Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rockin' Gooseneck Shoe: Dr Ric Redden Helps a Foundered Belgian Mare in Florida

(edited from a longer article received as a press release)

On May 23, 2008, a Belgian mare named Princess was saved from going to slaughter. She went home from the kill auction with Victoria McCullough of the Triumph Project, a horse rescue program in Loxahatchee, Florida. The Triumph Project rehabilitates and rehomes slaughter-bound horses purchased at auctions, particularly the one in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

It did not take long for Victoria to find the problem with Princess, who had a severe rotation in her front hooves as a result of the disease of laminitis.

Months later, Victoria asked the question "Have we done all we can?" She put out calls for experts who might be able to help Princess. She told Dr. Mike Gerard, "I need an answer, I can deal with whatever it is, but I need to know an answer." Dr. Gerard's answer was three words: "Dr. Ric Redden".

Dr. Redden owns the International Equine Podiatry Center (IEPC) in Versailles, Kentucky, and is a leading laminitis consulting veterinarian and pathmaker in new treatments for laminitis in horses.

That was last Wednesday. Within eight hours of her telephone call, Dr. Redden arrived at Victoria's farm to help Princess.

Quotes about the procedure from the Triumph Project's press release:

"Dr. Redden evaluated Princess and her x-rays, then went to work designing a set of shoes called Aluminum Rock and Road Rail Shoes with a Gooseneck. These shoes will allow the pressure to be taken off of the tendon with the mechanical movement of the shoe.

"The shoe was fabricated by cutting a rail shoe in half, fabricating the gooseneck out of plate aluminum, then riveting and welding the three parts together. When the shoe was applied to the hoof it touched the foot at the heels and the hoof wall, alleviating the pressure on the toe and quarters.

"The shoe was attached to the foot using e-head nails in a sole nailing procedure. The gooseneck was attached using Phillips head screws. Adhere (urethane-based adhesive) and hoof putty were applied to the gap in the quarters. This shoeing application allows the navicular bone free from pressure so that the lamina can heal. This should have a positive effect on the now negative angle of the navicular bone. When the procedure was complete radiographs were taken of the hoof. Princess will be re-shod in approximately six weeks.

"Kelly McGee, a local (farrier) was called and immediately arrived at Victoria's farm to assist Dr. Redden; some of the local equine-specialist veterinarians also attended. According to Brad Gaver of Pure Thoughts Inc., who is also a farrier, "It was a a privilege to be able to observe and learn from such an out-of-the-box and free-thinking individual who wants to share his knowledge for the benefit of all horses."

What's next for Princess? Jennifer Swan, director of the non-profit, says that Princess is doing well, a week after the initial shoeing. "She is a little more comfortable every day," she said on January 28th . "Dr Redden had digital xrays done on Saturday and sent up to him so he can make a mold and design the next shoe. His plan is to design a shoe that does not need to be nailed in."

Note to readers: This video shows only highlights of the procedure and hints at the shoe design and application. Heel nailing and screwing goosenecks into backed-up toes is a procedure only for the most skilled laminitis experts to attempt. Precise radiographs are required. The video does not go into details about diagnostic tests such as venograms that may have been performed before the filming began. This video is posted here only to show how Dr. Redden helped this horse; he might treat another horse very differently. The hope is that checking in with Dr. Redden on a case like this will be valuable to people who need to know about new options for laminitis. This is not a "how-to" video!

Thanks to Dr Redden, Kelly McGhee and the Triumph Project for cooperating in the work on Princess and for sharing this video. Special thanks to Jennifer Swanson of Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the non nail shoe!