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Dreamcatcher5 02-17-2013 09:31 PM

Rusty nail in hoof sister was doing some riding with our lease horse, Fleet and he was having a TB moment :lol:. My sister started trotting him in a big circle and he did so for a few strides but then spun around and galloped back to where he came from. He went through some high grass that was not included in the circle. My sister tried everything (well, as much as she could) to get him to walk back into the circle, but he kept wrestling her against the reins, going in a tight circle and raising his head. I told her to get off him and tried him out myself. He walked fine, in the circle, after I showed him who's boss. But I noticed that he was sort of shuffling with one of his legs, but I didn't know which one. I tied a trot but he was very reluctant to speed up. (he normally LOVES going fast) so I immediately got off and led him a bit, observing his legs closely. I couldn't see anything at first but then I noticed that he was slightly dragging his left front hoof. I stopped him and took the affected hoof. Something brown was stuck in it. Forst I thought it was just a dried leaf or piece of wood wedged in the frog. But as I looked closer, I saw that it was in fact a RUSTY NAIL stuck in the bulb of his heel! I have not much experience about stuff stuck inside horses but my dad wasn't there at the moment (neighbours house...and we live on a farm so the nearest neighbour isn't that close...) and I didn't have a phone. Also, this nail was rusty, and I couldn't lose any time before the rust poisoned Fleet's (the horse) blood. So I twisted it was stuck too tight to pull it. The nail was about 1cm under the skin (if you call it skin?) of the heel. When the nail came out, it started to bleed and I put pressure on it (with a tissue. Oh how stupid of me...shouldn't I have let it bleed a bit to get the "poison" out???:?) I then put some antiseptic liquid on it and also put some in a fresh tissue, which I stuck to the hoof. It stayed on for about 5 minutes because Fleet was so fidgety, wanting to run again. I changed tissues and left it on for about 10 minutes. Fleet didn't seem to be in any pain, he had his full weight on the hoof. So after a while, I put fleet back onto the paddock. Was that a stupid decision? Without a bandage or anything? Because Fleet HATES stuff wrapped around his legs. He's just a hors slime that. We're training him on that, but he still needs a lot of work. He CAN actually undo knots and take bandages off if they're not properly secured. If they are, he'll go crazy, nipping at it, bucking, pawing the ground yeah. I came back the next morning, gave the "hole". It's not actually a hole now, and it's never been. Even right after the nail was pulled out, there was just a small, thin line indicating where the nail had gone in. There was never any swelling or pain, and the day after it happened, Fleet was chasing Luca (my gelding) around again. So...right now, there is only a little line. No hotness, swelling or ANYTHING except that line. It's getting fainter now. I don't think there's much chance of blood's been about 5 days now since the nail incident. When would he be fine to ride again?? (my sis is 32kgs and I'm 36kgs yea I know it's not THAT much for a 13 year old girl but I'm happy :D) and we don't have a saddle for Fleet, as he is really hard to for one to and he thrives while being ridden bareback. And there still a chance of him becoming blood-poisoned?? Thank you for reading my novel!

farmpony84 02-17-2013 09:52 PM

Is your horse up to date on his shots and do those shots include a tetanus? If not, I'd suggest you get a tetanus shot. Other than that, I'd soak with an Epsom salt and betadine solution for a few days....

I had a mare that I was keeping for a friend step on a rusty nail years ago. I pulled the nail and she was fine...but I think I remember it draining for a few days....

Skyseternalangel 02-17-2013 11:56 PM

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You should get a vet out to look and see if there is an infection so it can be treated....

Dreamcatcher5 02-18-2013 02:49 PM

There isn't any infection, at least it doesn't look or feel like there's one. No swelling, no heat, no discomfort, no redness, just a tiny line where the nail used to be. Fleet is is old self, running around chasing Luca. He is utd with his tetanus shots and I clean his hoof regularly (also with water). When would he be okay to be ridden again? Just wondering. He's a TB, by the way. Thanks for the advice so far! :D

Copperhead 02-18-2013 03:05 PM

Check daily for any heat or swelling around the area.

SaddleOnline 02-18-2013 05:51 PM

It wouldn't hurt to have the vet out to give him a booster tetanus shot, its cheap and easy compared to dealing with the actual illness, and reccomended after any puncture wound- rusty or not. I would check daily for heat and swelling or any discharge. If he is not lame and the wound isn't open, I would think light riding would be fine...personally I would have been soaking and packing it from day one, at this point, 5 days after the fact, I don't know that that would make a difference.

Cherie 02-19-2013 11:34 AM

Absolutely give him a shot of Tetanus Anti-toxin. DO NOT give Tetanus Toxoid. Make sure it is Anti-toxin.

Take his temperature every day. If it start to climb up at all, call a Vet and start on antibiotics. It would also not hurt to get about 100 double strength SMZ pills and give him 10 each morning and 10 each evening until they are gone if the Vet thinks this is a good idea. Then keep checking his temperature for at least 2 weeks.

We can get Tetanus anti-toxin at the feed stores or Vet clinics. You may have to get a Vet out to give the simple SQ or IM shot. We keep it and give about 2500 units to a horse for a puncture wound. We have all of our horses on a Toxoid program, but give a Anti-toxin booster anyway if they have a deep wound or a puncture. Tetanus is in all of the soils and it only grows where there is no air present (an aerobic bacteria). A rusty nail puncture is the perfect place for it to grow.

Dreamcatcher5 02-19-2013 06:08 PM

Okay, I'll do that. My horse is due for tetanus shots anyway so Fleet can get the tetanus shot done too

Cherie 02-19-2013 09:33 PM

This is a different Tetanus shot that your horse now needs. When a horse is injured, it needs a quick acting, short-term 'Tetanus Antitoxin' shot.

This is different from the long-acting, prophylactic 'Tetanus Toxoid' that is given each spring. Tetanus Toxoid is not 100% effective in preventing Tetanus so that is why an Antitoxin shot is usually recommended if there is a deep wound or a puncture like this one.

If you give this horse an Antitoxin shot now, you should still give a longer acting Toxoid vaccination later.

Dreamcatcher5 02-20-2013 02:33 PM

Okay, thanks so much for the advice!

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