Dexter. 20 year old QH Gelding. Dex is a big, beautiful, stout, (former show horse) who had never been sick in his life. His problems now include chronic laminitis in all four feet and Cushings.
His history: When Dexter was initially diagnosed with founder in February of 2006, the prescription was to lock him in his stall and administer bute. He was in shoes and Styrofoam pads. (Ironically, Styrofoam is an insulating material that holds the heat in.)
After 6 months of stall "rest," he continued with shoes, and by June of that year seemed to be improving. His owner, Marci, started with light riding. He would need bute after riding and shoeing. By the end of October he was very lame again and the cycle continued with large doses of bute, stall rest and shoes with pads.
With no changes, Marci decided she either needed to end his suffering or find another option. That’s when I came into the picture in January 2007.
I removed Dexter’s shoes and trimmed him. His entire coronet band was parallel to the ground which of course means his coffin bone is tipped down unnaturally. There was severe separation (something the shoes were hiding) of the white line.
His toes where snubbed off and hoofwall removed leaving the laminae completely exposed. I’m not sure what that was supposed to do to help him, but I’ve seen that same technique on cadaver hooves, which obviously didn’t help those horses either. (What’s the definition of insanity? Trying the same things over and over and expecting different results. Yah.)
Dexter’s condition improved almost immediately and within a couple trims Marci was starting to ride him again, lightly. But by July, he took a turn for the worse again. Marci realized something else was going on. His coat was thickening up and his area under his eyes became puffy, two signs of Cushings. Another sign on geldings is that their sheath will sometimes enlarge and become droopy. Laminitis is a byproduct of Cushings, but sometimes, as in Dexter’s case, the laminitis can show up first. He is now taking Pergolide.
Again the conclusion was to end his suffering or bring him to me so I can monitor him and have access to his feet on a daily basis.
So Dexter arrived on the 12th of this month (August 2007).