Sunday, August 26, 2012

Abscess Aftermath

After Salem's abscess blew , I figured we were all in the clear--and, for several months, everything was just fine. Salem was looking fit and (reasonably) sound:

In fact, Salem was looking so good that in July my vet cleared him for riding. I cautiously started longeing him with a saddle and bridle to get him back into the swing of things. Good thing I know better than to get my hopes up, though, because the *day* before I was planning to get on his back for the first time in what feels like several decades, he came up slightly off on the left front.

Yep, it was the abscess hoof. As the empty abscess cavity had grown closer to the ground, the hoof wall underneath cracked because the cavity was a weak point in the wall. It was cracked from the cavity to the ground, and it was growing steadily wider. Huge crack in hoof = sore pony.

Pretty scary-lookin', yes? I emailed this pic to Candy and she was shocked at how much wider the crack had grown since she had last seen him. She told me to keep his flares rasped down so they wouldn't pull it  further apart, and keep him in his Cavallo boots.

About a week after he moved into the new barn, his hoof looked like this:

The wall was starting to chip, so I once again grabbed my rasp and cleaned it up as well as I could. Afterwards, I packed the whole hoof with Magic Cushion, wrapped it with Vetrap, and slapped his boots back on. (By the way, I had considered casting this hoof; didn't happen, but I found Techform casting tape, which is the exact same thing as Equicast only orders of magnitude cheaper.)

Slight improvement, and with Magic Cushion stuffed into the cavity to hold everything together

That brings us to Salem's last hoof trim a little over a week ago. Slightly off topic, but as I pulled into the barn, I glanced over to Salem's paddock and saw this:

One sleepy young boy lying in the shade for an afternoon nap--adorable! I love that he has relaxed and realized that he's safe and sound in his new home. I'm also loving the fact that he isn't isolated off in No-man's Land like he was at our last barn; his paddock is right up front where everybody can see him, and he can actually see most of his horsey neighbors from his paddock/stall. I think this move was a blessing in disguise.

Back to the hooves: Candy was pleased to see that the crack was superficial and had not extended beyond the first wall. There was also no infection present. All great news.

Another  month or two and this whole thing will (finally!) be completely grown out and gone. Which means Salem *should* be sound and I can finally start riding him again. I know better than to set my heart on it, but I am hopeful that it will happen. 

***The outer bands of Isaac have been hitting us the last few days, and we'll be getting the brunt of it Sunday around 9 am and continuing into Monday. I didn't put Salem's luggage tags on or draw on him with livestock markers, but I did leave his fly mask and leather halter on him, and booted him up in his Ecogold cross country boots for good measure. (I didn't even buy any emergency M&Ms, which is a good sign that I am really not too worried.) All the other horses are locked into the barn, but I decided to leave Salem's door open and let him choose if he wants to be in or out--the last thing I want to do is stress him more. Hopefully, he'll just be very wet but otherwise fine. Maybe I should have brought Salem some flippers and a snorkel, though, because as I write this I am listening to rain pouring down!***


Anonymous said...

Looks like the hoof is doing very well - those things can be frustrating since they take so long to grow out.

Good luck with the storm!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oof, I hate an abscess but YAY to it almost being grown out. Saley's hooves look really good (despite obv abscess blemish). Re; that casting tape. Interesting. Is it flexible like Equicast? Wondering if material is literally the same? Fingers crossed storm passes with nothing more than loads of rain and you get riding SOON! Can't wait for that :))

Frizzle said...

Well, he still has that flare on the medial wall of the LF. Sometimes I rasp it, sometimes not--part of me says it shouldn't be there, and the other part says that the solar shot looks good so maybe I should just leave it (a la Rockley), ya know?

Hhhhmmm, I *think* the casting tape is the same. It's $5 a roll, so maybe worth a shot to give it a try??

So far, just lots of rain and wind, a few branches down, and that's about it. Salem was a bit frisky tonight because of all the blustery-ness, but can't say that I blame him! :-)

smazourek said...

Just repeat after me: It will grow out, it will grow out, it will grow out...

Hope you aren't swimming down there, I saw some pictures and I looks pretty epic down there. You think you can stop hogging all the rain now and send some north?