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Discussion Starter #1
It will be 2 weeks saturday that my horse came in 3 legged lame, front hoof. I picked out his hoof and there was a small sharp rock jammed into his sole. I picked the rock out which revealed a crack and missing sole where it was. All of this is about the size of a dime. The sole where the rock was is soft, can push it with my thumb. I have packed and wrapped for almost 2 weeks. And did a few epson salt soaks the first few days. Although he quit limping after just a few days, he is still a bit sore even with it wrapped with padding. The bad spot is towards the heal on the sole, centered between outer wall and frog. There is heat in the foot at the front. There has not been any swelling. As for drainage, not really sure if anything has drained. So he is tender but not limping. He will put full weight on the foot when grazing and I can pick up the other foot. Im just stumped as to what do do, wait it out a bit longer or call in a vet to x-ray and see who knows what. I would assume if it were an abscess thats brewing or an infection he would get worse and also have swelling. I've simply never dealt with a horse being sore for this long from an abscess or a stone bruise. So the question is, is this too long for a stone bruise or an abscess?
 

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It's not too long for either one. It sounds like a sole bruise and for bruises the best thing is to keep it as dry as possible to keep the sole hard. I've seen bruises take 3-5 weeks to heal.
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Discussion Starter #3
That makes me feel better. I have just never seen a horse take so long to heal! But he is an extremely flat footed horse, only been barefoot for 2 years and has never developed a concave sole. Dry is not a problem with this drought. It seems that he walks as tender wrapped as he does not wrapped. Im considering taking off the bandages and see how he does as I feel he has been wrapped for too long. Pasture is minimal rocks, grass and dirt so nothing too bad. And of course he has not and will not be ridden until completely sound.
 

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Hope he heals up quickly. I don't keep them wrapped unless there is a need to keep it dry, clean, or there is an obvious improvement in comfort. Putting betadine on the sole wouldn't hurt, though.
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I'd be concerned because you say there is heat in the hoof. If it were my horse I would first get my farrier to come out, then next step would be the vet. Did you use a good poultice initially?? You should have been able to see if anything was drawn out.
 

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Be interested to see pics. I wouldn't panic, but I would personally be inclined to call a good equine vet if the horse was lame for 2 weeks. Lameness from abscesses generally comes & go pretty suddenly. If they don't it can signify a chronic problem of which the abscess may be just a symptom of. Bruising tends to be not so acute(tho can turn into abscess too) but can go on for much longer. What concerns me is that the soles are flat & thin, you say it's still soft and there's heat in the foot. I'd want to treat any infection quickly & effectively and also rule out other possibilities such as pedal bone fracture or such.

Agree basically with what Painthorse says, that it may be no worries & normal progression, and that leaving it open to dry out is probably best. I would however be cautious of *ongoing* use of betadine or such if it's on live tissue, as it can damage & retard new growth.

Given flat, thin soles, I would definitely be protecting his feet for work too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update - Thank you to all who responded. I was definately getting ready to truck him to a vet clinic for xrays. The day after I posted this, my horse started walking about 95% sound. I could tell he was still a bit tender but it was ever so slight. But now he is 100% I can now push on the spot where the rock was and he does not flinch. I also trimmed his feet last night with no issues. I simply havent ever run into a hoof issue that has lasted that long that wasnt extremely serious. So I have to agree with Painthorsemares that said it can take weeks. Loosie as for protection, yes he wears hoof boots on all 4 when being ridden, those flat feet could never make it down some of our dirt roads. Im a huge fan of hoof protection no matter what type of protection it is.
 

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Glad he's healing up. It's painful to see a lame horse and so terribly hard being patient and just letting nature do her healing.
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