Long-Term Founder with Coffin Bone Loss


I took this case in July of 2006. The horse had been foundered for at least 5 years, and had been in shoes the entire time. This had not worked and the mare - a Peruvian Paso - was still very lame. In desperation, the owner contacted me. I was horrified when I saw the horse's feet. There was almost no height to the foot and I worried that the coffin bone might have been seriously damaged. However, I like to stay optimistic.

This photo was taken July 25, 2006. The coronary band is horizontal for the most part, dipping down in front. There is nothing in the photo for size reference but there was very little height to the foot. (In subsequent photos I did use a ruler to show the lack of depth to the foot.)

The shoes were actually bent up at the toe. It was extremely ugly.

I returned August 16th and was pleasantly surprised to find what I felt was significant improvement. The angle of the coronary band was much better, and the back of the foot looked better in general.

The trim had consisted only of backing the toe, and removing any wall that had been standing above the sole. I forgot to take photos of the sole both in July and in August. At this point I felt optimistic that despite how horrific the foot looked in July we might be able to rehab the mare.

This photo was taken after the September 13th trim. But it's the left front, not the right front. For some reason, my photo of the right front didn't show up on my camera. (Not the first or last time a picture somehow was lost.) I did use a ruler at this trim to show what little foot there really is. Less than 2.5 inches!!! Scary.

The trim was the same - backing toe, keeping wall down to sole level. The sole was very "plasticy" (my word for describing a hard, really abnormal, fake-feeling, sole- as it does remind me of plastic) and I hadn't trimmed it at all up to this trim.

To the left is a photo of the sole taken prior to the September trim. There was nothing to take off at that time as I don't trim sole that's not showing signs of exfoliating. However, it had lost the plastic look, which I felt was a good sign.

In the back of my mind I was still worried about the coffin bone, but she was still improving so I remained optimistic.

This photo was taken on October 10, 2006 and shows the sole starting to exfoliate.  I felt this was a good sign - as it normally indicates things are healing inside and the coffin bone is returning to the correct position (the sole is moving UP).

I didn't trim much, but did remove any sole that was shedding and got to lower one heel somewhat.

The photo to the left was taken the same day and shows the left front (again the right front photo vanished). The foot is looking very good (relatively speaking) at this point. Aside from the distorted wall from the founder, everything appears normal. Other than the fact that the foot is still under 2.5 inches in height.

The mare had become more comfortable after the first couple trims, but no progress was made in her comfort level after that, which was worrisome. Normally, at this point, most of the lameness is gone (this is my personal experience at any rate.)

This photo is a comparison between how the right front looked on Day 1 and how it appeared, post trim on November 8th. A vast improvement from where she started.

In the lower left corner was a lateral shot from the October trim (the only copy), showing height at 1.75 inches.

At this point, because I felt that the coffin bone was no longer rotated, and the horse should have been reasonably sound but instead was still very lame, I advised the owner to get an x-ray.  

The owner made a copy of the x-ray and somehow ended up with a double image, which she then drew on, but it's clear that the bottom of the coffin bone is ground parallel, and that it's at a pretty normal height within the hoof capsule (evidenced by the loop of wire around the coronary band), with adequate sole underneath.

In the real image (to the left) it also appears that the hoof wall is connected to the coffin bone for about an inch. Below that, the deformed hoof capsule had not yet grown out.

Unfortunately it's also very clear that there is little coffin bone left. Since the horse was severely lame the decision was made to euthanize her. A decision with which I concurred.








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