October 04, 2013

2MT - Tech Question - What Can I do About Low Heels?

We get technical questions quite often at Vettec.  A few days ago, I answered one about low heels.  I thought this might be useful to some others out there, so I thought I'd pass it along.  Here you go:

Question:

"Hi Tab, what advice can you give on me low heels? I have a 2 year old pony with chronic laminitis and despite a complete change of diet (nothing with sugar or starch or grazing in the hot sun) she is still sore in the hinds.  She has problems behind with trimming and it is obviously painful for her to keep weight on one leg. She is also walking very stiffly in the rear. I plan on having x-rays done if there is no improvement after the farrier's been out on Wednesday.  I am worried about rotation of the pedal bone. I'd really appreciate your help!" - Janet F.


Answer:

"Hi Janet, thank you for contacting us.  As for the low heels, you can wedge them up with a wedge shoe to start.  When I wedge a foot, it is standard for me to pour an instant pad to the ground level of the shoe.  The reason for this is that the frog will prolapse and will crush the heel even more without the pad.  Since the frogs job is to bear weight when we wedge them up, the frog will move to the ground.  Depending on the condition of the sole and the environment the horse lives in will determine which pad material I will use.  The softer the ground or the sole, the softer the pad will be.  If it is hard and dry, you can use a firmer material.  

Now what is going on in the hinds, I really have no idea, especially with out seeing your horse.  It sounds like something is going on in the hips, back or hocks.  I would let the vet go over the horse to see if they can find out what is happening.

Thanks again for contacting us, let me know if I can help further.  

- Tab Pigg, CJF

I thought you all might also find the 2MT episode on under run heels helpful.