Rescue with horrible hooves. In severe shape! Don't know where to start...
I rescued a two and a half year old filly from a slaughter auction back in February. It has been a long few months with her. She came to us incredibly sick, skinny, and scared. Really, really bad shape.
She is very fearful of anything new and reacts at a high level. We've barely been able to groom her with a soft brush for more than five minutes.
Two weeks ago she came out of the field limping in extreme pain. We noticed she had a nail stuck in her left hind frog. We didn't have a clue how we were going to get it out because she hasn't let us touch below her hock without kicking. Luckily our friend/trainer was scheduled to come out that day. We managed to calm her down and continually touch her legs until we could eventually hold the hoof long enough to pull the nail out with pliers. We successfully got the nail out without any harm to her confidence or our delicate bodies. hee hee. Our vet proscribed 10 days of SMZ TMP (antibiotics) to prevent infection. We came out of that on a nice high because that was a MAJOR step in the right direction with her. It seemed to be fine until...
14 days after the nail she came up lame again. We decided that we needed to check the hoof for abscess or infection. We managed to get that hoof up long enough to check it and even pick it out. (First time with a pick near her!) Then we figured we'd just try the others as well. Why not? She was being so good! It took some time but we got her to lift all four hooves, pick them out, and applied tea tree oil to all of them. It was then that we discovered the extent of her hoof condition.
We knew her hooves would be bad but seeing them for the first time put us in shock. Now, please don't think we've neglected her, if we would have pushed it any sooner, she would have been sent 5 years backward in progress and we would be dead.
I doubt anyone has ever touched her hooves, nonetheless worked on them. Poor thing doesn't know how to stand while one of her hooves is in mid air.
I will try to get pictures but for now I will just give a description of them. For starters they are long (not terrible) and misshapen. The outside, hoof wall, is very cracked and chipped. It also seems very weak. The inside looks very soft and moist yet dry at the same time and in 2 out of 4 hooves, the frog is in really bad condition. Almost nonexistent. There wasn't a bad smell or much discoloration though. Her hooves seem very flat and wide too. Not much depth if you know what I mean.
So, now that we know we can get to her hooves, we can figure out our plan of attack. I just don't know where to start.
I've been told it starts with nutrition. She's on a very comprehensive, quality diet. I've also been told mixed things about supplements, worth it or no? Then, topical solutions...what and why?
Sorry I've just blabbed your eyes off! I just really want to help my girl out! She deserves it! I'll do anything to help her, I truly love her and want the best for her.
What should I do..and WHY should I do it. What are you experiences?
p.s. We are going to introduce her to a rasp next week. We will eventually have our farrier work on her but she currently only halfway trusts 3 people. Our farrier tried getting close to her back in May but it wasn't a pretty scene.
Last edited by EquestEquine; 08-06-2011 at 04:21 PM.