Lame on the front possible abscess on RR and cracks appearing out of no where - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-02-2012, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Lame on the front possible abscess on RR and cracks appearing out of no where

I admit, I know almost nothing about hoof health and shoeing techniques and what not. Since acquiring Drifter 6 weeks ago I am doing my best to research the subject, but I have recently ran into some issues with him that are leaving me with a lot of questions.

Recently I posted a thread on how Drifter had come up in the pasture missing 1 shoe, and with the other half off. Pulled the shoe, farrier is coming Tuesday. Side Rant: He comes Tuesday every week to the barn where I board, and he never returned my call about Drifter's lost shoes asking him to come out earlier and replace them. Really ticks me off I am gonna be hard pressed to not give this man a piece of my mind when I see him again. Whats done is done, and I am in the process of searching for a new farrier (this episode was just the straw that broke the camels back).

Because of said lost shoes, Drifter is DEAD lame. I noticed he was 'ok' in the grassy areas of his pasture, but wherever there was dirt (hard as a rock due to how dry it is out here right now) and any kind of small stones my poor boy was stumbling and limping on his front feet. Limping so bad mind you, that he took a spill a few times on his knees. He completely flipped out when I tried to put boots on him, so for the time being he is in a small paddock. It is not ideal, but it is better than the rough terrain in his usual 40 acre pasture. He is still VERY sore. His sole is sore to the touch. Does that sound like a bruise? And is there anything I can do for it? I hurt for him and I hate he is so sore. I feel responsible, because, well, I am.

In addition to soreness he has a few cracks on his front feet. His front left has a quarter crack. I have done some research and am confused on a hoof thats too moisturized vs too dry. I honestly think these cracking issues would be because the hoof is to dry, but Drifter does spend alot of time in the water. Or did anyways before I moved him to the small paddock. Will Smartpak supplements help these cracks? Or is there anything else I can give him?

Also, on his Rear right I noticed today a cracked depression. I am hesitant to call it an abscess because it does not seem to be sore to the touch, and does not seem to be leaking. I cannot tell if he is limping from that foot because of the already over exaggerated limping due to his sore fronts.

Should I focus on fixing one issue at a time? Starting with his front feet and their lameness, and then looking closer into the possible abscess? I just don't want to screw something up on him by trying to take care of too much at once. Any advice or shared knowledge would be gratefully appreciated! Thanks all
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-02-2012, 02:40 AM
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Firstly if your horse is that sore, I'd find or make him some soft footing. Even if the best you can do is get a load of sawdust in his hangout area. Next find some good professional help ASAP. I'd consider involving an equine vet too. Sounds like it could be a lot more than just loss of shoes discomfort. Could be that he has thin soles & copped some bad stone bruising/abscesses. Could be lots of other things. And work on desensitising him to the boots. A good trim may be in order, & hoof protection definitely is, but I'd hang off putting shoes on him, at least until you know what's going on.

Re question of wet or dry hooves, they're built for & tend to do best in dry environments. The outer layer is pretty impervious, keeping moisture on the inside. Generally moisturiser & other topical stuff is pointless at best, from a health perspective, but can also be harmful when sealing in infection, softening horn or damaging the outer periople layer. Yes, good nutrition - whether that's Smart Pack or such - is important to hoof health, as is healthy diet & other factors. If a hoof appears 'too dry', brittle, shelly, etc it can often be a nutritional imbalance. So yes, good nutrition will go a way to 'helping the cracks' but there is likely more to it than just nutrition & that is also not a 'quick fix' - it will take many months to see healthier growth due to good nutrition.

Re poss abscess, from what you describe, maybe an abscess that's previously burst at the coronary & grown down, but that's only a guess based on too little info. More info & hoof pics would help if you want any more specific advice.
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