Friday, August 29, 2014

Healing Misty - no hoof no horse?

Misty's back feet, while not laminitic, have problems too.  Her heels are quite underrun and her foot was overall very overgrown. 

While trimming them, I found evidence of old bruising in the heels.  She seems comfortable on them though.  I will continue to keep her heels rasped back to the frog and shorten the toe in an effort to change her angles and encourage the heel to grow more down rather than forward.

After being comfortable for a few days on her fronts after her big trim, Misty became uncomfortable again.  I was decreaing her bute dose, so wondered if it had anything to do with that, but bumping the dose back up, did not make any difference.  At the same time, I began to notice a bump over both coronary bands above the toe.  She was landing exaggeratingly heel first while slowly walking.  I suspected bilateral abscesses.  She was so sensitive over the coronary band that she would not let me soak her feet, so I just let her go.

It took a week, but she finally burst abscesses out of both coronary bands.  They were nasty.  The right front foot was much worse than the left - abscess was much bigger and pussy.

I expected her to be more comfortable after the abscesses finally burst, and she wasn't really getting there, so I decided perhaps I needed to work on getting her toe more parallel with the coffin bone inside.  It was also time to lower her heels again.  They were growing pretty fast.  It had only been about 2 weeks since I did her first major trim.

I lowered her heels, then started working on her toe and found a nasty black pocket in her hoof wall at the quarter.  I expected that this all communicated with the coronary band  at the toe.

I looked more closely at the bottom of her foot and found a flat that was soft and has some black oozy stuff under it.  I grabbed the flap with the hoof knife and ended up peeling away the whole sole on that outside hoof, exposing very soft grayish material - the material put out but lamina trying to cover themselves and produce new sole.  I was millimeters from the coffin bone.  At the time, my first thought was I was going to have to just euthanize her.

Thankfully, a little bit of hoof wall was still attached (though loosely) which kept her weight off that super soft material which was also quite sensitive.  After I watched her walk around on that foot, I realized she was no more tender than before, so I decided to see what would happen.  Afterall, if I quit now, neither of us would be benefiting.  Dealing with hoof abscesses sure is discouraging though.  Misty's hoof abscesses are huge.

I retook radiographs and the extensive nature of the abscesses could be seen. 

After exposing that soft tissue, I soaked her feet in iodine water for an hour. 

I had to do nerve blocks to make her feet less sensitive in order for her to leave her feet in the soaking water.  Then I booted her in softride boots with iodine soaked guaze covering the areas where her absesses were draining and over that soft sole. 

She drained for several days at the toe on the left foot (where I had opened up an abscess pocket that communicated inside when I trimmed) and at the coronary band on the right foot.  She does lay down a lot, but also is up and fairly mobile often.  And, she has gained a little bit of weight in the short time I've had her.  She is still bony, but is losing the sharpness.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Poor girl! I know how hard it is to watch horses with abscesses- it just breaks your heart! But it's all part of healing.