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Hello everyone, I really need some advice. Apologies for the length!

The first thing I need to explain is that I live in a developing country in South America and therefore we do not have farriers (most people where I am trim their horses hooves with machetes!) there is a man that does shoes but they are not the best and come off very easily. No one in the country does hot shoeing or remedial shoeing.

The only vet we have doesn't know about horses. i do not think there is an equine hospital in the country, where we are the nearest human radiography is 2 hours away.

I have a 4 year old thoroughbred, currently barefoot, out of work as I have had him for 6 months and want him to gain weight before we start him, plus the second week after we got him he injured a tendon! He is out 24/7 and is not lame.

So about 4 months ago he had an abscess which broke out on his sole, that was treated and seemed ok. A couple of weeks later another? abscess broke out on the coronet band above the first. Again treated, seemed ok. Fast forwards another couple of weeks and exactly the same thing happened on the other hoof. Neither hoof seems to be healing and there was a period of time where he seemed to have a retained sole on both feet. The exit on the coronets are exactly above the holes in the sole. Last week a huge chunk of sole just fell out of one of them. The vet thinks it is just abscesses still, which we treat for with epsom soaks and keeping clean with hoof boots. I have now added chlorine dioxide soaks and merthyolate treatment as he also has deep sulcus thrush and I am thinking WLD.

I am worried he will need hoof resection. We do the hoof trimming ourselves but this seems very scary! I know we need to remove the black infected parts. I have some keratex hoof putty and sav a hoof gel. What do you think the next step should be? Any input greatfully received!
 

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Hi, thanks for explaining where you are & the restrictions, because it saves a lot of people suggesting stuff that you can't do. So saying, I do urge you to find a good vet if possible, even if it involves a bit of travelling. It does sound like your horse is in a bad way & yes, could require resecting & the likes.

It sounds like he has major hoof problems, in which the repeated abscessing is a 'symptom' of. Abscesses can be 'one off' type affairs, coming from accidental type situations - bruising etc - but if they're more than once in a blue moon, particularly if major & repeated frequently, they are an indication of something else. Unfortunately can't tell you what with only that amount of info.

If you can check out the link in my signature for what angles are required of hoof pics. Then you can post a full compliment of photos for us to consider. Environment, management & diet/nutrition can also be relevant factors, so tell us more about that too.
 

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Thank you for the reply. I was going to put up the photos I have but I couldn't work out how! Sorry this is my first post.

I would LOVE to find a good vet to help. I think the nearest would be in the capital which is a 10 hour drive. I am trying to see if I can get in contact with any.

Big T normally lives outside and it is currently rainy season, which has lasted much longer than usual. The grass is around 2 metres high and all the others are fat but he is still too skinny for my liking so I have started giving him supplementary feeding. Now totalling 6 kg a day in 4 feeds. It is rice bran and coconut meal with oil. We don't have any horse feeds here, well there is one but it is $30 a sack of 30kg and is mainly corn. He also gets calcium and minerals.

Any help would be more than greatfully received!
 

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When you reply/post you can either scroll down & 'quick reply' or under that text box you can hit 'go advanced'. Under the textbox you find there are a lot of options, including 'manage attachments' where you can add from your computer.

Ah, rainy season too - great for softening hooves & for bugs to thrive - nice & warm too is it? I'd be keeping him on dry footing as much as you can - even if it's only a few hours a day, giving them a chance to dry out a bit & you can treat them topically with a strong antiseptic then too... I'll await pics.
 

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photos of holes in both hooves

Hello, ok I have worked out the photo thing, there is no option when I use my phone that was the problem! So these are some photos I have right now, I can take some more when there is someone here to help me lift his feet up. He finds it very hard to lift his feet as I am guessing they are sore (although he still gallops around like a nutter). This is the reason why the worst one is a little overgrown as we have been unable to trim them properly. The photos on this posting are both of the "better" hoof. We are treating his sulcus also. Feet are wet due to scrubbing.

Yes it is lovely and warm here around 30 oc or more and wet so great conditions for fungus!Do you think this looks like WLD? Our vet has not heard of this. Please bear in mind that this is the same vet who said to cover the leg in purple spray when he damaged his tendons!
 

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This is the worst hoof

The hole in this one is much larger and the hoof has actually started to change shape. There is a ridge from the coronary down. This seemed to happen fairly suddenly when a chunk fell out. There are ridges on the front of the hoof also. Again will get better photos when I have help.

We were treating for abscesses and there does not seem to be any pus type of infection in there. Just lovely black stuff :(
 

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Would be good to see full compliment of hoof pics, to get a better idea of form/trim. And you also said abscesses had come out at the coronary border too.

If you have a really good study of Home I reckon that's the best site for explaining how to tell 'balance' & deal with 'stretched' toes. Then you will see, as per my drawing on your pics, that a lot of the 'abscess' area will be removed with a good trim, before we need to think about 'resecting'.

**Please understand though, my lines should be taken as a rough idea, based only on those pics & only a couple of 'landmarks', NOT as a specific 'where to trim'. With the wall ahead of 'breakover' being 'rolled' strongly away from the ground, this will reduce/remove the leverage acting against the laminae & the excess pressure distorting the wall.

I think the worst one at least will need resecting & maybe majorly, if the infection is through from bottom to top. Can't tell you details of this without more pics & info tho **And please note, I am not comfortable & do not believe it is a good move to advise people to do their own resecting, even if they're experienced at trimming their own. At least in absence of a good vet, or at least knowledgeable farrier. But given your circumstances, I will advise *generally* on this if you like, but remember, specifics are not something that are easy to get across here, so it is a very tentative, 'guideline' sort of advice, that you will have to use your own conscience & understanding as to whether you're comfortable to do it or not.

In the meantime, check out The Barefoot Blacksmith ? Healthy hooves for life-long soundness & look up 'seedy toe' (aka WLD) and there are some good picture egs of resections & explanations.

Oh & hard to tell detail with only those angles, but it appears the 'better' foot is quite thin/flat soled, and that it has been pared into. That should be avoided generally - the walls should be trimmed to/near the sole plane level but not into it. Especially around the toe. You mentioned it's more difficult for him to lift the other foot - I think the thin sole is part of that, and perhaps getting him to stand on some foam or old carpet will help him be comfortable on that one.
 

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Oh the 'lovely black stuff' is necrotic tissue left over from what the infection has 'eaten'. It would have appeared to happen suddenly because until the chunk fell out - there's a major hole to see, 'seedy toe/WLD' is insidious & can eat away at wall material inside with little obvious signs. Unfortunately, resecting is often necessary, because as it eats away into 'closed' tissue, it's nearly impossible in many instances, to be able to clean away all that gunk & treat it effectively with antiseptic, without also cutting the wall open. But you will see some... creative ways of avoiding full resects on that barehoofcare site too.
 

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Thanks so much for all the information. I am having a read through now. Don't worry, we do not normally remove any of the sole material or trim to beneath the sole level. This was an area where he had a retained? or double? sole with lots of black goo underneath so I thought it best to pare that away and let some air to it. I always wonder how far back to take the toe, I do not want to hurt his sole, should it be rolled to within or behind the white line? I am trying to self educate but it would be great to have an actual knowledgeable person to show me how. I trim the hooves with my guys who work here and the "farrier" has shown us how, but it was pretty basic! so please excuse my ignorance.

I am trying to see if I can get someone who actually knows what they are doing down here to do a resection if that is what is needed. I am thinking the best plan would be to treat as best as I can until then. I will try to trim his hooves tomorrow if I can get the help. Do you recommend the sav a hoof gel? I was not sure if that would stop air getting to it or be really sticky and get everything stuck on there. I can keep him stabled for a short time but the problem is we don't have hay here, do you think this is very important or is he ok outside with his socks and boots on? As he needs weight I worry about restricting his access to food. His feet don't stay dry but they are clean. or would it be best to have them in a bag then his boots? As then they are dry but the air is not getting to them? So many questions! Sorry! Huge thanks. Pics to follow.
 

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This was an area where he had a retained? or double? sole with lots of black goo underneath so I thought it best to pare that away
Yeah I was seeing what looked like paring/rasping in other areas than the 'holes'. I'm not so sure, on the 'good' foot at least, whether there is any 'false' sole at all - as said, looks thin. The other one may have though. When there is a 'subsolar abscess' or such, the infection can blow out or remain, while new sole still grows over the corium. Therefore there is a 'double layer' with gunk in between. It is often necessary to open this up a bit to clean it out/treat it, but this can also leave the sole open to further injury & infection because there may be little or even no new sole material between the environment & the corium. So it's a bit of a 'balancing act' & something I'd be not comfortable to suggest an owner to do.

should it be rolled to within or behind the white line? I am trying to self educate but it would be great to have an actual knowledgeable person to show me how.
Re educating yourself & finding a knowledgeable expert to advise, I strongly advise both, to the best of your ability & if possible, do not 'go it alone' with only theory/internet info. So saying, you are by no means the only one that may be without options to do that - many here have had to learn/do for themselves because they're not in the realm of good help. And even in ...ahem... 'civilised' places, there are a wealth of... unknowledgeable experts and a dearth of really good ones, so many of us here have started our own journeys down this road because of lack of choice.

Re taking the toes back... Yes, basically, I do think the walls should be rolled strongly from the white line in this case, ahead of the 'breakover' line. I would roll/bevel everything strongly outside the crescent lines I drew. The bottom of the foot should also be bevelled *lightly* from the breakover point. The *true*(unstretched) sole does not extend past that.

***Again, do not take my drawn lines as accurate 'where to trim to', but as a general idea only. Map the foot yourself according to the info on lamenessprevention.org, using ALL the 'landmarks' before considering where to bevel/trim.

recommend the sav a hoof gel?
I don't know the prod only what was on the website I looked at. It seems to be a non oil based broad spectrum antiseptic, so I can't see a problem with that.

keep him stabled for a short time but the problem is we don't have hay here, do you think this is very important or is he ok outside with his socks and boots on? As he needs weight I worry about restricting his access to food. His feet don't stay dry but they are clean. or would it be best to have them in a bag then his boots?
Yeah, not good to leave a horse hungry & if that's the only choice, I'd leave him out. But you can still stable for a few hours at a time, to dry & treat his hooves. When out, you can boot him to stay dry, but I wouldn't leave them on 24/7 in the paddock. You can put some salt or limestone in his boots, which will help dry them out further & the salt is also antiseptic.
 

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Thanks so much. Here are some photos, again not the best it is very dark in the only place where we have concrete. The pink is merthyolate. This is the worst foot, the other foot photos are blurry, will try again, but pretty much the same but not so bad. Fingers crossed I have a vet who might come next week! That would be amazing! My main worry is that vets here often tend to be slap dash and not know what they are doing and I don't want them to try and do anything they don't really know about. I have been reading about drilling holes in the hoof walls and then flushing out the infection rather than taking off a large chunk of hoof. What do you think about a more conservative approach? I know they will say he needs shoe, people here seem to believe that horses are born with them and all foot problems stem from not having shoes! Can you take away some of the hoof wall and not need shoes? they only have standard shoes here anyhow. What about hoof casting? Sorry, yet more questions! I just want to be prepared for the visit!
 

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No internet here for ages, hence slow reply!So the vet came, said it wasn't white line disease in fact he didn't seem to know what this was, he told me there is a problem inside the hoof (wow!) and agreed abscess and that it would be fine if I kept it clean. He had never heard of hoof resection and said it was a very bad idea and should not be done once I explained what it was. So all in all a waste of time!

So, what we have done is trim the feet nice and short at the toes to bring the breakover back which that in itself has made the holes on the soles look much better. Then on the top side of the hoof where the abscess breakthroughs were, I have enlarged a bit and cleaned this all out, a ton of grey stuff came out. Then I am soaking in DIY white lightening three times a week an painting with a copper sulphate goo we have here called cascapon (translates to put on hooves) which everyone uses for any hoof problems.

My phone is broken so I can't get any photos right now. I am not sure what else I can do so I am going to watch and see for the time being. He is now at home with me and stabled as much as I can so it is much cleaner, but then this is very problematic as we don't have hay so we are REALLY struggling on what to feed him, in fact I was going to post in another forum to see if anyone could offer any advise for someone in the tropics!

I decided to suck it an see for a month and then think about what to do with the current treatment. What do you all think? Many thanks for reading this far!
 
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