided. I hope to see you there.

Here’s a quick update on Piccolo Pete. He’s had the last few months off, the weather has certainly been against us to get back in to some work, but he now has his shoes back on and the showing season is back underway — although thankfully there are very few at this time of year.

He seems to have recovered from most of his injuries although he still has a slightly thickened knee from getting kicked, but fingers crossed, he stays injury-free.

He’s looking well and we’re both looking forward to the season ahead with great anticipation.

Sally Booth, Director and Senior Vet