Report on last week
Hacking last week – Saturday 27th April slower than normal to hack, bit footier
Sunday he was footiest yet with faint pulses in front feet (slow on rough, fairly slow on soft)
Monday footy (slow on rough, keen on soft), Tuesday off,
Wednesday footy (slow generally not keen to trot, happy to walk, slightly less footy on rough)
Thursday lunged and 2-3 tenths lame first stride or two of trot, then moving okay (initial lameness was left hind)
Friday slightly less footy to hack but still slow, slightly happier to trot, footy for vet to trot up drive (has stones). Moved well in school, fraction shorter left hind, but looking okay. Stiff through back cantering.
Vet was down on Friday for vaccinations. Vet said Remi best seen moving yet in trot on lunge (I didnt think he looked as good as last week).
Vet thinks Remi has done a bit too much hacking in last week or so. And that he is wearing away a bit too much foot combined with the ground suddenly turning rock solid. He thinks Remi is quite sore and reactive to hoof testers. It is true that we have gone from hacking 3-4 times a week to hacking 6 times a week in last fortnight ~(the joy of gaining the confidence to hack solo) and ground has suddenly become rock solid. Vet has left Remi a course of bute. Remi had three days off over Bank Holiday whilst I was away and resumed hacking 6am this morning (was pretty good this morning).
Vet said to paint soles with keratex. And consider a hoof supplement with biotin, MSM, Zinc, sulphate, methionine, lysine etc. in it for faster growth.
Vet was not at all happy with Remi's front feet being as unsymmetrical and deviated as they are. Though vet was happy with his movement on the lunge. Vet feels the deviation is pulling the new growth to continue to deviate. Vet thinks there is a risk that it splits and a crack runs up the hoof. He thinks if it splits / breaks off he could lose a huge amount of foot. He thought trimming to take the edge off it would be advisable.
Vet had strong views on not hacking Remi if he is foot sore. I think I managed to convince him Remi wasn’t normally sore, and this was abnormal. And that there is world of difference between MAKING a sore horse hack that didn’t want to move. And letting a horse with ears pricked on a long rein, pick its way slowly over stones, and keep going.
Vet would like Remi’s feet addressing and suggested shoes. I said the extreme trimming required to put shoes on would probably make him lame. Vet agreed. Vet suggested boots, but agreed probably wouldn’t fit wonky feet. I did point out he isn’t normally footy. I said what if the wonkiness and deviation in feet is linked to him moving better? What if correcting it made him move worse? Vet said it was possible, but thinks is more likely the time off has rested all Remi’s soft tissue injuries. I think I made it clear I was not planning to change course at this point. Vet's view was to put a time point on measuring progress and then reassess. I have three months’ time in mind.
Regarding pulses Sunday and Monday (which fit perfectly with the laminitis graph http://www.laminitis-risk.com/ ), Vet said was more likely to be stress / mechanical early signs of laminitis. From bruising and trauma on hard ground. Not sugar / insulin related laminitis. It became clear that we had a different understanding of the possible risks of unrestricted rich grazing.
So all in all a mixed visit, vet's worry about the deviation pulling out more deviation, and suggestion that it should be addressed to risk further damage does play to my underlying fears. My vet seems to be in a different place with respect to grass management. I do believe there is some truth that I have done a bit too much hacking in last few weeks, and that I possibly over did the hacking in trying to compensate for the appearing spring grass. On the other hand some good points too. I think all I can do is keep going, keep plodding onwards and keep my fingers crossed.
Interestingly below is the April laminitis app profile. There have been some earlier peaks in April which didn’t seem to effect Remi. Once I get a replacement Iphone, I will look to downloading the app and using it as part of my monitoring. http://www.laminitis-risk.com/about_the_app.php