Hoof Puncture, Heel Bulbs.

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Hoof Puncture, Heel Bulbs.

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    07-19-2012, 03:11 PM
Hoof Puncture, Heel Bulbs.

Ever heard the saying, "If there is a nail in a 100 acre pasture, one horse will find it?"

Well my colt did, this is half a rant and half just informative.

So last night I went out to see my horses, because I had forgot to take off their fly masks when I fed them. I called them to come up, none of them came. I could see my five month old colt off behind a tree so I called again. His momma came up, and he started calling, beginning to make his way toward me. I noticed he had a pretty severe limp, so I called my dad to come out while I went to investigate. When I lifted up his the hoof he was limping off, I notice a nail sticking out. I automatically began to get upset, trying not to cry while I made him stay still and momma continued to walk off without a care. My parents came out, my dad restrained him and I pulled out the nail. I called my vet's emergancy number to get some information, apparently they didn't believe me it was in his heel bulb, but that is a different story. The doctor on call told me that I shouldn't have pulled it out, was supposed to be able to get him and his momma in the trailer with the nail still stuck in his hoof and trailer him an hour to the vets office so they could do an x-ray. Though I already had done it, so they told us if he is "easy to work with" then we should soak it in some epson salt if we weren't going to trailer him for an emergancy visit... Anyway. So we got it soaked for about 12 minutes, he did wonderfully with it. I called the doctor back and told him that we wanted a vet to come out tomorrow (today) and give him a tetanus shot and look it over.

One came out today, he got a little sedation to get him knocked out while we messed with his foot. He got a cold wash and a scrub to get it really clean. She tried to see exactly how far the nail had went, but it was already sealed over and healing. So for now, we have to wash off it twice a day with cold water, soak in banadine solution twice a day, he gets antibiodics twice a day, and an inflamatory once a day, plus he got a tetanus shot...

The guy I spoke to last night, apparently did not listen when I said it was in the bulb of his heal, he made this vet believe that it wasn't, and was in danger of hitting his coffin bone... I don't know if he thouht I didn't know what I was talking about, or what. Though she said it is a lot better then she imagined and to watch him for the next several days and to keep treating it aggressively.

Also, I'm wondering how many people would have just let their five month old colt walk around with a nail sticking out his hoof until a vet could get there. I know I might get some critique for my actions, but what is done is done. We could have been like some people and just let him go without veternarian care.

I question more, that who thinks that epsonsalt does nothing to ease the soreness?
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    07-19-2012, 04:10 PM
The epsom salt is more to draw out anything in the hole & to help keep it open a bit for drainage.
The vets by you don't make farm calls with portable X-rays?
Was he walking better after the nail was removed?
    07-19-2012, 11:24 PM

In theory, you shouldn't pull out whatever it is, so that the vets can xray & evaluate more accurately. In practice though, it may be far more dangerous to leave it in, depending exactly where/what it is. So you just have to weigh that up.

I'd be treating it seriously & remaining vigilant for more than 10 days. Into the heel bulb could be in/close to the DDFT &/or lateral cartilages.

Oh & I don't get your last comment about epsom salts, but while it isn't a painkiller as such, it can relieve pain especially caused from infection/inflammation.... Hmmm, after trimming all morning in the rain, I should be soaking in an epsom salts bath rather than on the 'puter!
    07-24-2012, 12:38 AM
Today I found that a small, smooth stick (about 1 1/2") had pierced her heel bulb. She wasn't limping and I wouldn't have known except that I checked her feet tonight (which I do often). It almost looked like how people pierce their eyebrow and have a "bar" through it.

I pulled it out the way that it entered....it bled just a bit which we stopped and then we put Tri-Care on it. I will probably use the Vetrycin in the morning and keep an eye on it.

I am thankful that it seems so superficial as it could have penetrated her foot so much worse than it did. I will be keeping a strict watch on it. I love all of the great information that this forum provides!

I hope your horse is on the mend, Ladybug!
    07-24-2012, 01:02 AM
If it was in the heel bulb, but obviously pointing away from the tendons, then one would be moderatly certain it 's ok to pull out. One thing you might do if you have the kind of phone that can do it, is take a photo of the wound and email it to the doc on call.

Hope your baby is better real soon
    07-24-2012, 05:40 AM
Into the heel bulb could be in/close to the DDFT &/or lateral cartilages.

    07-24-2012, 11:59 AM
It appears that hers only caught a small part of the digital cushion. I hosed it off this morning and applied Vetrycin. If I hadn't known she had the puncture, there is no way that I would have known now. It didn't look like much of anything this morning. I will continue to monitor it twice a day for any signs of infection.
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