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Ladybug is a small 15 year old pony with a temperament that has allowed her to be a kids pony extraordinaire in the past. She was rescued by her current owner with her feet in rough shape and she was also pregnant at the time. I was brought on as her hoof care provider in hopes that she could be rehabilitated. Not only was she dealing with laminitis and founder in all 4 feet, she was also suffering from caudal failure. Her heels were extremely contracted and her frogs were an atrophied mushy mess due to her having been in a swampy environment. So her hooves were very compromised. 

She had a hard time during her pregnancy and post foaling (baby didn't make it). We had been hopeful that she would improve post pregnancy, she had been so compromised already even without the extra weight and stress of a baby on board. Her owner does an excellent job of managing diet and had Cloud boots for her when she would have a laminitic flare-up. Despite all this she was still struggling so we opted to get fresh radiographs and try a glue on composite shoe package. I had been shadowing my mentor on a similar case that had done really well in a leverage reduction package with the Epona shoes, DIM and casting.

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The leverage reduction package has been a game changer for Lady. The benefit of a glue on composite package is that we are not limited in placement by nailing. Using a shoe that is slightly smaller than the foot and setting the shoe back so the tip of the shoe is under the tip of P3 takes the leverage off of the compromised laminae while adding much needed depth and support under P3. Placing the shoe further back and using DIM also provides caudal support so this package is really great for horses that have the double whammy of founder and caudal failure like Lady. 

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Trimming is a subtractive process and when the hoof capsule is this weak and P3 is damaged, adding a composite shoe (or a boot in some cases) can allow for a more effective trim. A conservative approach is often ineffective with these types of feet. Lady's shoes have allowed her to be comfortable during the rehab process and her capsules are coming into better alignment. She's also building sole depth and her soft tissues are recovering. Lady is the first horse I applied this package on and based off her radiographs and workup her veterinarian had recommended considering euthanasia if the composites didn't help her. It's been a huge relief to see how well she's getting around now.

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