healing a hoof, what am I in for? Warning a couple of pictures showing blood
Just a little over three weeks ago my mare April kicked her foot through the shed wall. I have never had this type of injury before on any of my horses so how this all heals is new to me.
We found a chunck of tissue in the shed that was about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. When the hind foot was lifted the hoof just hung down in the back leaving a gapping hole. The pictures are not the greatest but you can see where is sliced up the back and around the side, going through the cornet band and cracking the hoof all of the way to the toe. April had surgery on her foot the next morning and ended up in a cast that went up high enough to hold her stiches tight. She has nails and staples to hold her hoof together The cast was to stay on for 4-5 weeks
For the first two weeks everything seemed to be doing fairly well. She is on stall rest only to be pulled out once a day for 6-12 steps and she was putting some pressure on her hurt foot. Then last Friday she would barely hop on it so we hauled her into the clinic. The vet took the cast off and found everything looking normal. He thought that her hoof may have shifted a bit (or grew) causing her pain. So he placed some putty in the bottom of her hoof to keep the hoof from shifting and she was casted back up. I left her in the clinc overnight... I wanted to make sure everything was set well before taking her back to the barn.
By Monday she was not walking on her foot again. After the cast was looked over it appeared like there was a bulge in the bottom. We thought that maybe the putty had moved. April's normal vet was out of town so the clinic sent out another vet and he applied a rubber pad on the bottom to take some pressure off from the hoof by the bulge. It seemed to help a lot but my Wed night she was very sore. Her normal vet came back out yesterday and he took the cast back off. I was not there for this (since I was at work) but the BO was there- she told me that where the stiches were there was some dead tissue that was trying to push its way out (body's way of discarding??). So he took the stiches out and removed the tissue. He did not feel like it needed to be stiched back up and then he casted her again (it has been three times now).
I am just hope that this cast can work for her until the 25th of July which is when she will get her bar shoe. Since all of this is new to me... what am I to expect with the healing of this hoof? I know it takes about a year to grow out an entire hoof and I have her on hoof supplements already. I know it has been only three weeks but with all of these set backs it is just really stressful(let alone all of the vet bills). The last picture I have attached is from last Friday. You can see the staples in the hoof and her stiches. I just hope she comes out of this whole ordeal sound.
I can't really answer your question as to what happens next because I think it is a MIRACLE that your horse has made it this far! I know of a couple of horses that did not make it with this type of injury. (One horse bled out before it could get medical attention and the other horse was put down when the vet arrived and assessed the damage.) What a blessing to have gotten such good care and such a good response to treatment!
Wishing your horse a full and speedy recovery!
OMG what a beautiful horse you have. I don't have an answer for you (sorry) but I just wanted to say that I hope everything works out for the best and April fully recovers. Keep us posted.
How does your vet feel about her injury/ progress so far?
Super big kuddos to you for calling the vet out for such a serious injury!! Around here it would have been a back hoe & bullet. Not for my own babies as my vet has been out several times for my girls horrible injuries.
I will keep April in my thoughts and I hope she makes a full recovery!!!!
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I would say you probably have a long road to recovery. A horses feet need a lot of time and care to heal correctly. So she is going to need a lot of time off and a lot of love. I would be surprised if she is even rideable for the next year or so. Be patient it will heal, but it will be months of rehab.
Thanks everyone for the well wishes :) I know it will be a long road, and while it does really suck- I want what is best for my horse.
The night it happened we really lucked out (not that her injury was lucky by any means). I had just gotten done riding and headed home (I board). About 30 minutes after I left I got a phone call from the BO saying that her husband had been out to the shed and April was standing holding her leg up and she was bleeding. I was out running errands and told her I was going to finish up and would be out (I had no idea how bad it was). 5 minutes later she called again saying that she had gone out and the cut was really bad and that a vet would need to come out.
By the time I had gotten out the BO had everything pressure wrapped and there was blood everywhere. The vet came and looked at it. He said that he wouldn’t be able to determine the severity of it without some radiographs and x-rays but he didn’t want me to move her that night. So he stitched her up and wrapped it and told me to bring her in to the clinic the next morning.
I wanted to make sure she would be sound again before having anything more done to her. If the x-rays and radiographs showed that she would have a life in pain I didn’t want to further it (as much as I love this horse I didn’t want to see her struggle). She was less then a quarter of an inch from hitting her main ligaments/ tendons and there was no damage to the bone. The vet said that he thought that she would make a full recovery back to riding and showing. So I had him do the surgery on her.
The vet said that riding again will depend on how she deals with everything. He thought I would be able to work her in 5-6 months (more then just a hand walk) and then start light riding at 6-8 months… but these are all best case. I know he has been a bit frustrated over the last couple of weeks with the cast situation but he has been doing what he can and on my end I have done everything to help her. I get out to the barn everyday and check the wrap that is over the cast (make sure nothing can get in). I have been hand picking a little bit of grass everyday and brushing and rubbing her down. Before I leave she gets a carrot :). She thankfully has not gained any weight over the last three weeks and has never lost her appetite or her spirit. We are lucky to live close to a fully equipped equine clinic as well :)
I remember reading an article on a young horse that sheared off 1/3 of his hoof on a metal shed. I'll see if I can find it again.
So sorry this happened to your mare.
I am another who is so very sorry your horse sustained such a bad injury to a pastern/hoof area. I am sending you :hug::hug:in multiples for a good outcome for your horse.
I am sorry also, because I'm thinking of the plight of the Kentucky Derby horse, Barbaro.
I hope your horse recovers I really do! and I pray she is sound! :)
Just know that when there is damage to the cornet band on a horses hoof it never "heals", well at least not what I have been told and with my gelding.
I will have to get you a picture of my geldings hoof but he is 100% sound and never had any issues with it.
His original owners that have had him from birth told me when he was young he slipped backing out of a horse trailer and cut his leg a little and damaged the cornet band. He has always and will always have a "crack" from the cornet band on his hoof alway down.(I have just bought him but he has belonged to my "little sister" for the past 3 years) I keep him on a hoof supplement and from time to time I will have him shoed depending on how heavy we are showing but he has good feet and does not need the shoes. Has been both vet and farrier cleared. :)
P.S. Your horse is beautiful and it is a shame that this has happened to her :( the worst always happens to the best it seems :(
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