Anyone know about hoof cankers!? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-01-2011, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Anyone know about hoof cankers!?

Hi there! I have a 23 y/o TB gelding who I do light dressage with and he is still very active for his age. I moved to a new barn in August of 2010 and by the end of September I noticed his feet seemed more thrushy, but especially in his frog area- it was just mush and sensitive to the hoofpick. It affected both back feet and his front left foot. The vet thought it was just some combination of bacterial/fungal infection so he dug some of the necrotic tissue out, we packed his feet for a week and figured it was no big deal. Since then his feet have continued to get worse..his frog area had lots of extra tissue that was very soft and extremely sensitive when I would pick out his feet, yet he wasn't lame. So a few days ago I called the vet out again to look at his feet and after he cut away all the extra tissue he said it looked like he had cankers!? I was thinking like a canker a blister- no big deal. Well, apparently that's not the case for horses! Our plan for right now is to keep his back feet packed with feurosemide/epsom salt mix and wrapped for 10 days..hoping to draw out any of the infection and harden up the frog. But, he said the only other option to treat it is surgery to actually cut out the "tumors". He is now on stall rest and I'm keeping his stall extremely dry..he's not allowed back outside unless its either completely frozen or dry which is going to be a while since we are heading into spring and the wettest time of the year! It is just a wierd coincidince this all came about after we moved to the new barn..maybe something in the paddock/stall/arena here could cause it? They are outside for 10-12 hrs a day in paddocks during winter and nice pastures over the summer. Just wondering if anyone has dealt with something like this and what your treatment/outcome was. I don't want to retire him but I don't think its right to put a 23 y/o horse through surgery either. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-01-2011, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Cankers are very painful for horses. I have a friend who had to let her fellow go to the other side because of how bad his cankers were. They even did surgery and they came back - it was so painful for him, he didn't want to stand anymore.

I'm terribly sorry that your darling is going through this. I have not had to go through this, so I cannot give that much advice, but I did find some links for you on the internet that may beable to help you.

Equine Podiatry | Dr. Stephen O'Grady, veterinarians, farriers, books, articles

NaturalHoofcare/thrush/canker in horses.html

If this were my horse, whom is a 21 year old TB turning 22, I would do all that I can, to make sure he remains healthy and happy. I would get as many opinions as I could on the case and take the needed steps to ensure his happiness.

I wish you and your beloved all the best! Keep us posted!

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-01-2011, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links..I have seen the O'Grady website- he has lots of good info. I talked with the vet again today and he thinks that our best option is to do the surgery. We are hoping we caught it early enough and/or kept it at bay for this long that once the surgery is over then it will hopefully keep him canker free or at least pain free for longer. He said after surgery they will put some special shoes on his back feet to help relieve the pressure on the frog but after a few months those can come off. How long was it before your friend's horses canker(s) came back? Which feet were affected?
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