Nail in Hoof - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Eldred, PA
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Nail in Hoof

In mid-July my riding horse stepped on a nail. She was 3 leg lame even after we pulled the nail out. We called the vet and without even coming to look she told us we either had to put her down or take her to Cornell. Well Cornell is expensive and we couldnt think of putting her down without someone with experence at least looking at it. So we went to the vets and got antibiotics and pain meds untill the vet came out on Monday to give a tetnus shot. When the vet came out she looked at the foot and was very skeptical she used hoof testers and said that since the sole seemed sore shoes might help her. We called the farrier and he came out the next day re-tested her hoof with opposite results. He dug out the frog where the nail went in and shot iodine into it. He told us to keep it wrapped with iccamol and soak it 2x a day in epsom salts and loaned us the hoof boot to do so. she got better to the point where she would put some weight on it but she wouldnt use it to regularly walk. A few weeks later the anti-biotics ran out and it was still pussing so we called him to come out and look at it. they suggested getting a stronger anti-biotic so we got an ingectable and after us failing to give the shots our farrier came out and gave them for us. the infection left and we eventually went from soaking it 2x a day for 30 min to once a day then to just letting it go. now were into october and she uses it when walking but she still has a limp when walking or trotting but you dont notice it at the canter. it has gotten progressively better but lately has seemed to level out. I was wondering if it would be ok to ride her. I am sure she would limp but I was wondering about causing her pain or slowing her healing process. sorry about the long post and thanks in advance for the replies

On the first day god created horses on the second day he painted the good ones
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 09:52 PM
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I personally wouldn't ride her
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-02-2008, 11:33 PM
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I wouldn't ride her at all, but it is your choice in the end. A sore horse, it doesn't matter where they are sore will turn sour if you ride them while they are in pain. I would let her heal up totally. If she doesn't heal up maybe consider selling her as a companion horse so she doesn't have to be ridden.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-03-2008, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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I really dont think she is in pain, she doesnt seem to be. we sort of think she is babying it becase once and a while you will catch her walking on it without limping like if she isnt thinking about it she is fine. she runs kicks and plays with the other horses in the pasture and she is just fine. the farrier needs to come out soon to trim so I guess I'll see what he thinks. and if I did ride her it wouldnt be for very long and only at a walk seeing as usually she bucks while you are trying to mount
we wouldnt sell her for a companion horse either we would just keep her. we were going to sell her before for her behavior issues but my mom and dad couldnt stand to see her go.

On the first day god created horses on the second day he painted the good ones
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-03-2008, 03:43 AM
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I still wouldn't ride her - besides, I strongly doubt that horses are able to fake being sore. Firstly, they have no reason to and secondly, I really don't think they have the cognitive skills to do so. Just give her some more time, I know its hard to wait but waiting really is the best thing. Why don't you try lunging her, just to see what she does?

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-04-2008, 11:29 PM
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I wouldn't recommend asking her to carry a rider just yet. The added weight would just increase the awareness of the pain in her foot. But, exercise is good, so keep up with the turn out, hand walk her or even lunge her if she doesn't seem bothered by that. Exercise will keep good circulation going in the foot to help it heal faster.

Depending on where the nail went in, it could take longer to heal. Soft tissues, like the heel bulbs tend to close back on itself and not drain as well, slowing the heeling process. The other down side is in the front of the foot, she could have even nicked her coffin bone, and which (in worse case scenario) get infected and become eroded and permanant lameness could occur,or worse. WHen the nail puncture is closer to the perimeter of the foot (where a shoe would go) the better the prognosis. You said it was in the frog? Just give it more time. Perhaps months, as the infection may not be all gone just yet and still have some abscessing to do. Just be sure to pay careful attention to what's going on with her comfort and check her foot every day and keep in touch with your farrier. His/her hands-on examination will be more conclusive than my online guessing and spouting of "worst case scenarios"
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-05-2008, 12:30 AM
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Hey barefoothooves !!! missed ya !
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-05-2008, 01:19 AM
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Glad you didnt put her down.
Miss Katie is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 10-06-2008, 09:54 PM
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I wouldn't ride either. If there is a limp, she is sore. Riding will make her more sore and turn her off having a rider. Exercise in hand, lots of rewards and good things so she loves you and give her time. Hoof / foot injuries can take a really, really long time to heal. Glad that you looked at options for her and didn't put her down just on someone's say so. Now you need to continue that responsibility and be patient. You will be rewarded with her happiness.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-07-2008, 06:51 AM
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My neighbor had exactly same situation end of June: horse stepped on HUGE nail so she had big hole at least inch in. She's still not riding her: the hole healed up to 3/4, but she's still waiting will it's completely healed. I wouldn't ride the horse. If something goes wrong it'll be too costly to care for it again (besides the fact if horse will be in pain she'll associate riding with pain and it's not good at all as behavioral problems can arise). Be patient is the best precaution here.
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