No Feet, No Horse

So that minor set back I referenced yesterday wasn’t actually on her leg. While we were rehabbing from the cut and extensor tendon injury Lucky got a bad bacterial infection in her hoof.

The worst part? I didn’t even realize it!

Lucky was getting her feet trimmed with my trimmer made his puzzled face which told me something was wrong. He had me come back and showed me what was going on. The bacteria had eaten up the inside of her frog. The outside was soft, but it wasn’t something super obvious. It was bad though because it had eaten away enough of the frog that my trimmer was concerned about the dorsal frog development being okay. He gave me some meds to put inside the area and of course he showed me how to care for it.

I cannot tell you how bad I felt as I watched him put the syringe to the small outside opening and just keep pressing down. You could have fit a good Tbs of liquid up in there! Yikes. That was not going to help her soundness or comfort level at all. The meds he gave me were strong and even by the next day it was already looking better. It was a good reminder though that not all injuries or ailments are obvious.

I shouldn’t just be picking around the sides of the frog, I need to try and sweep away the debris from the back of the heel and center of the frog as well. And I need to touch everything. I am admittedly a germaphobe so touching a horses frog is not on my list of favorite things, but even if I just touch it with the hoof pick you can tell if it feels right or not. I totally missed this and odds are the bacteria started to eat away at the frog weeks before the trimmer caught it. She hasn’t been trimmed again yet (she is actually due soon) but I hoping that it was caught early enough to not mess with her hoof growth in too negative a way.

I also have decided that if I win the lottery I am so buying stone dust for her pen. That will help keep the bottoms of her feet much cleaner since she is living on just plain old earth in her pen at the moment. Since she is all better and going out not it isn’t as big of deal (she pretty much only is in her pen to eat or when other people ride) but now I know to be extra vigilant with her feet if she has to stay locked up every again. Lucky was really not having a very good February or March…

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5 thoughts on “No Feet, No Horse

  1. I’m sorry, that stinks. Don’t feel too bad though. You found the problem, are working to fix it, and will know what to look for next time! That’s more than a lot of horse owners can say 🙂

  2. It is very common, especially when it’s so wet all the time. The plain ole dirt doesn’t hurt their feet…having a dry stall to escape to helps, and, cleaning those feet and applying a mild disinfectant every time you do helps prevent it. But, sometimes, no matter what you do, some horses are just more prone.

  3. That’s what happened to Ace (three years ago now!). The vet actually found it on the X-ray and cut out the necrotic tissue. He was completely sound again in less than two weeks.

    My current trimmer (who is completely amazing by the way) said that can actually result from an infection inside the hoof, brought about by poor hoof shape, long toes in particular, rather than bacteria that invaded from the outside. This was 9 months after I got Ace, and we were still in the process of recovering from the two years with his previous owner who didn’t provide any hoof care at all. I know Lucky has been in good hands with you, but I just thought this was interesting.

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