We have a 20 year old roping horse (named Greg) that has brittle feet. He is on pergolide for Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s is a disorder of the pituitary gland in the brain. It causes an increased production of immune suppression hormones.
It can cause a long, shaggy hair coat, fatty deposits, bad feet, laminitis, and many other issues. Studies report that nearly 1/2 of all horses over the age of 14 have a degree of Cushing’s Disease.
He is doing well on the pergolide. His skin is healthy, his muscles are well developed, and he is still able to be very athletic. The one thing we haven’t gotten under control is his brittle feet.
He needs shoes to keep his feet from chipping, but the nails cause damage as well.
I was speaking with another veterinarian about glue on shoes. This horse needs a round of shoes without nails.
We decided to use a product from SoundHorse.com.
It’s an aluminum shoe that is lightweight and still can be hammered to shape to the foot. There is a fabric webbing adhered to the show that forms a “sock” which holds the adhesive and sticks to the hoof.
You do need to wrap both legs in vetwrap and then apply electrical tape to the coronary band. This prevents any adhesive from getting on the horse.
We did have a few problems. Greg normally wears a size 00 shoe. We ordered the same size but these shoes run smaller than regular shoes. He really needed a size 0 in this glue-on shoe.
Also one bag of adhesive was “clumpy” and set up before we got the shoe properly applied. Here is the left foot now, 10 days after application.
Here is the right hoof, which had a much better adhesive application.
They do make dye for the adhesive so that it can be black for show horses.
I’m not sure we could have mixed dye in before the adhesive set up.
It’s only been 10 days and these are looking pretty abused. I’m not sure they are going to hold up for 6-7 weeks. Part of that may be that the shoes were too small, so be sure to order a size up if you try them.
They are fairly expensive at $110 for two front shoes with adhesive and shipping.
That does not count the cost for my farrier to put them on. I must say I’m a bit disappointed for what I paid for them. Especially in the incorrect sizing and difficulty in adhesive performance. I did watch the videos on the website and followed the directions given.
I will report back as to how long they stay on and what his feet look like when we take them off.
Be sure to discuss Cushing’s Disease with your veterinarian for your older horse, especially if they are having any chronic health issues or bad feet.