popeye is a late 20's early 30ish...small appaloosa horse. he was part of an spca complaint...the owner was given 24 hours to get him some medical care. one of our vets attended him. this is an interesting case of profound neglect because..the horse has been decently fed with good quality hay and food. apparently when the man moved onto the property many years ago...popeye was already there...just hanging out in the lower field. i suspect the owner knew absolutely nothing about horses at all except they had to eat...so probably on a limited budget, he did his best to feed him well.
the problem is that poor horse's feet...the vet says they have not had any care in at least 10 years. so popeye's feet are grossly overgrown...worse than any of us, including the vet, have ever seen in real life. both mo and the vet have seen pictures of hooves like popeye's...but it is different seeing them on a living and breathing being. mo cried when he came out of the trailer...all of us here were horrified.
popeye's hooves literally curl a foot or more up into the air and the sides and backs curl under into the frog...he actually looks like a demented dutchman horse wearing those wooden and curly toed clogs.
i am not actually sure we can do anything for him...what i see are muscles and joints that have deformed and compensated for many long years and i think once we start cutting those feet away, popeye is going to have huge problems in his muscular/skeletal system.
the vet is coming back tomorrow to xray and see what kind of long term damage has been done by these feet....i have a call into steve dixon to come and give us his opinion as he is one of the most highly respected and knowledgable and experienced ferriers around.
popeye is a lovely old horse with the very saddest of eyes...he is as sweet and kind and wise as our own gideon and he has lived in agony for a very, very long time.
i am telling everyone...don't get your hopes up too high cuz this is something way bigger than any of us have ever dealt with before, it is not just a matter of trimming his feet..it is much more complicated than this and i want to ensure that we do not make things any worse for him than it already is.
we will see what the xrays show and if steve can come, we will see what advice he offers us..and until then...as always...hope floats until it sinks.