April 27, 2019 by phicks2012
I have two horses, Thor and K.C., and back in September of 2018 Jason informed me that both supposedly were limping. He blamed the farrier who had last trimmed them, but having watched the process I knew that the farrier had done nothing wrong. After checking out “the boys” myself, I was uncertain what, if anything, was wrong with K.C. Stiffness due to increasing age maybe? But it appeared to me that Thor might have pulled a muscle in his right shoulder, because he was hesitating in picking up his right forefoot.
But I called the vet I’ve been using (if infrequently) for years to get his opinion on whether or not he might need to come out — or, as has been more usual, send someone else out. He diagnosed “laminitis” sight unseen, telling me they were seeing a lot of cases thanks to an unusually wet spring and a resulting build-up of carbohydrates in the grass. When I told him I didn’t really think Thor’s problem was with his feet (I was wrong about that, but whatever), he got snappish at my questioning his judgment (he’s getting old and crotchety, apparently) and told me just to come by his office for the meds. He also told me to get the horses off of the tall grass — I have no barn — or cut the grass down as low as possible.
Jason bush-hogged the whole upper pasture (right before Lulu the tractor broke down again), we confined the boys to that pasture, we treated them twice a day with the antibiotic paste and with Bute, and within a few weeks they seemed fine. However, I still wasn’t sure the vet’s diagnoses had been correct, so on October 17th when the Mike-the-Farrier came back I asked him and his apprentice Whitney to take a really good look at those hooves.
Not a sign of laminitis, past or present. They did spot a healed abscess on Thor’s left forefoot, and said that he’d probably been hesitant to pick up his right forefoot because he hadn’t wanted to put weight on the left one. That made sense, and I was relieved that it hadn’t after all been laminitus — because that can recur once they’ve had it, and an abscess is permanently heal-able. Mike said the antibiotic I’d given him definitely hadn’t hurt, and had probably helped to heal up the abscess sooner, and Bute is an anti-inflammatory, so NO HARM NO FOUL.
I may, however, start looking for another vet. 😉