BFH -- Jade's heel chipped off at cut
Barefoothooves, I thought you might find this photo interesting. As a reminder, here is the cut Jade had about a month ago:
Over the weekend, that heel piece broke off (sorry for the bad photo. It was dark and she'd probably spook at a flash):
Guess it's gonna be a long haul for her foot to be back to normal. Any hints on helping her out while it grows back?
The fact that it broke off isn't that alarming. Does it seem to bother her now that it's gone? Usually when a chunk comes off, it's less bothersome after it does, but in the heel area it could be quite tender, as that's the softer, more expandable part. She's not being ridden, right? She's on turnout, maybe some groundwork..????
How much is it bothering her? Does she limp on it? Act protective of it when you touch the leg above it or resist you picking it up? Any sign of heat or pus? Or is it a clean break off? Does it go into the frog/heel bulb at all? Let me know so I don't have to write a book on here. :) All details are welcome!
I'm not too concerned about it. Just keeping an eye on it. It doesn't seem to bother her -- no lameness, no heat, no resistance except when I poke around in the frog area -- some sensitivity there, but couldn't be alot. She's pretty high strung and doesn't have much in the way of manners, so if it was really sore I'm sure she'd let me know pretty quick. There is some of the cut into the frog, but it seems clean and dry. I think I might soak it in some chlorinated or salted water tonight for a few minutes to have a better look at it. I don't think she'll tolerate a good scrubbing, but I'll see what I can do. If I can get a good photo of the bottom, I'll post it.
As for her activity -- she is on free turnout, groundwork and I just rode her for the first time on Saturday (b4 it broke off) for about 15 minutes at a walk and standstill; then again last night for about 10 minutes. She knows nothing about having a rider but the foot didn't seem to bother her so I will continue with the 10 minute rides on soft ground unless she lets me know otherwise. She definitely needs the lessons!
I'd do the epsom salts or ACV soak, as chlorine might be a tad too drying, but either way you want to do it, it fine.Just don't soak too frequently if you choose to do it again later..the softer hoof will be more sensitive and other parts of the wall will be more apt to break.
The way that looks..it looks like in front of the missing chunk it extends a little just below the coronary band, but still has some intact wall right below? That's what it looks like in the pic, and that might come off later as well.
For now, in the abscence of any real pain or sign of infection, just leave it be, try to keep it as clean as possible for a little while (Yeah, right, I know, that's tough to do with a horse. LOL) If you do get worried about junk getting in there, you could make a duct tape wrap , or put a boot on, for while you are working her but mostly, just leave it be. You can soak it every few days as a preventative for that gap, but the broken part is exposed to air, so I doubt you'll see any infection develop there, and once that last bit of wall comes off, it won't cause any more worries.
She might occasionally have take a sore step until the heel has grown back a little better, just because it's lacking the natural protection,and hitting rock just right could sting, but it isn't likely to be much of a problem, esp a horse that isn't being ridden yet. Time, turnout, your usual good care and observation, and she'll be fine. It's kind of like if you ever rip your nail back into the quick, and trim it, but that last piece rips off really short.It can sting at first, but your finger looses the sensitivity and it grows back as usual.
Thanks for sharing the pics..I'm such a nerd, I like to look at every hoof people are willing to show me, esp with things like this! Plus, someone else may be browsing that have a similar issue and this helps dispell any concerns!
Anyway, I got a few more photos tonight after about a 10 minute soak in salt water. The photos actually make it look worse, IMO. It looks like the cut goes under her sole, but I don't think it does. The cut showing still in front of the broken off piece is not all the way through the wall. I don't think that another piece will come off there. But I will be watching.
I don't think I'm going to do anything else with it unless something changes. Do you think I should modify my trimming at all? She hardly has any heel in the first place, so she's hardly off balance actually.
I think you are okay as is. Doesn't look that bad. She's not sore on it, so just keep trimming as normal..just remove the long parts and leave the short part alone. She still has support from her frog and bar, too. Just one of those freaky things they like to do to worry us. They are a lot like kids, aren't they?
Thanks, BFH. Appreciate your input!
It looks bad, but the thing is it's not as bad as it looks. The same thing happend with me mare Tana. Except hers on on a front hoof. It didn't break lik that but cracked all the way done her hoof. It's a year old now and you can still see it but it's not growing down her hoof any longer.
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