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Dr. O'Bryan
Dr. O'Bryan, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 126
Experience:  Practicing large animal veterinarian in Texas & Colorado. Emphasis in medicine & surgery.
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He lost s shoes then called the farrier he put shoes on the

Customer Question

He lost his shoes then called the farrier he put shoes on the front and not on the back because he didn't have any more his size. My girl friend took him on a 2 hour ride and said he seemed to be sensitive on his back feet. Now he is favoring his hip so I had the farrier put his shoes on his back and the farrier said there was no abscess or problem with hooves that he can see. Maybe he got kicked by one of the other horses we don't know. Your advise would be greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. O'Bryan replied 2 years ago.

Hello this is Dr. O. It has been a while since I've participated in this forum, but I read your question and I know I can steer you in the right direction. I need to ask you a few questions real quick to help narrow down some possibilities of what may be going on.

1. What date exactly did the farrier first come out and reshoe Homer? (1 day ago, 1 week ago, etc.)

2. How long after the farrier reshod the front feet did your girlfriend take him for the ride? (same day, 1 day later, etc.)

3. Was Homer lame immediately after the ride or was it a day or two later?

I'll wait to hear from you. I ask for your patience as I am a veterinary practice owner seeing patients right now, so I'll look for your responses between my patients. Thanks so much for understanding. - Doc.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Farrier came a week ago and re shoed the front. She rode him 2 days later and felt that his back hooves were sensitive so he told the farrier to shoe the back. Other boarders there noticed him limping before the back hooves were installed. We had the farrier put shoes on the back 2 days ago he is still limping
Expert:  Dr. O'Bryan replied 2 years ago.

Ok great information. Based upon information provided so far it sounds like it might be something as simple as he has bruised his sole(s). Statistically 95% or greater of lameness in the horse occurs in below the fetlock joint. Given the history that you told me so far if he was used to having shoes on his back and he went for a vigorous ride without shoes it would predispose him to bruising his sole because each time he steps his outer hoof wall is able to expand more than it would be than when it was restricted by a shoe causing the frog to impact the ground farther which predisposes them to bruising. While this "bruising" sounds benign and simple it could lead to a subsolar abscess, a.k.a. a foot abscess. If you want to look for a bruise, the best place to look is about 1-2 cm just in front of the tip of the frog. If he has white soled feet, bruising is much easier to see.


1. Leave his shoes on.

2. Stall rest 24-48 hours.

3. After the initial period of stall rest he can be and walked on a soft footing for 10-15 min. at a time if needed. If Homer is content staying in a stall, then extending the stall rest up to one week would be great.

4. During this period of stall rest I want you to add 2-3 cups of Epsom salts to warm water and a rubber ( not plastic) feed bucket or other similar container and soak his feet for 15 min. at least once a day, ideally twice a day. The best way to add Epsom salts to water is to pick the bucket that he will stand in first, fill it with warm water, then add enough Epsom salts to the point that the Epsom salts no longer readily dissolve.

What the Epsom salts will do is help soften the hoof capsule walls so we can increase blood flow to the foot. Blood is good. Blood = immune system. Immune system = healing.

5. If you have a Phenylbutazone paste, powder, or pills let me know.


Expert:  Dr. O'Bryan replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. O'Bryan