Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hind Gut Acidosis?

So I was grooming Jetta the other day and looking at her hooves trying to decide if it's time to have the trimmer out. Her hooves are still working on getting better, even though it's been almost two years since I got her and she started getting trims. Looking at her hind feet I noticed that one had a bull nose to it and just the other day I read a post at the Barefoot Horse Blog about bull nosed hooves. Interested I pulled up the blog post again and read it thoroughly. Lucy Priory, the blogger, linked bull nosed hooves to poor trimming and poor diet. I'm pretty sure that my wonderful trimmer is not causing the problem (I hope) and we've been having issues with the diet. Lucy at the Barefoot Blog referenced a previous post about hind gut acidosis and the symptoms fit Jetta almost perfectly. Mild colic symptoms, rancid smelling droppings, and low energy plus the hoof thing. Her dropping aren't really loose, but they do smell pretty bad. I've never stabled a horse before that got a lot of grain and almost no pasture access - Jazz was the only horse I've boarded before and she just got a handful of oats plus vitamins and hay with a couple hours of turnout a day - so with Jetta I assumed that it was pretty normal, no one mentioned anything. She's also been pretty grumpy, which I'm pretty sure is mostly an attitude thing (she's in raging heat right now), but maybe this might have something to do with it. I was thinking about ulcers and just treating her for them and seeing if it helped, but I think for now we'll try treating the hind gut acidosis.

Subtle bull nose hoof, which looks amazingly similar
to Jetta's right hind hoof.
Photo from the Barefoot Horse Blog.

We'll see if changing to a low starch/sugar feed helps. I hope it does! This past week or so I've just noticed that Jetta seems kind of low energy. She's still being obnoxious and goofy and still has her sassy attitude so I wasn't really sure what was going on, but hind gut acidosis would make sense. My poor baby. Her vitamins already have probiotics in them so that should be helping. Maybe I'll get a tube of probios and give her that as well, especially cause it's time for worming again.

To read more about this, go here and here.


  1. Unfortunately creating a bullnose from a trim is a rookie mistake that I am ashamed to admit I have made. It's very easy to bring those hind heels down too low. Thank goodness I found out how to make an angle gauge so I don't make that mistake any more.

    Hopefully the diet change will help your girl.

  2. I would love to learn how to trim hooves myself. After my first trimmer got hurt and couldn't trim anymore I had just a terrible time finding a new trimmer that wasn't mean to the horses and didn't make them lame. I'm planning on going to grad school in California and I'm worried there won't be anyone good to trim... I'm just worried I'll be terrible at it.