Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'd planned to ride today - another Barefoot saddle trial ride and maybe play with some exercises in the arena.  However, I noticed some blood oozing down Rhio's right front hoof so instead spent the afternoon doctoring.  Second horse doctoring of 2010 already and January's just barely over!

It's been a very cold week and Rhio was full of pent up energy.  I took him into the arena for some free exercise and to assess whether he was lame from his injury.  He was happy to run & buck & snort with his tail up in the air, but I could see a slight hesitation when that foot landed.  Also, it sure bled a lot when he moved!  Yikes.

Time to make room in the heated tack room once again, and entice Rhio to walk in.  Neither he nor Cricket would step across the threshold while the little rug in front of the door was there, but as soon as I moved the rug he was happy to come in, turn around, and stand looking out the window at the horses he could see.
Rhio's sleepy face

A little happy juice facilitated the first step - soaking his foot in a bucket of warm water + Epsom salts for about 10 minutes.
Rhio's right front foot firmly ensconced in the "foot bath."

After the soak, it was nice & soft as well as clean, so I could poke around at it a little and try to figure out what had happened.  It looks like the coronary band has been elevated off the hoof wall & pushed up, and it is now swollen & oozes blood with movement.  There's no sign of anything stuck in the wound or any infection (yay!) but he doesn't really appreciate my poking & prodding too much.  
I think this photo actually makes it look worse than it is.

The wound is on the outside of his hoof, and I think possibly it occurred when he stepped through crusty/icy snow and the crust pushed his coronary band up?  I am considering the best way for this to heal since it's vitally important for the coronary band & hoof wall to be attached so that new hoof growth is correct.  My next step for now is a bandage, so I assemble my supplies.
Animalintex poultice pad by 3M, brown gauze, vet wrap, duct tape, and an old Old Mac boot.

By this point, Rhio's happy juice has worn off and he is seeking out the feed which is sitting on the cart ready for the evening meal.  To pacify him and keep him still enough that I can bandage his foot, I let him eat Cricket's soaked beet pulp.  Oh, is he a happy horse!  He loves beet pulp!

It's not too pretty, but it's functional!

The first layer of bandage is the 3M Animalintex poultice pad (http://3m.com/Product/information/Animalintex-Poultice.html), which is one of my favorite products.  I cut a strip and place it directly on the wound - it won't stick and it will draw out any potentially nasty goo which may be in there (technical terms here, of course!). I hold this in place with several wraps of brown gauze and then vet wrap.  I mostly cover the vet wrap in duct tape for durability & protection.  Then, I place one of my old Old Mac hoof boots (http://www.easycareinc.com/Our_Boots/old_macs_g2/Old_Macs_G2.aspx) over the whole thing for additional protection & traction.
The Old Macs are plenty big to fit over the bandage.

Unfortunately for Rhio, he's going to have to spend the night in a stall so I can assess the wound again tomorrow after about 16 hours in the bandage.  I have had horses lose the boot & entire bandage while turned out, so I want to make sure it all stays in place until tomorrow.  

He's happiest outside 24/7, but he isn't too upset about being stalled either.  His buddy Tomas comes in to keep him company, and he gets a nice big pile of hay to munch on.  

He did show off his "it's-feeding-time" antics in anticipation of his grain (despite having just consumed a vat of beet pulp!) - even though he only gets meager handful of "lite" pellets.

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