Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hoof Crater

I've been keeping a close eye on Lilly's leg. I noticed a huge difference after the first SWT treatment and a slight improvement after the second. It's been over a week since the third treatment and I haven't seen any change in her leg since then. I'm thinking it's probably healed up as much as it's going to at this point.

I put together this little side by side comparison, and although I don't seem to have a good "after" picture, the difference is quite impressive!

SWT:  After on the left, before on the right.
I'm very excited about the ultrasound on Thursday so I can see how things look on the inside.

In other Lilly news, I've been keeping an eye on her hoof. The most recent abscess has wreaked havoc on her hoof and things seem to be looking worse the more it grows out.
Holy crater, Batman!
It happened back in mid-August so I think she's had pretty good hoof growth since then, but it started off as a small divot type thing, and now it's a hole.  It's not a great picture, but if you enlarge it you can see the hole a little better.  I'll take my real camera to the barn and get some better pictures. 

For now she's in the stall where it's dry and clean, but I'm worried about what could happen when/if she gets the okay to go back outside.  Could bacteria crawl in there and start this whole process all over again, or should she be okay?  Maybe I should be squirting something in there?

Her last abscess came out in the soft tissue area of her hoof but this one came out right at the coronary band and did some damage to her hoof.  I've seen some images online that have me quite worried that this could turn into Lilly's next "issue" as it continues to grow out.

I'll have my vet look at it on Thursday when she does the ultrasound, and luckily my farrier is coming out on Friday, so I'll have both of my horse care people around next week in case we need to do something specific.

I'm still trying to decide what to do about AJ.  Everyone I talk to about it says moving him to Michigan sounds like a great idea, but when I was loving on him this morning I tried to imagine days without my Boo Pony, Boo Bear... he's just so sweet.


  1. Oh boy, that's a big one.

    The last time I gave anyone advice, they had a coronary and accused me of attacking them, so I will not give any advice, but can tell you that we see these fairly often (at least one horse a year) at the ranch and have never had any problems with them.

    The old-timers call them gravel abscesses. They thought that a piece of gravel or possibly a poke from a stick damaged the coronet band and that is what caused them. I think modern theory leans more toward an abscess that worked it's way up in the foot that blew out the side of the hoof wall vs. coming out the sole.

    Hopefully your vet and farrier have some insight for you.

  2. Hmm... someone always ruins it for the rest of us!!

    Lilly's blowout could have been from gravel considering the giant piece of hoof she ripped off...

    Well, good to know you've seen them on numerous occasions and all is well in the end. Hopefully they didn't require any stall rest...

  3. That sure looks like an impressive result from the swt! Yah! Here's to good things from the ultrasound and hoof check (sound of glasses clinking)-

  4. The leg does look much better - and I think she can be sound again even if the visual appearance is never perfect again.

    That type of hoof abscess is pretty common - we've got one poor old horse at our barn who repeatedly gets those from the stresses on his hooves - he's got bad feet and some tendon/ligament problems. It should grow out with no problems.

  5. LOL-No, no additional stall rest for that. ;-)

    Did you say that you started Lilly on a Smartpak supplement for her tendons?

    I was doing a little research on supplements for tendons (for our paint gelding) and thought I remembered you mentioning the Smartpak. Was just curious if you had tried it and which one?

  6. Terry, luckily I'm off Friday so I'll be able to recover from the party I have planned for after the ultrasound! ;) Cheers!!

    I hope she's sound too, Kate. She seems to think there's nothing wrong with her and hopefully once she's back in work she'll be able to stay sound. Thanks for the info about the hoof as well... It looks nasty, but it's good to know it should be nothing. I don't want her to have to deal with anything else for a long time!

    Cowgirls, thank goodness!!

    I just started Lilly on the SmartTendon. They also have SmartFlex Repair, but that also has a joint supplement in it, so I went with the SmartTendon instead. I haven't noticed any improvement yet but I plan to keep her on it indefinitely just in case. It got really good reviews.

  7. Lilly's leg looks a lot better! I sure hope it's healed for good this time!

    That's a crazy crater! I have only dealt with abcess's of the sole before. I haven't had one blow out the coronet. I would definitely ask your vet and farrier when they come out this week! It will be interesting to see what they say about it! (And hopefully it's good!!)

  8. I just noticed something else interesting about the hoof abscess - if you look carefully you'll notice that the angle of the front hoof wall changes at that point - the new growth above is at a better angle and looks healthier - the old growth below is less healthy in terms of hoof quality and the angle is too flat. So I'd say the hoof health looks to be improving.

  9. My only suggestion is to spray diluted Apple Cider Vinegar on the area at least once a week, as it will help kill off any bacteria.

    Hope this isnt one of Lillys new Issues

  10. Thanks, Paint Girl... I'm obsessing over it EVERY day, so I really need this ultrasound to give me good news!

    I noticed that too, Kate... that's part of what has me worried. There's a crack that goes along with the hole and it's right where the angle of the hoof changes. I hope it doesn't break off as it grows out further and more pressure is placed on the crack...

    Thanks, Milo... a friend's horse had a hole get infected and his sole nearly rotted off. It was not good... so I'm worried about infection for sure.

    Thanks, Dom! I hope the inside looks good too!!

  11. I wouldn't worry too much about the change of angle at the level of the abscess - that's actually a good sign - the new hoof growth and angle look much better.