Monday, October 12, 2015

Coal Update

Well, Coal has so far survived the first few days of getting him rehabbed with great spirits and a curious attitude.  This little guy is pretty neat.  His nickname might be Mr. Personality.  Always curious, pleasant expression on his face, and so far not spooked by anything, including tarps, plastic bags, and more.

Day 2 - Friday, 10/9/15

Day 2 was really hard for Coal.  His pain level was pretty high.  His stance was constantly rocked back despite the Bute-Less that he gets in his feed 2x's per day.  He was sore enough that even minimal hoof treatments were nearly impossible.   

Obviously in pain, but still a bright and cheery attitude.
Also still has a very good appetite.  He has been munching on his first cutting hay ever since arriving.
Since asking him to stand on 3 legs to allow me to pick up his hooves was out of the question, Mom asked if she could try some red light therapy on him.  He can just stand there to have this done and it doesn't involve him picking up his hooves at all.  I figured, why not, it can't hurt and it just might help.

You can see the red lights glowing from under the pad in this one.
We did his hinds as well.
Red light therapy, hoof soaks and food.  Now this is the life.
Coal was SO good about standing still for the therapy.  It looked like it felt pretty good.  The red light therapy takes about 15 minutes per session, so 30 minutes total to do his front hooves and then his hinds.  His front hooves soaked in the Dreft/Epsom salts mixture while his hind hooves got their therapy time.  He started yawning continuously directly after the red light therapy session.  It seems to be helping him.

Once the hinds were done and his soak was over, it was time to try and get some kind of protective cover on his hooves to keep shavings and debris out of the abscess holes in the bottoms of his hooves.  Because of the amount of pain he was in, re-wrapping with vet wrap and duct tape was completely out of the question.  

Coal came up with a solution for us, he backed himself into the corner of the stall so that he could 'sit' in the corner in order to lift his front hooves for me to get a cover on them.  I ended up using hand towels, I simply picked his hoof up, draped the towel over the sole and let him set it down right away.  Wrapped the towels as well as I could around his pasterns and closed it off with one strip of duct tape around the top.  It worked pretty well, they were still on when I came out in the morning.

Backed himself into a corner for support so that he could cooperate with me, bless his heart.
Half-ass hoof boots.  It kept debris out of them, at least.
Coal continued to yawn for several minutes after the red light therapy was over.
I didn't think to get any video of him attempting to move on Day 2, I was just too heart broken for him and worried about making him more comfortable.  I wish I HAD gotten video now though, because that would have made Day 3 all that much more spectacular.

Day 3 - Saturday, 10/10/15

Coal's hoof boots arrived!!!  

Many thanks to EasyCare, Inc.  After placing my order online Friday morning, I called them to see about getting the boots delivered on Saturday as Coal needed them ASAP.  They were extremely friendly and helpful, and by golly those boots were dropped on my front doorstep by 10 am.  Gotta love it!

So OF COURSE I sprinted out to the barn to put them on Coal and see how he liked them.  The results were miraculous.  

He was slightly more comfortable that morning, just comfortable enough that I could pick up a hoof, stick the boot on and let him set it back down.  He put himself in the corner again for support so that he could lift his hooves for me.

He had been begging to go outside all that morning while I was cleaning his stall, so as soon as I got the boots fastened, I opened his stall door and offered the dry lot attached to the barn to him.  He went outside and enjoyed himself quite thoroughly in the sunshine.

Hey, cool tarp!


So Coal got to spend several hours out in the sunshine, exploring his little dry lot and visiting with our two other horses over the gate.  Check out these videos.  The first video is from day one, the second is from day 3 with his hoof boots on for the first time.

Day 4 - Sunday, 10/11/15

Day 4 was even more of an improvement.   I didn't take any still pictures on Day 4, but I did take video of him moving around his stall without boots, and outside again with the boots.  The improvement on how he moves even without the boots compared to the day before is amazing.  Still a bit gimpy, but nothing like before. He is walking pretty much completely normal with the boots on.  

On Day 4, he also blew a new abscess in each front hoof.  I believe that being active and the stimulation provided by walking normally is increasing the blood flow into his hooves, improving circulation, and enabling his body to fight off the infection in his hooves by expelling it via abscesses opening up.  I was going to try to get his soles to harden up some so that he could start going about without the boots in the stall, but I've decided to leave the boots on 24/7 except for his evening hoof soaks and treatments.  I'm going to try to keep his soles on the softer side to allow the abscesses to open up and drain.  Continued use of the boots will continue to encourage movement, and thus keep working those nasty things out.  

Once he is not having new abscesses pop up and all existing ones are healed shut, then he will start being bootless in his stall overnight, booted for turnout during the day.  

His hooves are already going through some changes, so I will be giving him another trim, probably tomorrow on Day 6.  Now that he has boots to keep him supported, protected and comfortable, I will be able to trim off more of the excess hoof wall that is causing so much leverage and pressure on the internal structures without the fear of making him more uncomfortable.  

Ride safe all,

~The RoadQueen


RANTWICK said...

Wow, what a difference those boots make! I'm guessing nothing is ever certain with something like this, but you must be terribly pleased with Coal's progress so far!

RoadQueen said...

Absolutely! I am THRILLED with his progress thus far! He's a really neat little dude, I am loving watching him blossom!