She's actually feeling a lot better now! She's no longer lame at a walk, and she's only lame at a trot in circles. (All of this on soft ground of course. Packed dirt is still death on the battlefield.)
The farrier is coming Friday to shoe her. (And Baby Girl too.) Hopefully after she gets her soles off the ground she'll become completely sound. She and BG have been living together in their own little paddock. I come out in the morning before school (around 6am), feed them, and give them both a flake of soaked alfalfa hay. I sort of enjoy taking care of my horses myself. It's so peaceful at day break. And that tranquil hay crunching sound they make is heaven.
Things are looking grim on the Kitty front. Rick the farrier came out today to shoe both the mares. I've been working hard to have enough to pay for my horses -- I had just enough for BG and Kitty to be shod all around with their respective special shoes. I bought feed yesterday that will last roughly a week. Basically, the finances are wiped out for August. They always are. My horses live paycheck to paycheck.
The horses are generally shod and Rick gone by the time I return from school at 3:30 pm. But today I saw Rick's truck and trailer still parked near the barn entrance. Rick was waiting for me.
Kitty's feet are falling apart. I knew they were bad, but I hadn't realized to what extent. Rick cut a notch of hoof, revealing appalling separation of the white line, and demonstrated that he could stick a horse shoe nail up Kitty's hollow, diseased white line up to the nail head. 75% of her wall is separated -- that's infection roughly three quarters of the way up her hoof. It's as brittle as a dry nail; I could snap off pieces with my fingers.
We're going to have to resect the majority of her hoof wall. A resection so huge that it must be done under veterinary supervision. The resection will take place in about a week. Afterwards, Kitty will get a special set of shoes called sigafoos.
We're also concerned that the white line disease has started to creep into her coffin bone, resulting in possibly chronic lameness and maybe even coffin bone rotation. X rays are needed. This is going to be a very long recovery.
But as I mentioned. My horses live paycheck to paycheck. All this foot care will probably end up at about $500. That is distressing. But, "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed," said my favorite children's book. I am responsible for these horses, because they are mine. I'll never throw away a horse with problems. I didn't throw away BG; I won't throw Kitty away either.
There are some other options, which include hoof casting and nailing a shoe into the casting. However, covering up white line with a shoe will cause the infection to spread. Casting will help the laminitis and make Kitty more comfortable, but it's a Band-Aid to the other problem. The only way to get the white line in one fatal swoop is major resection.
I'm falling prey to that old Job mentality. Why me? I already have a PSSM horse. Why is Kitty falling to pieces too?
Oh well. The struggle is a part of the story. In the end, everything is always okay. And if it's not okay, it's not the end.