Caring for an Injured Hoof

As I posted a couple of days ago, Moonshine got an owie. We still don’t know exactly how she did it, but she did a good job of it. We’ve been caring for it for almost a week now, and (knock on wood), it’s going okay. Per our farrier’s instructions, we washed it out, coated it with antibiotic ointment and tried to keep her in her stall for a few days. The last part didn’t go so well – she HATED it and didn’t care who knew. She was inside all day Tuesday and part of the day on Wednesday. We freed her Wednesday afternoon and let her out again on Thursday, since she was caterwauling so loudly and because the pasture seemed just as clean as her stall…maybe cleaner than after she’d been in long enough to refill it with poo. On Thursday afternoon I noted some white goop around the top of the wound and decided maybe she’d better stay in after all. So she was in her stall again on Friday and part of the day on Saturday. By 2:00 p.m. we couldn’t take the ruckus anymore – and were afraid the ASPCA may be called – so we freed her. She shot out of the barn like a rocket. Poor Valentine, we think she may have given him what-for out on the back 40, for not hanging out at the barn with her.

Serious Hoof Crack

So here’s what we’ve been doing, per advice from the farrier, our vet-assistant friend and a couple of nice people on Horse City: Every morning and evening, we spray out the wound really well with a hose (boy does she love that – especially since it’s icy-cold well water). We douse it with iodine spray and let it air-dry for a few minutes while we walk her around the lawn. As a bonus, she’s getting really good at obeying lead-rope signals because of this walking time! Then I slather on a wonderful substance called ichthamol (or ichthammol) – it looks and smells like tar, just not as thick. Then she’s free to go out to the pasture for the day or into her stall for the evening, as the case may be. We also observe her carefully for any limping (none; she’s not even favoring it, and actually galloped across the pasture today) and feel the area for heat (a sign of infection) and inspect for pus (ditto). The injury itself looks bad, because the hoof is actually separated, but the wound seems to be healing nicely.

BTW, don’t feel sorry for Moonshine having to put up with all that doctoring. The whole time I’m hosing, spraying and slathering, Bill is feeding her little morsels of treats to distract her: carrots, peppermint snaps, NickerMakers, and, today – sugar cookies. Poor baby.

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