Lameness Case

Sundance is a 17-year-old Quarter horse gelding who became acutely lame on his right front leg the end of March 2015. Due to the sudden onset of the lameness and his reluctance to put his heel down he was treated for a foot abscess. For over a week his foot was soaked in warm water and Epsom salts and his foot poultice was applied.

As time progressed he did not show any improvement, so we performed a nerve block and isolated the pain to the heel region of his foot. Even with his heel blocked he remained reluctant to put his heel down, but he seemed comfortable standing on his toe. Due to the persistent heel pain, we decided to take radiographs of his navicular bone. The radiographs revealed severe navicular disease that was the cause for his heel pain and tendinitis of the deep digital flexor tendon.

Our goal was to get Sundance to be pasture sound, so we had the farrier make what was essentially a high heel shoe to allow him to walk more comfortably and see if he could heal to the point of being sound. Over several months the farrier slowly reduced the degree of wedge on the shoe.

Sundance has improved to the point of complete soundness at the walk and pasture sound without a shoe!