Friday, October 23, 2009

Wisky Goes Home

This is Roger. He was gelding two weeks ago and has been Wisky's pasture mate ever since. They like each other very much. Wisky actually is very herd bound to Roger. But she lives alone at home so I hope, she gets a pasture mate soon. That will help her mentally want to get better.
Wisky after her last trim on Saturday, the 17th.
She is weighting those front feet and actually feeling pretty good.

Wisky's final trim before going home was done on October 17th and was the best so far. Her frogs are starting to emerge and her heels have been dropping so that I've been able to get her coffin bones closer to ground parallel.
I'm not sure why, but I neglected to take pictures of that trim! Unbelieveable!
Wisky was let back out into the paddock with her buddy, Roger, in her Glove boots after I treated her frogs with Bag Balm. I know. Sounds weird, but it seems to help.
She tried to take off running when I took her halter off and then checked herself. I think her stifle pain stopped her more than her foot pain.
She hasn't been on any pain meds and has been allowing me to pick up and work on either hoof. That is a nice improvement over the last time she was trimmed and shod at her house before she came here. That visit cost her owner $500 for the vet to nerve block her so she could stand on the opposite hoof being worked on, and the farrier, and those crazy plastic shoes.
However, even with all that, the rains came this week and there was moisture inside her boots so her foot was constantly wet. The soles became very soft.
When I checked on her yesterday morning she was not moving well at all. I suspected that the boots were rubbing and she had heelbulb pain so I removed and let her go bare and that seemed to help. Then this morning, she could barely take a step. We'd gone backwards.

I got the Soft Ride Boots and while cleaning her hoof to put those boots on, I noticed that the sole around the apex of her frog was very soft and spongy. NOT a good sign.
Last week, I had already contacted Eric to come pick because she was doing so well and I felt the trimmer in his area, Ann, could easily take her case over now. Then I walked out this morning to this setback. But I had to go to work and Eric picked her up.
The plan for Wisky is that Ann will continue with her hoof care and send me pictures to post here. Then we will regroup in 8 weeks or so to see if we're helping Wisky get better, or if the kindest thing to do is end her pain-filled life.
This is the place where it gets so hard for a hoofcare practitioner and the horse's vet. Trying to determine if we are causing unneeded suffering, and should let the horse. Then you question whether she could have improved if you hadn't made the decision to terminate her life so soon.
I would rather know that the horse had "no chance" of getting better before making that call. It's actually a call for the owner make, but often on our recommendation.
I checked her xrays again today from last year and we are really fighting an uphill battle with poor Wisky.
Had we gotten to her much sooner, I'm almost positive she would have gotten through this long before now and she's be doing well now and that is the sad part.
Natural hoof care is usually the last resort. It should be the first call an owner (or vet) of a foundered horse should make. Sadly, most owners don't even know we exist.


Sydney said...

Poor whiskey. I'll pass something on I did for a poor welsh pony who foundered horribly in a matter of hours from a shot. I made her ducttape boots, used bag balm on her frog and coronet band like you did (that stuff is amazing, use it for everything) and went in search of a very dense, thick sponge. I cut the sponge to her foot and put it on underneath the duct tape. The pony is still lame today but sound enough to be a pasture puff.

I use a natural trimmer but I do use shoes. Not metal ones though. See boots are not practical because none of the things stay on in our clay or water and offer too much grip on pavement. Barefoot isn't an option either since I have to drive my horses on the road a lot. I put these shoes on near the end of summer called easy walkers they have made a world of difference in my carriage horses and my own riding horse. They no longer are fatigued at the end of a long four hour event, they still wanted to trot. Large stones are no longer an issue for my riding horse. I like that they flex and are simple to put on. You just nail them on (I suppose you could glue them too) and trim off the excess with your nippers. The consistency is like that of the horses hoof to cut off.

Pat said...

Interesting. I've not heard of boots offering too much grip on pavement. I've used boots in parade riding and haven't experienced that.

I'm glad you are using an alternative to metal girder shoes. I'll check those out. I've seen them before.

The problem is they are still nailed on so once on they stay on and they do take elements of the hoof out of function which is the problem with any hoof protection device that you can't remove after every ride.

Out of function means not contributing to circulation.

Thanks for commenting!

Breanna said...

I believe those Easywalkers can be glued on. If not, I know there is a similar shoe that can. Those look like they would be a good choice for a horse working on asphalt a lot, definitely for carriage horses.

Pat, thank you so much for all these websites you put up. They are so informative. I'm working on getting my own mare's foundered feet back to normal, and your tips and pictures are very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Please update on Wisky. My friend has a colt in serious founder right now. We are using Soft Rides and I've wanted to use Sole Pack. You are the first person I've seen using it. Did you pack the whole sole or just around the frog? Did you pack it when she was barefoot also?