Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The vet visit: Yes, we have no CBF

Note: CBF=coffin bone fracture
My vet came out this afternoon. She's known me for years, and knows my foibles as a horse owner. She knows I'm a worrier and that where horses are concerned I don't have a tolerance for health mysteries. I imagine her briefing her intern and assistant as as they come up the driveway: "Be careful what you say to this client, she panics easily."

I'd called that morning requesting hoof x-rays for an acute lameness. Yes, it probably was a little brassy to tell the vet what services are needed, but I wanted the x-ray machine in that truck! Riley's lameness just wasn't looking like an abscess (no heat, only a tiny digital pulse, and no change in days).

Dr. M arrived with her technician and an intern. She started with a hoof exam and hoof testers, watched him on the lunge (very lame), and did some flexion tests. As she picked up his foot to flex the shoulder, she exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, he's bleeding. She found gravel halfway popped out of a slit in the bulb of his heel. She dug a little and found more. We put him on the lunge line. Nearly sound. We guessed that the trotwork helped to pop the gravel that must have travelled up through a crack at the base of the bulb. I've read a few articles that say this is unlikely, and that the term "gravel" usually just means an abscess. But there was no abscess here.

In any event, there is no coffin bone fracture (CBF), the scary possibility. My vet was also able to tell my why she could tell it was not a CBF -- very educational! In my next entry I'll write more about CBFs.


  1. Hurrah! Glad it was 'just' a bit of gravel. I am very interested in your next post about CBF. ;)

  2. Oh my gosh! I just want to squeeze those cute fuzzy baby Riley ears! I'm glad to hear that he is okay, and that the problem turned out to be minor.

  3. Phew! Glad to hear it wasn't anything serious.


  4. Good News!
    I look forward to the vet explanation.

  5. Ouch! Glad to hear it's nothing too serious. Did the vet say how this happens? I'm trying to imagine whether it's wet conditions creating a soft heel or dry conditions creating a crack that allow the gravel in.

    Also very curious to learn more about CBF in your next post.

  6. I read your previous posts on his lameness and I am so glad there are good news!
    Looking forward to CBF story!

  7. We have had really dry weather -- so in this case it's probably the dryness/cracking issue.


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