Cavallo Q&A: Veterinary Help for Hooves
Not All Trails are Happy
Once upon a time, our daily customers were pleasure riders, heading out into the trails. Now, I’m proud to say, Cavallo Boots are also counted on by tens of thousands of horse owners every year who use our boots for tough hoof rehab situations. Here’s a quick Q & A for you about veterinary help for hooves, written around a very good customer question:
Q: Carole, my veterinarian says my horse must stay in a stall while he heals from this round of Laminitis. I don’t want him to hurt anymore. I’d like to talk to my vet team about having my horse wear your boots for extra help, and to try to keep him with my other horses. What info from veterinarians or professionals do you have that could help? And also, how have boots helped other horses during times like this?
A: It’s a question I hate to hear, but I have answers…
I’m so sorry to hear that your horse has been in pain. Putting a hoof boot on a healing hoof can definitely keep your horse more comfortable. Especially when you add in our soft Gel Pads, Cushion Pads, and Comfort Pads. Putting on a pair of boots (instead of just one on an affected hoof) can help your horse stand straight and keep his body in alignment while he’s healing. Plus, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a special “healing boot”. Those same Cavallo Boots that are appropriate for healing can take you right onto the roughest trails once your horse is feeling better.
We are hearing from more and more veterinarians and farriers who are making Cavallos part of their comprehensive healing plans. They are used whether time is needed to heal from an acute injury, or from a chronic condition such as laminitis. Here, I’ve included some notes from equine professionals who have helped horses heal from laminitis as well as other hoof ailments.
Through phone, social media, and emails, we regularly hear from horse owners and veterinarians who have found Cavallo Boots helpful. Our Cavallo Hoof Boot Pads provide comfort when pain is acute. Eventually, the boots and pads allow many horses to return to activity once a horse is feeling better but still needing extra support.
Judith Murtha and Rebel’s Laminitic Journey
Judith Murtha’s horse, Rebel, had laminitis issues last year and his veterinary team suggested the boots for his healing time.
“Rebel has recovered from Laminitis and has to be kept barefoot,” Murtha says. “Cavallo Boots now allow him to go on gentle trail rides, which he loves. He’s doing great and adjusting to the boots. I followed your video on how to break the boots in and it was a big help. Rebel is a Rocky Mountain Horse. He was a patient at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists in New York and they recommended Cavallo Boots. I’m very careful to do whatever I can to keep those hoofs healthy. He’s really walking great!”
A Farrier’s Perspective
Boots can help in other types of healing, as well. Scott Wilburn is a Cavallo Associate Trimmer and Farrier in Alaska. He works closely with veterinarians in his area and specializes in corrective and specialty treatments for hoof rehab situations. Scott says that Cavallo Boots are excellent therapeutic tools. He and the veterinarians he works with agree: Cavallo Boots promote hoof health by protecting the healing hoof, enabling the necessary tissue growth to rehabilitate an ailment successfully.
“Often, shoeing just doesn’t make sense in these situations,” Wilburn explains. “For example, if a healing hoof is shod, the nails in the hoof wall give spaces for thrush to grow, setting back a horse’s success.”
Boots can also help horses while they’re being treated for alignment and conformation issues. In the United Kingdom, equine podiatrist Aimee Curnow just healed a retired racehorse named Daisy who was walking “toe-in” and was uncomfortable throughout her body.
Curnow reports that she kept Daisy in her boots while also scheduling her for a series of trims to help “nudge her hooves in the right direction.” Coupled with rehab exercises to help the mare move out straight, and regular chiropractic treatment, Daisy is moving much better. “She is much straighter and more comfortable all over than when I first met her,” Curnow says.
Hoof boots allow time for the hooves to heal and also allow the horses to move naturally while they are healing. Compared with boots that are designed only to keep a medical application in place, boots that are made for moving can help horses bend and flex their bodies as much as is possible during healing.
Keeping Brumby Hoofs Moving the Natural Way
Australian veterinarian Brian Hampson is an internationally renowned hoof care expert and researcher and works to gentle wild brumby horses. He sees the importance of keeping horses moving in a natural way. Movement aids in preventative health and helps horses get blood flowing to the hoof and throughout the body while they heal from ailments.
When Brian runs pack trips with now-gentled brumbies, he keeps the horses barefoot –as they are accustomed to. He also carries along Cavallos to use when needed.
“They’re quick and easy to put on and off and light to carry,” Hampson says. “I’d rather not shoe these horses, because if they pull a shoe in the middle of nowhere I’m in trouble. Brumbies can handle the terrain in their natural environment but suffer when asked to carry a rider or pack saddle. They are happy in the boots and cover our 200 km rides with ease.”
(You can see a photo of Brian gentling a brumby at the top of page)
How to Make Cavallo Part of your Treatment Plan
If your veterinarian hasn’t yet suggested boots for your horse’s pain management or healing, show her this blog post and ask if she’ll help. As more farriers and veterinarians learn about these options, we trust we’ll have even more preventative medicine and medical-healing stories to report.
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Wishing you many happy trails on healed hoofs,