Yesterday morning, I enlisted our longtime photographer Ellie to come to the vet with me for moral support. We hooked up the trailer and I pulled it to the front of his stall. He hobbled in because he is a really, really good boy, but he could barely walk. Once in, he actually protested a little that he was going to have to go alone, but he didn't feel good enough to keep it up.
Once we arrived and checked in, I backed him off the trailer and just waited. He didn't want to move and I didn't want to make him. Our farrier came over and said hello, then the vet came by.
I'm used to watching lameness exams--the vet tech jogs the horse out on a straight line, then does circles either way. If it's subtle, they then to flexions and move on to blocking to find more specific information.
Not so with Cuna. The vet talked to us a little. The tech took his lead rope, and could barely get him to walk. We moved on to taking his digital pulse (rapid) and checking his feet (hot). Poor Cuna did everything he could do to keep movement to a minimum. He rested his front feet as much as possible and did anything to avoid putting weight on his right front especially. Next step was xrays.
Thankfully, Cuna is still the best horse ever and he was led into radiology with no drama. He stood perfectly still and they get excellent pictures. We discovered that he has excellent sole depth and his coffin bones had zero rotation, which mostly rules out a navicular/laminitis scenario.
The vet asked my farrier a series of questions about his shoeing, as far as what he's working on correcting and how Cuna has responded. They pulled in another senior, well-respected farrier and consulted over hoof testers. Cuna was as good as he could be, but he was shaking.
They stated by pulled his shoes. Cuna fidgeted constantly, unable to stand in a way that didn't hurt. After many careful fittings and lots of input from both farriers and the vet, my farrier went to work. He had to do Cuna's right front first, because he wasn't able to hold weight on it for more than a few seconds at a time.
Cuna visibly relaxed after the new shoe was on. He was able to stand on his right front and allow our farrier to work on his left. He started licking and chewing when the second shoe went on.
|Interested in the world|
|Check it out|
He's also weighting both front feet, which is a huge step forward.
|So much perkier|
|Team Cuna at work, minus me and the vet|
|Mischief face is on|