My family as recently acquired two beautiful Morgan/Belgium mares from someone selling them. They're amazingly sweet and well trained as far as we could see. A day or so ago we braved cleaning their feet for the first time, those hooves are enormous and quite intimidating.
Amy, the younger of the pair we had no trouble with. She lifted her feet and held them for us nicely.
However, Heather, her older sister, allowed us to clean the front hooves, but would not lift the left back foot, and would not hold her right. She was upset and antsy so we choose to leave it be and try again later seeing as no one wanted to get hurt.
We were watching them out in the pasture a few hours ago, and my we noticed a pink patch under the fetlock joint, which is hidden by a tuft of hair. She wasn't letting us get a very good look at the sore, but this is what we have figured out about it:
-An inch wide
-Six inches long
-Pink, raw or recently broken open
-There's no liquid or blood, caked or still wet
We've concluded that it may have happened before she came into our possession. We would very much like to avoid calling a vet if possible because of the expense just to find out it's nothing to be worried about. She's well worth the expense, but if it can be spared we would be relieved.
Any ideas or helpful tips would be greatly appreciated.
Until you can get a really close look at it, you really can't tell what you are dealing with. Try trimming the long hair away from it (with clippers if possible, otherwise you'll have to use scissors). It may be pretty raw - but clean it up well with soapy water. I use antibacterial dishwashing liquid. Just a teaspoon or so in a quart squirt bottle (not spray bottle) so you can flush it well. After you have trimmed it and cleaned it up, you can see what you are dealing with. If it's fairly minor, my farrier swears by good old black pepper. It actually does have healing properties and will help keep flies away. You could also treat it with Underwoods or Pink Lady if it's more than just a bit raw.
Very hard to guess from the description you posted it. It could be an injury or it could be some type or skin issue from them being wet all the time.
Can you shave the area and take photos?
Sounds like Scratches..........
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far. We can't get close enough to see it better or get a picture because she dances around.
We've noticed that it is also on her sister, and have considered either Scratches, or possibly that their previous owner may have had them tethered to something with rope.
It does sound like scratches.
If you are not able to touch your horses back legs enough to diagnose a medical issue you need to get some help that knows what they are doing and not only address this issue but also teach you how to deal with your horses.
Scratches, though very common, is not something that you should just ignore. It can get pretty painful for the horse.
I agree with Alwaysbehind(I love that name)
Scratches can look like just a red scaly area at first, but can end up making the horse dead lame with oozing sores and swelled areas that are painful to touch, walk or just move. Plus, they can get bad infections.
These need to be treated, if you can't touch them, than get a vet out to sedate and treat them, then get someone to help you learn how to touch their legs and work with them. If you don't get it stopped and treated, it can be a big big mess.
Want to add, if they have had scratches for some time that might be why they do not like their legs being touched. They hurt.
That's what we did and a horse trainer friend of ours came out and helped us with the application of some medication. She was able to get Heather's foot up with a little coaxing, but said the previous owner didn't take care of the problem, or if they did, there is a history of it with the horses and they should have told us.
All is well now though, and they are already seeming to feel alot better.
Thank you for all your help.
Great news that you have it under control. Also great news that you have someone to help you.
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