Mare Stepped On Nail

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Mare Stepped On Nail

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  • Horse stepped on nail still lame
  • Horse stepped on a nail

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    06-20-2013, 09:21 PM
Mare Stepped On Nail

Yesterday evening I noticed my 20 year old, barefoot, Arabian/Canadian Mare liming pretty badly and found that the door to one of our outdoor buildings had been smashed down. I looked at her foot and didn't see anything wrong with it, no swelling, and only very mild heat, so I put on some Cool Green figuring she had just stumbled over the broken door and that had been what was causing the limp.

Today my dad was picking out her feet and he noticed she had a nail in her hoof, we both know you're not supposed to pull nails out of a horses feet until it's seen the vet, but in the heat of the moment he removed it, it was only a small nail, not even a inch in length, but the tip had a small amount of blood on it. We thoroughly washed her hoof, and flushed it out with disinfectant but now I'm not sure what else to do. There's only one vet in this area that we know of and we've been unable to reach her. I've tried contacting other horse owning friends and they all recommend the same vet we've been trying to reach.

Can anyone please give me some insight on what to do in this situation?
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    06-20-2013, 09:30 PM
Keep it clean and get ahold of the vet. Why is it you can't reach her? If she's the only vet in the area she should have an emergency number...? If you can't then call a vet from out of the area just to get some advice on what to do. A call is usually free.
    06-20-2013, 09:37 PM
Get out the phonebook and call ANY equine vet. Don't wait around for the recommended one because it could be the difference between lame and sound.
    06-20-2013, 09:45 PM
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    06-20-2013, 09:46 PM
Well, it's too late to do an Xray to see if the nail did any damage to the bone. So, what treatment would the vet recommend, if she were there? Soaking in Epsom salts? (like an opened abcess). Or? I am guessing that the vet would recommend an antibiotic injection, but not sure.

Folks here who have had a puncture, what did the vet have you do?

(until you can get a vet out)
    06-20-2013, 09:49 PM
Super Moderator
I had a horse step on a nail years and years ago. I didn't think to call a vet, soaked her in Epsom salt and she's was fine. I'm not saying it was the right course of action, but the action I took.

Back then I called the vet for shots and colic... that was about it...
    06-20-2013, 10:27 PM
Thanks everyone,
Don't get me wrong, as soon as I can get a vet out here I will. I realize just how bad these kind of injuries can be and I'll keep looking until I find a vet who can come see her as soon as possible, in the mean time what should I do? What Epsom Salt/Water ration should be used?

I know this probably doesn't make any difference, but figure I should mention it any ways. The nail itself was less than an inch long, and it wasn't very deep into her hoof when we found it. It was half way back, in the sole of her hoof, but right against the hoof wall, if you get what I mean. We thoroughly cleaned the hoof and flushed it out with an equine iodine disinfectant.

I have penicillin on hand, but am hesitant to use it without knowing if it would be any help.
    06-20-2013, 10:39 PM
Green Broke
Tetanus booster would be first on my mind, especially if she hasn't had one lately.

Then soaking in epsom salts and keeping it clean so infectious material doesn't pack into the hole. For epsom salt, I just pour maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup into a bucket of warm water. That maybe be overkill, but that is what I have always done.

Keep in mind I am NOT a vet though. That just seems like the course of action I would take personally.
    06-20-2013, 11:11 PM
Last year around this time I had a horse step on a rusty nail. We pulled it and gave her penicillin for a few days and soaked her hoof in epsom salt. She was perfectly fine, but I am also no vet.
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    06-20-2013, 11:27 PM
My mare stepped on a piece of wood last year or the year before and it punctured her sole between the toe callus and the tip of the frog. Her hoof was mildly warm and she was lame on that foot of course. The piece of wood was about 1/8" that I removed; I assumed that the hole was about 1/4" deep in her sole. I called and sent pics to my trimmer, not my vet actually because my trimmer is very knowledgeable about the structure of the hoof and my mare in particular. Our vet out here is, well, not so great... kind of luck of the draw on who answers the phone. If my trimmer had advised me to call the vet, I would have.

But anyway, I cleaned it really, really well and there was blood. I was glad in a way to see the blood because I knew it was cleaning itself that way as well. I put antibiotic on it, dried it well and wrapped her hoof in a diaper (size 2 I think it was). The first day I think I checked it three or four times. The next day or three, I changed the diaper twice a day. If everything still looked clean, I just wiped the sole and reapplied more antibiotic cream and put on a new diaper. If it had any dirt, I washed again, dried and more cream.

I think I kept the diaper on for about 10 days, maybe 2 weeks and made sure she was in a mud-free area.

All worked out fine for me.

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