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Turn out protocol following frog "removal"?

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  • Turn out protocol following frog "removal"?

    26yo TB gelding (boarder's horse) has had his frog/sole cut away to treat sulcus thrush infection. He's been bandaged and treated (every other day change-by me mostly) for the last 1.5 months. Vet and farrier both say it is looking good and healing, with new frog growing in nicely. Horse has not been turned out, has lived in a 12 x 24 stall/overhang for that time.

    Vet is saying turnout, kept dry and foot covered/protected is ok now. Horse has transitioned to medicated gauze + vet wrap + Davis Gaiter Boot for most of each day.

    Owner is extremely conservative, and does not want him moving much (against vet's'/farrier's opinion). I have created a 12 x 20ish pen in a pasture for him, but he's spinning, digging and not happy since companion is loose to graze around him, which is not what vet/farrier have in mind for "moving", I'd guess.

    I built a 20 x 40 area today. I am going to try him in there. But...I know owner will not like it--"he could trot!"

    Give me advice! Please! What would you do? I feel he should be turned out, slowly, in larger and larger areas until he returns to full pasture area. I'm home all day, and can monitor him for problems. Ahh! I'm frustrated, can you tell?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

  • #2
    Can you call the vet to clarify how much he/she wants the horse moving around? See if they agree with your plan to move the horse to a progressively larger turnout area.


    • Original Poster

      Tarynls--I was standing next to the vet and owner when this was discussed. The vet said "turn him out again". I asked, "gradually" and he said yes, that makes sense, as he hasn't had much grass for a while, just keep it clean and dry.

      It is the owner who is balking. I guess I need to talk with her again. She has some very strongly held beliefs (like alfalfa is the devil's drug and will kill her horse and ruin his feet and make him die! where is that rolly eye emoticon??) and is firm in her "natural trimming, natural cures, natural handling" crap. I'm sure it has it's place, but cider vinegar wasn't curing his rampant thrush, now was it?
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        The whole point I think is to keep him from running about. Putting him in a 12x12 will not even stop a frantic upset horse from running about.

        So, after calling the owner and asking permission to call the vet, I would if he is allowed a larger area, put him and his buddy in the 20x40...if they are sensible and don't run about.

        If not, then put him in an area while buddy is in, so he can get out, but not be worrying and running because buddy is too far away.
        save lives...spay/neuter/geld


        • #5
          I should have clarified..... Some owners just need to hear specific info from a vet - and if you can get the vet to be very specific (ie. 1 week in a 20x40 area, the 2nd week in a 40x80 area, etc, 3rd week in a small paddock...) that might help. Especially if you can get the vet to email or otherwise put in writing the detailed instructions.


          • #6
            How bizarre.... I would white lightening it, pack it with copper sulfate equipack, cast it and turn hin out... Get some circulation going!!!!
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


            • #7
              Why not put a hospital plate or pad over it to really keep dirt and wet out? I have a LOT of experience with this type of thing unfortunately.

              I would transition slowly to larger turnout with or without a tranquilizer which is a good idea at first.

              Good luck sounds like you are making progress!


              • Original Poster

                The vet wanted him in a hospital plate/egg bar shoe to get the heel bulb to be more normal (you can insert a Qtip ONE INCH into his heel bulb). She won't allow him to be shod (the whole "natural trim" mantra), so an Easy Boot it is.

                Anyway, I have him out in his little grass pen today (the 20 x40 one) and he's blissfully munching away. The proof is in the pudding as they say--if she bitches, I'll just explain his spinning in the small one, vs. his quiet amble and eat.

                I have LOTS of pasture right now, and I can move his pen around the bigger field so he can be "out" with his buddy but not be stupid about it. His leg was swollen today, no doubt due to our hotter than normal day (ok, it is 80 now...not hot by everyone else's standards!) and his lack of movement, because his foot looked great when I cleaned and re-bandaged it.

                I guess I need to get fixing his next paddock space! So happy to see him out in the sun, grazing! I'm easing him into it--no more than 2 hours today (he has been hand grazed daily, so it isn't a total shock).
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                • #9
                  I really can't offer any advice to a horse owner who is so ill informed and stubborn as to refuse a temporary and very effective treatment shoeing package that would allow their horse the best hoof protection over the "wound" and ability to be turned out and happy while it heals.
                  I don't even argue with people like that any more. I just tell them if they won't shoe the horse to help it this one time, then shoot the horse. It's a lot easier.
                  Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                  Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


                  • #10
                    Too bad for the horse the owner is stubborn.. hospital plates are the way to go for this. I too know this through unfortunate circumstances, but it had a very happy ending! Good luck....


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks guys. I am now an expert in making a Gorilla Tape/vet wrap boot. I even offered my journeyman farrier (one of 3 in the Portland Metro area--he's fabulous and I thank him every time for taking me on--a two horse client--when he shoes for the biggest barns in our area) to put the damn plate on.

                      This horse is her 'baby', but she's "tapped out" with his vet bill (granted, nearly a $1000 at this point). Did I mention that her husband is a very successful medical professional? Not that that matters, as everyone has a limit with their older horses. I had to beg her to take photos of the foot and email them to the vet who has been dealing with this to see if we were still on the right track. My vet looked him over when she came to do teeth/shots. She said it looked good and that the protocol suggested by Vet #1 was sound and turnout could commence.


                      Well, he was happy as a clam, and his foot looked great when I brought him in after 2 hours on pasture. Heck, he barely moved, as he was grazing the whole time.
                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!