Farriers & anyone with hoof anatomy knowledge....wtf?
Brief (ok long) history.
Horse was purchased at 4, and did have thrush. Treated and no other obvious issues. Over the years, one hind hoof has been more affected by thrush on and off. It had always gotten better then relapsed. Years later, when picking out the foot (this was a time where no visible thrush was evident) the hoof pick went directly through the collateral groove and instantly the horse was painful and there was significant bleeding.
Farrier debrided the area and exposed some necrotic tissue (although not a large amount), and was able to take it all off. At first treated symptomatically with items such as white lightning and metronidazole. The area seemed to heal over slightly (but there was still a fairly deep hole in that collateral groove). Randomly while riding, the hole would open up and the horse would bleed. Tried "letting it be", not irritating the hoof too much, just brushing out the dirt and avoiding the hoofpick. Well, that didnt work either, more time went by and the hoof would still bleed.
Vet/Farrier put on medicated (metronidazole) pads on both hind feet for 12 months to allow healing. After 9 months in, the foot was looking no better, actually worse so we stopped the pads and pulled off the hind shoes.
Horse seemed to do fairly well with semi- neglect (about a year) with maybe a bleeding episode once every 2-3 months, otherwise a sound happy horse. I had been applying a product recommended by our farrier a few times a week and felt the hoof was doing better.
Recently, the hoof became necrotic again and more of an area needed to be debrded. It did not appear thrushy, but the sole felt spongy and was white/porous. After that was cut away, the hole in the collateral groove just started getting deeper and deeper.
Now, we are right through the hard sole. We have something pink/fatty exposed and its very sensitive to the touch....very. About two years ago, there was a small amount of white fatty material just barey visible (but it did heal over), now it looks so bad :(
http://i46.tinypic.com/29lk9df.jpg (Current photo)
- Some notes regarding the photo: The area around that hole is not actually black, its the normal sole colour but looks dark because I had flushed it out with saline and an antibacterial flush.
- His feet are dirty, he was outside and then in the arena. I didnt wash off his frog, legs or the rest of his foot.
- Yes he does have contracted heels (better than they used to be).
I DO HAVE A NEW VET working on this. She will be getting some radiographs this week and doing blocks and some probing to see whats going on.
Im assuming there may be some coffin bone damage, and inner hoof issues...but I really no nothing about the anatomy of the hoof to really grasp how bad this is. I know its bad, but for the time being Im enjoying my ignorance. On a good note, horse is sound. On a bad note, I have a feeling this isnt good...and isnt likely to heal.
Can anyone help me make sense of this, and tell me WHAT structure this actually is, what lays underneath it, and what are some best/worst case scenerios?
Appreciate it :D