How We Managed To Save A Pony's Life From Laminitis.

The cause for this pony having laminitis was thought to be diet-related.

When I got the phone call from my customer, the prognosis from the vet was PTS “put to sleep”. My heart sunk for both owner and pony so I made a prompt appointment to meet the vet to try and save the pony despite the prognosis being low.

Myself and vet Katy both arrived to see the pony as agreed and we both decided that as the pedal bone had not come through as of yet and that we had minimal sole depth left, so we needed to be careful.

I explained to Katy my approach which was to trim the toe as far back as possible and to lower the heels, as we could see on the x-ray that the distal sesamoid was touching the pedal bone, this being extremely uncomfortable for the pony. Katy and I agreed that we should X’ray as we went along and adjust the hoof step by step to make sure we were not going too far and also taking the hoof back to the correct alignment. Sam, the owner was happy with this.

The vet gave bute for comfort as this trim would definitely cause discomfort and a tetanus injection as the pony was due this before trimming.

I began trimming the first hoof. As I started trimming I felt uneasy about trimming so far passed the usual guidelines, so I asked for a second x-ray which Katy was happy to do. On Second X’ray as expected we still had a lot to do so got back to work and as I was trimming we came across a lot of black infection caused by repeated laminitis which we all found interesting but carried on trimming. We repeated these steps repeating the X’ray and trimming as above for all four hooves until the hoof capsule was realigned correctly. As you can see on the x-ray, the pedal bone looks slightly deformed which we suspected was due to severe laminitis rotations over the years.

It took us nearly two hours of carefully trimming the hooves back correctly and repeated X’rays four times per hoof. It goes to show that if you have a great team around you working as a team professionally for the best interest of the equine, you can have great results. Owner, vet and Farrier or E.P or barefoot trimmer coming together having a good chat first and agreeing on the method to achieve the best possible outcome, to me is the biggest part of the future when it comes to laminitis. If you look at both x-rays before and after you will see how much we relieved the pedal bone from touching the distal sesamoid and also that we achieved the correct hoof angle in correspondence to the pedal bone……

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