So after a battle with a subtle lameness and choppy stride in front, my horse was discovered to have “abnormal findings” on his DDFT above and going down to the navicular bone (very mild, no tears, in stages of healing), some bone bruising with fluid around the navicular bone, thin soles, and some abnormalities with his coffin joint on his LF. RF showed similar bruising with fluid, thin soles, but no injury to the DDFT or issue with the coffin joint. No a nornalities with the navicular bone itself. He has no lameness at all on the RF. This was all diagnosed via xray (vet said angles were all normal) , ultrasound, and finally a MRI. Our vet said this could be a result of a traumatic event, as he has a huge popped splint on the right, or something chronic along with a trauma. He also said something about his digital cushion not being adequate to support whatever is going on, but I’m not sure what that means, to be honest.
Important to note is while in training my horse had been barefoot, but we noticed a big issue with long toes, tripping, and forging, so decided to try shoes. It didn’t make much difference, so we removed them when I had a baby, after about 6 months. Horse was sound for a year after that, and we more recently used a new trimmer who took off sole, and that’s when these issues manifested.
My vet wants to do eggbar shoes and rest for the DDFT, and says there are no true research based treatments for this issue that have been proven to work. (He is one of the top lamness specialists in the surrounding states.) He also said we can inject the coffin joint, provided there is bone pain, but many clinical findings such as this do not necessarily correlate with discomfort, so we should block before blindly injecting. My horse never exhibited heel pain or frog pain, but did have sole pain on the LF with hoof testers.
That being said, my horse is already barefoot, but the trimmer thinks I should do a Rockley style barefoot rehab instead of the shoes and rest recommended by the vet. I am really torn, as my horse is also already on a forage only diet with a ration balancer, so not an inflammatory diet by any means, and 24/7 turnout. I’m skeptical about the entire thing say the least, but am certainly open to learning more. I just want to do the right thing y my horse and not cause any more degeneration by messing about with various treatments.
After reading my novel, does anybody have some insight? I apologize if my rendition the findings are not detailed but they were relayed to me in very vague terms. Thanks so much, in advance!