Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Farrier visit Sept. 24, 2009

It has been nearly a week since our last farrier visit and I apologize for not updating the blog sooner. *insert excuses here*

Several days before the farrier showed up, Buttercup started experiencing discomfort when rolling over her front left. I assumed – later confirmed by the farrier – that her hoof wall had grown down and the lip was touching the ground, creating that bamboo up the fingernail bed feeling when she trotted on a circle.

With the trimming and new casts, she's again 100%.

OK, so today we'll do something a little different, I'm going to show her hooves before and after the trimming. At the end of the post, you'll also see some neat, gross pics of us excavating the crack in the front left.

Here she is unwrapped and ready for trimming:

You can still see the separation is a big problem on the lateral views, but it is growing out some. Notice the flaring at the quarters.

This is the front left, notice how asymmetrical it is. This is partly due to the shoe a few months ago ripping off the inside quarter, so that side is building from scratch.

Front right. The toe wall isn't experiencing as much separation as the sides of the hoof. This hoof is almost normal. Will and I were just tickled about it.

Here's something neat about the going barefoot process: we're getting concavity to a previously flat-footed horse. This pic shows that she is getting sole growth and concavity in all the right places. This means she has probably completely restored bloodflow to the hoof.

Now for the freshly trimmed pics.

Can you believe that's the front left! Wow, it's come a long way.

Now that we have addressed balance and the failing hoof wall, our attention has turned to the ugly crack that I have worked so hard to forget about. It wasn't a pressing issue, as I've mentioned before, since she was sound before with the crack.

Anyway, for three years it has attracted all sorts of infection and I've battled to keep it down. (Note to self: buy stock in concentrated Lysol products.) But now that we are trying to grow a healthy, attached hoof wall, that ole crack has come to the forefront of our rehabbing process yet again.

Will decided to excavate it completely, clear out all the goopy black stuff and then treat it and seal it with bond before closing it up in the Equicast. This is the third (fourth?) time since the crack appeared that it has been excavated. The previous attempts failed at growing the crack out, but this will be the first time she doesn't have any pressure on the hoof wall or nails from shoes further weakening the hoof wall.

About a tablespoon of that nasty black stuff came out. Pure infection. One of the down sides of the Equicast is that my soaking has not been effective in clearing infection once it is already in there.

The above pic is really kind of neat. Apparently, the separation is not as bad as it looks, as she has a really thick hoof wall.

All clean:

With bondo:

Looks almost normal, huh?

Buttercup is now going into her workouts with hoof boots and splint boots. The hoof boots will prevent the Equicast from wearing away quickly, and the splint boots will help support her tendons and such. She popped three splints in the first weeks of being barefoot. Not from a bunch of work, but from play. So we are going to be extra cautious about her leg welfare from here on out.

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