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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Case Follow-up: How's the Swiss Cheese Hoof Wall?

Do you recognize this foot? Califronia farrier R. T. Goodrich has an update on "the swiss cheese hoof wall" case. The mare continues to improve and the shoeing treatment has been simplified.

On June 7, 2013, California farrier R.T. Goodrich innocently posted a photograph of a hoof on his farrier service's Facebook page. It wasn't a horse that belonged to any of his clients. He shod it for free, just to help the otherwise-helpless owner out. Her horse had received an unorthodox hoof wall dimpling treatment for laminitis.


The photo went viral on Facebook.

A month later, the Hoof Blog patched together the entire story of the case, as best we could, with R.T.'s help.

On July 11, a story went live documenting what was known, showing the horse before and after R.T. arrived to offer an alternative treatment for chronic laminitis, after the horse had holes drilled from ground to hairline in its hoof walls. He shod the horse with a steel heart bar and sole support material.


It is now August 31, almost three months since the saga began, and R.T. has shared the latest photo of the foot, to show how much the wall has improved.

Did the hoof wall grow down from the coronet or did the holes fill in? That was my question. RT confirms that this really is new hoof wall, which grew a tremendous amount in approximately 90 days.

"I had very little distortion to remove and purposely did notsand for aesthetics," RT wrote in an email.

But in the past six weeks, the horse has gone through abscesses, which R.T. calls "the typical post-founder sub solar variety. Lots of pus and necrotic tissue. New sole took over, frogs look great."

The foot is now shod with a regular (open heeled) steel shoe, but now has a leather pad and Hawthorne hoof packing. No additional Equilox has been applied to the foot; what is visible in the photo is from the first and only application.

RT noted that the owner had just seen the banter about her horse's foot on Facebook for the first time, and was amazed. "She called me in tears, both thankful and (p'd) off at the ignorance of those that commented without facts," RT wrote. "Some days I really love my job."

The best part of this story? R.T.'s smiley face at the end of his email today. As you may recall, he wasn't happy to find this horse's foot full of holes, and posted the photo on Facebook to vent his frustration.

But today the old R.T. was back. He wrote: "The owner is back to riding her...makes me happy!


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