Sunday, March 21, 2010

Soaking Shadowfax's Hoof

When the farrier(EH) came by for his regularly scheduled visit(and to check on Ziggy who had been showing signs of lameness), he discovered an abscess in Shadowfax's right fore hoof. Shadowfax had not been showing any sign of lameness, and EH said that it wasn't a very big abscess and that in trimming Shadowfax's hoof they had taken most of it out. I asked about wrapping and padding his foot and keeping him in a dry stall, but EH said that that shouldn't be necessary. He said to soak it in warm water and Epsom salts for 20-30 minutes a day for 4 days. If, after that, Shadowfax showed any signs of pain or lameness, we should call EH and he would come and see what else needed doing. Fortunately, Shadowfax never showed any signs of pain or lameness. Also fortunately, he was a good sport about getting his hoof soaked.

When EH said to soak Shadowfax's hoof, he mentioned using a bucket, but I thought that using an oil drain pan

Oil Drain Pain

might work better. It's shorter and bigger around, so it would be easier to get his foot into and out of. Also it would be much less likely to get knocked over. It is rather hard to carry when it is full of water, so I simply used a one gallon milk/water jug to mix the Epsom salts and hot water and to carry the solution out to the oil drain pan which was in place near Shadowfax's foot. (One gallon just about fills the oil drain pan, so the next few days, I only used about 3/4 of a gallon.) We also had a big bucket of hay set up in front of Shadowfax to hopefully, keep him occupied while his foot soaked.

Since my back is still hurting, my husband, Foxfire, kindly helped out by lifting and cleaning off Shadowfax's hoof before placing it in the solution. The first time we did this, Shadowfax immediately lifted his foot back out and shifted to the side. We put his foot in the water again. Again he carefully lifted his foot out and stepped aside. We did it a third time, he paused for a second, then lifted it out again. However, the fourth time we put his foot in the water, he left it in the saltwater, sighed and went back to munching his hay. He did step out once during the 30 minutes as part of shifting his weight around, however, when we put his foot back in, he left it be.

What? Can't a gelding get a pedicure?

The following three days, we had the same set up, and he left his foot in the salt water solution the first time we put it in. He did step out once during each session, but it seemed to be just part of shifting his weight, and when we put his foot back in, he just left it there.

Close up of foot soaking in Epsom salt water in oil drain pan

Checking to see how things are going

I am very grateful that Shadowfax was so agreeable to the procedure, and that he never showed any signs of pain or lameness. In fact on the fourth day of soaking his foot, he had been playing very vigorously in the pasture with Ziggy.

When he is moving simply for the joy of moving, he is such a beautiful horse. I wish that I had video of him cantering and rearing and pivoting on his hind legs and doing freestyle caprioles. It was truly a wonderful sight to behold.

No comments:

Post a Comment