Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big, giant hurt baby

Last week Makoto was suddenly horribly lame. He was in a lot of pain and he would barely walk on his back right hoof. There was a lot of heat and swelling in his fetlock and up the tendons in his lower leg. The next day I could see an abscess in the bulb of his heel and it was starting to drain. He was in a ton of pain, poor thing!

A hoof abscess is a localized bacterial infection in the hoof. The infection causes pus, pressure and pain. In Makoto's case to relieve the pressure in the hoof the pus burst out of the bulb of his heel.

Then, I was treating the abscess in the back hoof when he started totally freaking out stomping his front right hoof and an abscess burst out of his front hoof. Seriously. Oh. My. God. Saturday had at least 3 crying meltdowns, it just broke my heart.

I think this abscess happened due to the introduction of bacteria and moisture into the hoof. Or it could have happened because of compression and poor blood flow. So what to do? To treat an abscess it is important to keep the hoof as clean and protected as possible. I've been soaking his abscess's in Epsom Salt baths and using poultice on the bottom of the hoof to help pull any remaining infection out of the hoof. I then wrap his hoof in vet-wrap and then cover that with duct tape (or I used a special treatment boot) to help cushion and protect the hoof to keep dirt and manure out to prevent even more problems (infection). I've been wrapping his back legs in standing wraps to try and keep the swelling down.

This week the vet came out and confirmed the abscess. He gave me some black tar like paste to put on the abscess and 5 days worth of huge, heavy duty IV antibiotic shots.

Makoto is a huge baby. A horrible patient. When he feels bad he makes everyone know it. I've been totally abused taking care of him this past week. My back is killing me from bending over to treat his feet. It is a battle every day to soak his feet, clean them, poultice them, wrap them, duct tape them, give his shot and wrap his back legs. All in all it is a ton of work. Good think I love this horse like crazy.

To make up for stabbing him with needles, scrubbing his painful wound, forcing him to stand for long periods with his foot in a bucket of salt water and not letting him get turned out with the rest of the horses, I'm trying to make it up to him with lots of love, treats and private turn out on the nice grass. I really hope my poor baby heals quickly and feels better soon!

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