Some observations. No big changes have happened since the last trim, but I wanted to put down some thoughts. The founder rehabilitation case studies that I've been able to find don't seem to have a whole lot of detail. So these details popped out to me as not having heard them before. Going to put them out there in case someone in the future trips over my blog looking for information on founder rehab.
The weather has turned cold, and temperature seems to affect Coal's comfort a lot. He has started toe walking over the past couple of days, the temps have been in the mid 20's - high 30's range (F). Historically, his Right Front hoof is generally the one he favors the most. I had assumed that was because it was the one with the most rotation. With this new toe walking, he is favoring his Front Left instead.
The consistency of Coal's soles are really, really weird. Like a cross between hard plastic and petrified tree sap. Slightly translucent, very hard, very.....weird. When we started out, Coal's soles were nothing but mush. Think fried corn mash that didn't spend enough time in the frying pan. That's what they felt like. They were full of infection, rot and disease. Necrotic tissue abounded. I had to wear only certain clothing to treat him each day because the stench was so bad, it permeated everything I wore when I had contact with him.
Now, fast forward 47 days: The door has swung in the complete opposite direction. The soles are plastic hard, almost impossible to cut with sharpened knives, freshly rebuilt nippers, or even a brand new rasp. The frogs are equally as hard. To get to this point, I spent the first 2 weeks soaking his hooves almost every day in Epsom salt/Dreft water. Twice daily I either sprayed Vetricyn on his soles and in his infections, or used Pete's Goo (50/50 triple antibiotic-athlete's foot cream). Since day 3 he has worn his padded hoof boots. I wrap his hooves in diapers before putting them in his boots to draw moisture, pus, etc. away from his hooves.
Apparently, it worked. Maybe too well. Perhaps the dryness, while clearing up any and all disease, has also created super dry and hardened hoof undersides and that makes them painful to walk on. Today, after applying infrared light therapy to Coal's feet, I brushed melted coconut oil onto the soles of his hooves before applying the diapers and booting him. Coconut oil is known to be a terrific softener as well as having antibacterial/fungal properties. Plus it'll make his hooves smell nice. Can't hurt to try, right?
Two steps forward, one step back. One day he's kicking Guinness' ass for trying to get his hay, the next he is practically crippled. Then he's trotting around and playing. Then he's stumbling up to his stall for supper. This ordeal is such an emotional roller coaster.
In spite of the setbacks, we've come a long way, baby.
We'll see how the coconut oil treats him. I've contacted my hoof Sensei to get her perspective and opinion. See if she has any additional knowledge to impart from her mounds of wisdom.
Ride Safe All,