While taking care of 4 horses, I would regularly check their hooves for any signs of laminitis (2 were prone to it). One day, I found a screw in the bottom of one of the horses’ hooves. One of my first thoughts was concern for her being in pain. In my mind, I pictured a screw burrowing into the tender bits.
Now, here’s the thing. She was showing no signs of pain. No discomfort walking or irregular gait. But I saw the screw head, and I immediately thought of pain. I was calm throughout, but I admit I was concerned.
The 2nd photo is what I pulled out of her hoof. Barely more than the head of a screw. Nothing that would have bothered her at all. I was relieved. She paid little to no attention. And we both went about our days.
Sometimes the perception of pain is greater than the reality. Still something to treat with care, but a good reminder every now and again.