Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2000 lb, 11-yr old, Belgian gelding (a different one than the knee injury) suddenly came up quite lame on a front leg yesterday. No idea what he did, as he has just been out to pasture all week. We had him take it easy, checked regularly, but there were no other symptoms. We stalled him overnight, suspecting he had pulled something in our mud. This morning, he was about the same. I turned him back out to pasture, and he got worse through the day until he was hardly weight bearing. No swelling or heat, though, and temp was 100.0. Suspecting maybe an abscess 9but having never dealt with one before, I cleaned the hoof, used a hoof knife to scrape the dirt away to the white sole, and there, clear as day, was a 1/2 inch cut into the sole, about a half inch from the white line on the front and just off center, surrounded by softer and pink-tinged sole. With the hoof knife, I dug a bit deeper (maybe 1/3 inch) to form a little hole, and it began to bleed. I am assuming this is normal, but I was nervous about going deeper. It oozed a good 1/2 tsp of blood, but I saw no pus. Like I said, though, the entire sole surrounding is pinkish and softer about 1 inch diameter. After it bled a bit, and I pressed around the softer area, I went ahead and soaked and bandaged with a weak betadine solution (I think it’s called tryodine). We duct taped the solution-soaked gauze to the hoof for the night, and turned him out in the cleanest paddock area we have. The limping seemed significantly decreased immediately, but it was hard to tell since it was so dark out. He did start trotting quite a bit when we released him, which I assume means he feels better.

My question is whether I did the correct treatment, based on my reading resources, and how to best handle tomorrow. Should I do anything different tonight? Should I soak in epsom salts, cut deeper to pus, or ???? tomorrow? Also, probably stupid question, but we are contracted to do wagon rides tomorrow on soft (earth/grass) terrain. Everything I read says they improve immediately, but I can’t find info on when it is safe to work them. Could he possibly work tomorrow? Our only other option is to have our third horse do the rides alone, but am hesitant since it would be his first time off property doing rides single (they ALWAYS work as a team). Can you possibly advise? FTR, I do have a farrier appointment scheduled anyway on Monday, so he will be able to re-evaluate, and a vet is coming out on Tuesday, so he could be checked if need be. I just figured I’d get your thoughts in the interim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I have been reading and you-tubing about hoof abscesses, and everything I'm finding is either yellow pus, pink water, or even black pus. I haven't found any mention of what appears to be just blood. Is this typical, or do they just vary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,332 Posts
Abscess is usually infection, your boy sounds like he cut his sole on something. The pink around it would be bruising. If he's not lame on it in the morning I would go ahead and use him. Be prepared to pull him out of work if it starts bothering him again though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
If he were mine, I would also be soaking his foot in Epsom Salts to draw out any impurities/infection before they could cause an abscess. Mix up the Epsom Salts and water in a large zip lock bag, slip over foot and duct tape it to soak the foot. 30 minutes should be effective.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
No, hoof abscesses do not bleed. If you hit blood, you were into the sensitive structures of the foot. It is possible he stepped on something and punctured his sole, which usually will cause an abscess within a week or so.

If he's sound, I'd go ahead and use him, but keep an eye on him for any lameness that might develop while he's working.

ETA: since you dug a hole in his hoof, you'll probably want to protect it with something when you work him - even if he is sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Just an update. We contacted an equine vet at a university last night, and gave him the details, as well as doing a lot more research. He thought we handled it correctly. It seems the injury may have actually been a stone bruise, suggested by the pool of red blood in the sole and the lack of pus. By trimming just to the area of pooling, it seemed to release the pressurized pool of blood, which is what I saw last night. Today, there was absolutely no sign of lameness. In fact, my boy was feeling so great he was trotting around the field with his neck crest arched and his tail up. As a precaution, though, we soaked in an epsom salt bath, then covered with a betadine-soaked gauze, followed by a duct-tape "boot" just to keep any muck out (those work REALLY well, by the way!!)--just in case I did possibly open a more sensitive area (though highly doubtful as small as my hole was). We decided to go ahead and work him with the team today, but took our single equipment just in case. We monitored him closely all day, but other than a bit of tenderness if he stepped on a solid object just right, he was fine. No limping or lameness at all. We made it through our event, and he now has a couple of days off, plus a visit to the farrier on Monday.

Just thought I'd share for anyone who was interested. Not that I'd recommend going and cutting into your horse's hooves unless you have really studied up on hoof structure and hoof injuries.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
I don't know much about horse hooves and reading your post made me wonder if a bad bruise under the sole is similar to a bad bruise under a fingernail, in that the bleeding under the nail causes a lot of pressure and severe pain and poking a hole in it releases the pressure and relieves the pain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
True, and under "normal" (what is that anyway) circumstances, I would agree. However, we had a business contract requiring the use of the horse the next day, so if at all possible to use him without harming him, I needed to find a way. Secondly, our farrier is over 2 hours away. We have not been able to find a farrier in our area to handle draft horses, so we have to drive them to the local amish community. Thus, I have been forced to learn all I can to handle issues that might crop up between visits. Sometimes, you do what you gotta do.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top