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Crack in sole of hoof

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  • Crack in sole of hoof

    My 2 year old gelding came up very lame 5 days ago on his front left foot. There was swelling and heat in his fetlock and pastern, and his hoof was hot. I could not see any punctures on his sole. After leaving him for a day (vainly hoping it might get better) I took him into the vet. She put hoof testers on him, but couldn't figure out where the pain was...he seemed to hurt all over. We did find out that the pain is in his hoof though.

    She put him on bute and told me to soak his hoof once a day in epsom salts, which I have been doing. Yesterday a crack suddenly appeared, starting at the edge of the bars of his frog, and going out about 2 inches towards his hoof edge. He is very sore if I touch it there. I was hoping that it was an abscess that would drain out of that crack, but he is still very lame, and I don't see any pus.

    Why might his sole suddenly crack? I can't get him into see the vet for another 3 days...What might be the problem?

  • #2
    It would be helpful to see the foot and crack you're talking about. Pics????

    Tree

    Comment


    • #3
      I hope he's not possibly foundering?? I'd call the vet ASAP to consult, just in case.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Well he was extremely lame very suddenly, only in one foot, and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis...

        Unfortunately it is too dark now to take pics - I'll try tomorrow. My vet is so hard to get a hold of!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
          I hope he's not possibly foundering?? I'd call the vet ASAP to consult, just in case.
          Why would anything the OP described lead you to an assumption that the horse might be foundering?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KatieD View Post
            and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis...
            Please check out www.safergrass.org. The site is chock full of great information and will help you out quite a lot.

            Comment


            • #7
              It sounds like an abscess. It is just manifesting it's exit from the hoof via the "crack". I like to have my farrier pare it out then I soak it and pack it in iodine soaked gauze and use duct tape sheets twice a day. He probably stepped a long sharp rock in turn out the abscess formed under the bruise. He'll be right as rain in a short while.
              "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                Please check out www.safergrass.org. The site is chock full of great information and will help you out quite a lot.

                That is an interesting website....but why direct it to me? I have personal experience with laminitis, and I'm quite confident this is NOT what I'm dealing with. Besides being sore on his front, he has no laminitis symptoms.

                I'm hoping that that is all that crack is...until I get him into the vet again, I think all that I can do is keep soaking it once a day and hope I see pus.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that the crack is probably the abscess trying to bust out. I'd continue to soak in epsom salts and then I would take Ichthammol salve and pack the whole sole with it, wrap a diaper or cloth on the bottom and duct tape it. Keep it on until he's ready to soak again. That's one of the best ways I've found to draw an abscess out (in my own experiences of course!). I would soak only once a day, and then keep that ichthammol on and unwrap the next next day to soak(can be found at almost any feedstore and is a drawing salve). Good luck to you!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KatieD View Post
                    That is an interesting website....but why direct it to me? I have personal experience with laminitis, and I'm quite confident this is NOT what I'm dealing with. Besides being sore on his front, he has no laminitis symptoms.

                    I'm hoping that that is all that crack is...until I get him into the vet again, I think all that I can do is keep soaking it once a day and hope I see pus.
                    Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hay

                      Lots of experience here with abcesses and I've always used the vet in this situation. He advised us to keep the foot wrapped with heavy cottons, vet wrap and duct tape to make a boot really to keep mud and debris from entering after you've soaked the hoof.

                      It's up to the various vets to prescribe what they want you to put on the actual crack. Some betadine, some had us spraying on blue kote but whatever your vet tells you is best.

                      We've had probably a similar crack and we did have the vet in and much soaking, wrapping and rewrapping until the vet deemed safe to go bootless.

                      Again, this is the time when you need a vet, at least we did. If you're having trouble getting your vet, maybe he has a suggestion for an alternate vet.
                      Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                        Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.
                        I guess that I'm just not very worried because taking into account the rest of his symptoms, the feed he was on before he went on this grass hay, his body condition score, and his lack of stiffness has led me to believe that laminitis is not the issue.

                        I know that vets can definitely mess up in laminitis cases, but my vet didn't even suggest that that might be our problem. No pain in front of the frog or rings on his hooves either. He tends to keep weight on his toe, not his heel, which doesn't go with laminitis either.

                        I appreciate all the thoughts I can get anyway.

                        Anyone have an opinion on whether paring/dabbling with horse hooves is a job for a good farrier, or the vet?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KatieD View Post
                          Anyone have an opinion on whether paring/dabbling with horse hooves is a job for a good farrier, or the vet?
                          In most cases, I would trust a GOOD Farrier or Trimmer. It seems as though a great many Vets have no hoof sense when they really should before digging any unnecessary holes in hooves.

                          I prefer to let abscesses run their course and the ones I've actually opened were pure happenstance while trimming a lame horse's feet. Just taking away the excess horn was enough to hit the jackpot without searching blindly for them. Sometimes it can be obvious where the abscess is but when it's not, I don't see any sense in making holes in feet while guessing the location!

                          The other option would be to have an x-ray made and hope the abscess shows up so the exact location is revealed. Then whoever ends up draining it, knows right where to start cutting into the hoof.

                          Tree

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is weird because I just went through something very similar with my horse. He was sore and we couldn't find the cause. Soaked and gave him bute. He got worse. Called the vet again and found a sort of crack going from near the apex of his frog towards the toe. My vet cleaned it out and we put him on antibiotics as it went right through the sole. Wrapped him to keep it clean. No improvement after 2 days so on my vet's advice I took him to the clinic. They xrayed and found a small pebble wedged up under the sole and putting pressure on the coffin bone. He had surgery and is now in a cast, but doing much better. I would definitely recommend an xray in your case as well.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              *siiiiiiiggghhhh* It is nuts how something goes wrong with your horse, and every possible (and impossible, but you think about it anyway) reason pops into your head and you lay awake thinking 'why can't this just hurry up and go away!!' Not knowing is the worst!!

                              I'm hoping it is not a stone..we've had good snow cover for 3 weeks at least, plus he was as lame before he got the crack as he is now.

                              You know what really blows? The clinic that I go to is small enough that it cannot do x-rays. Which means, if my vet says those horrible words 'I'm going to refer you...' I'm going to have to haul him a ways into a bigger city which at the moment can't happen because the only trailer I have doesn't have lights!!!(Yep, I'm a high-tech horsewoman! My horses are not shown..they are for working cattle where I work, so I haven't needed a city-worthy trailer) Things just keep getting better and better.

                              I guess I'm jumping the gun at the moment. I wish Monday would hurry up and get here.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
                                Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.
                                Thanks Jamie. That is precisely why I directed her to www.safergrass.org after she stated:

                                "and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis..."
                                Sometimes some can't see the forest through the trees(and I don't mean, Anne )

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by KatieD View Post
                                  The clinic that I go to is small enough that it cannot do x-rays.
                                  That must be some small clinic/practice! Several of the veterinarians in my area operate a 1 vet custom and they all have portable x-ray machines.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                                    That must be some small clinic/practice! Several of the veterinarians in my area operate a 1 vet custom and they all have portable x-ray machines.
                                    I'm actually not surprised. I'm not too far out in the country but I have 4 vets I use for most of my work. Only two have a portable x-ray machine and only one will bring it with them (the other wants you to trailor the horse in).

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Ya I know...I didn't think it was small enough for that either. I was very surprised when she said I would have to go somewhere else if I needed x-rays. I do live in the Canadian boonies though.

                                      I might as well just smooth this laminitis thing over before I get nasty..I guess I chose my words poorly. All I meant was that horses are LESS LIKELY to get it on grass hay. Not that it never happens. No need to get all knowledgable on me.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by KatieD View Post
                                        All I meant was that horses are LESS LIKELY to get it on grass hay. Not that it never happens.
                                        It is because of this level of knowledge/understanding, that I directed you to that web site.

                                        Rather than getting all wadded up, you might consider just saying "thank you".

                                        No need to get all knowledgable on me.
                                        Demonstrably, someone needed to do so.....

                                        Comment

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