So we had the vet out yesterday to try and determine underlying causes through new radiographs. I also had an ATC insulin test to test for Cushings. While Buttercup does not have the clinical appearance of a Cushings horse, she also doesn't have the clinical appearance of an IR horse either. Plus, we could support her with better medicine with Cushings and it's the cheaper of the metabolic tests.
What the X-rays revealed:
• No arthritic changes, so that's a good thing!
• Dramatic decrease in sole depth over the last year and half since the last X-rays
• Building up her heel then created downward pressure on her rotated P3, causing it more pain.
The vet recommended we go back into shoes to give her immediate comfort and my old farrier Russ was right down the road. He came over and shod her. While the vet recommended eggbar shoes with padding, Russ wanted to go with a plain steel shoe and then work from there. If she needs more than this, we will go to it in stages.
X-rays: (they got flipped)
Above view of the P3 looking for arthritic changes:
Vet shoeing Rx:
Freshly shod pics, left:
And while she's not completely sound, she's the most comfortable she's been in three months and that's good enough for me. Hopefully she will continue to improve.
We're still stumped as to why we lost all the sole depth. Maybe it was a triggered by a laminitic episode due to the rabies shot? Maybe it is a seasonal thing for her? All I know is that she lost it and we're doing what we can to make her comfortable.
That brings me to another point: Buttercup is officially retired. All this time I've been working on getting her back to the ring, back into showing, back into jumping, back into something. But I've known for a while now that's a pipe dream. I'll be happy to have her comfortable enough for the occasional trail ride. She may just be a pasture ornament for the rest of her days, but she may also come around to the point where she can go out and enjoy herself on trail. We'll see what she's up to. But she's retired — officially — at the ripe old age of 9.
Instead of a gold watch, she got steel shoes.
And recent video of her, still not sound, but at least comfortable: