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Anytime a prospective customer asks Brent Brown to shoe a horse, he immediately tells them the cost. “I charge a minimum of $200 to show up and shoe a horse and maybe more, based on what I see after I get there,” says the Gorham, Maine, farrier. “Before I drive to the barn, I find out if price is going to be a factor. If that’s too much money, neither of us has wasted our time.”
Tex Taylor says the idea that mules are less likely than horses to become lame is often due to a late diagnosis. The Texas A&M University equine veterinarian told attendees at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) meeting in December that hoof testers seem to be less valuable when examining mules and donkeys than with horses.
Chronic non-healing coronary band lesions in donkeys often look like a gravel problem. “This is a syndrome of donkeys that may persist for years and often may become worse,” he says. “Keep the toes on donkeys trimmed short and check for sole-penetration wounds.”
While laminitis in donkeys often appears in all four feet, Taylor says laminitis in the rear feet will more likely lead to an eventual need for euthanasia. Laminitis in a contralateral rear foot due to abscesses or injury is also very common and is often missed by the farrier, owner and vet.