Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Transformation Tuesday: Hoofgate

OK so remember last post about Trigger's hoof when I was sort of down about how it looked and frustrated that the whole hoof was like... falling apart and gross? I mean, it's obviously still not anywhere close to back to 100%, but after a good trim from my farrier last week, I'm feeling a lot better!

For reference, this was what things looked like at the vet visit last Monday. The vets were wishing for some faster filling in of the hole with horn, but were not upset about how it looked (even if I was). They told me I had been doing a SUPER job at keeping it clean.

After my farrier finally had a chance to clean it up -- for reference, my horses are on a six-week cycle, but Trigger missed one trim on this hoof because the vet's priority was keeping the hole clean and the tissue far away from touching the ground. My biggest worry was a giant chunk of hoof right below the hole that was definitely wiggly, and the farrier just cleaned it out as he trimmed. So the hole looks bigger, but it was just dead sole anyway and wasn't doing anything productive. Trigger's feet are not great in general, but they've come a long way.  

My farrier and I had a long talk both while and after he trimmed it about my concerns. He's been trimming my horses for.... 8.5ish years? (since Cinna was a weeeeee wee thing and I had eight or nine horses). He is definitely aware of my neurotic tendencies, so he didn't hesitate to give me a little bit of a come-to-Jesus chat where he repeated ITS FINE multiple times 🤣 he watched me rewrap the hoof, and he also commented that I was keeping it WAY cleaner than like 95% of the people in our area would bother with, and reminded me how many horses blow out abscesses that no one even notices and then stand in sloppy mud with holes in their foot with no adverse effects. I pointed out how gross and soggy the hoof was, and he fired right back that it had ZERO thrush (unlike one of his hinds, whoops, bad owner). Yes, it was damp from being wrapped 24/7 for going on 2+ months at this point, but starting the durasole would hopefully help things toughen back up. 

After liberal application of Durasole. Everything I own will be purple for a while haha. 

Obviously his recommendation wasn't to just take off the boot and kick him outside, but he said what I'm doing is working, so keep doing it. We did chat about the hospital plate, and he is capable of doing it, but he priced it out for me and for the price of the plate and a few resets while the hole grows out (not to mention how the care of his foot would have to change), I can buy like a lifetime supply of duct tape for a whole stableful of horses with holes in their feet. If either of us thought the plate would give us a better outcome, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but his foot IS healing this way, it's just slow. The hospital plate wouldn't make it heal any faster, and it would add a whole new layer of complexity and concern to managing his turnout.

Enjoying some turnout, mud be damned! (this was before we changed the bandage so I didn't care if he got gross since I was taking it off in a few hours anyway)

At the most recent change this weekend.

I texted photos to the vet after the farrier finished up, and she was also really pleased with how much better it looked with all the dead stuff cleaned away. We had already discussed the turnout situation, and she advocated again to get him out as much as is reasonably possible for me, even maybe turning him out without the boot if I'm willing to clean it REALLY well when he's done and the ground isn't frozen into spikes that might stab tender areas. I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to go there yet (since we got MORE RAIN this weekend) but he did get out quite a bit over the weekend, mud be damned, so I'm trying to loosen up a little and be less of a control freak about it haha. He is much happier getting out for a few hours, and DH is happier cleaning a stall that's a bit less trashed. And the more I can get him out now the easier his transition back to normal turnout will be, whenever the hole grows out enough for that to happen :)

So despite my somewhat gloomy outlook last week, it IS progressing, and I just need to have a little faith and patience -- both of which are hard for me! Thank goodness I have horses to teach me these lessons, over and over again, right? :)

12 comments:

  1. Ugh the mud has been killing us with the turnout situation too. I'm glad his hoof is continuing to improve.. slowly but surely

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    1. Yeah my "dry lots" are... anything but dry. Which happens every year but this year I have a new reason to hate that! haha

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  2. Mud sucks, full stop. Can't imagine dealing with a hoofgate situation AND mud, major kudos to you! He's looking so much better, he'll be back to normal in no time!

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    1. Yeah the timing was less than ideal! Although I guess if my husband's trail horse has to be out of commission, winter when we're not riding is better than right in the middle of prime trail riding season? IDK. I'd rather it happen NEVER haha.

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  3. It looks great! I know how slow it feels like it's going, but you're doing a great job with it.

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    1. Thank you! I keep reminding myself HOW BAD it was to begin with. And personally I think maybe the reason it isn't filling in as fast as expected is because it wasn't a puncture from something sharp, that went in and then back out in sort of a sharp but small area affected way, he did some MASSIVE blunt trauma to the bottom of that whole hoof. Like a slice is going to fill back in a lot faster than a gaping wound... or at least that makes sense in my head, dunno about anyone else lol.

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  4. Hooray Trigger!

    Pro tip for Durasole application: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Horn-19041-Applicator-8-Ounce/dp/B003NE5AMS (you can also get those bottles for applying say hoof paint; the main thing is the brush)

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    1. Haha oddly enough when I clicked the link, it was exactly the one I already have and Amazon was like "you already bought this". I tend to start by being too timid with the brush and don't squeeze enough liquid out, and then he starts to get irritated by me making him hold his hoof in the air forever and then I panic squeeze out way too much and make a mess 🤣 the moral of the story, being, of course, that I make things way harder than they need to be lol. It's only been a few applications so far though, so hopefully I get better. Like the first few duct tape boots were a shit show and now I sort of have it down to a science!

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  5. As one of those 95%-ers that just kicks the horse out with an abscess... you're doing a great job! Bay had a pretty good abscess last spring and the vet had to dig it out and then put a very elaborate wrap/boot on that he proceeded to run out of in less than an hour. I figured if he's feeling good enough to run around like a maniac, then he doesn't need his hoof wrapped lol.

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    1. Haha well and I think to his point there's a *slight* difference between digging out an abscess and a hole that originally reached the coffin bone, which is probably why I am being this neurotic 🙈 but its always good to know that the world won't end once Trigger inevitably pulls his boot off outside! (right now there are like 4 layers because he is REALLY GOOD at taking one, if not two of them off and then I have a heart attack when I go out to bring him in lol). Especially since I know what good care you take of Bay! :)

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  6. I'm glad your farrier was able to give you peace of mind!

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    1. Me too, thanks! :) I'm lucky to have a pretty solid team who is experienced at talking me off the ledge when I obsess, haha.

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