US vet?s remedy ?simple
By MEL MARTIN
FOR more than four years, Stefan Brugisser tried everything to help his lame horse Macca get better, and this weekend he got the chance of a lifetime.
Macca was one of 15 horses with a variety of foot problems to serve as case studies for the final days of the Bain Fallon Memorial Lectures, which saw hundreds of equine veterinarians and farriers descend on Coffs.
And Macca wasn't just looked at by any expert, but by US equine foot health pioneer Dr Ric Redden, one of the keynote speakers at the conference.
"Macca's problem was that he had a lot of toe growth and not much heel growth on his hoof, so his weight was always on the back of his hoof, preventing blood flow," Mr Brugisser said.
"Ric's remedy was to put a round shoe on, instead of a flat shoe, so Macca can rock backwards and forwards and put his weight where he's most comfortable.
"The theory is that his hoof will grow and we should only need the shoes for a short while. It's so bloody brilliant in its simplicity."
Co-owner of Pacific Vetcare, Dr David Johnson, said the conference had been a total suc- cess, and had brought valuable skills to the region.
"It was fantastic, the delegates said it was the best conference they'd been to," Dr Johnson said.
"We've got all the technology, so we can do all that here, it's just that we didn't have the expertise.
"Now, hopefully we'll be able to treat them much better."