Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hoof Puncture Post # 1

About two weeks before our annual weeklong beach horse camping trip I got a call from my barn owner that Dickie came in from the field three legged lame with a piece of metal sticking out the top of his hoof. I let her know my wife would be on her way and we would call the vet. I said she could rinse it off but to leave the object in place.

The red arrow is the track the mystery object followed. 

By the time the barn owner got back out to the barn from calling me, an idiot farrier (not my farrier) had gone into Dickie’s stall and pulled the metal object out. Jennie arrived shortly after and found out that not only had the farrier removed the object but he had thrown the object away. Not only was he a complete idiot but he also was appalled that anyone would question his reasoning. He said he would’t have removed it if it had been in the bone. Wow, a farrier with X-ray vision. That’s pretty handy. Spoiler alert: farrier does not have X-ray vision and the metal object WAS in the bone. I am still so mad that I’m not sure I can look at the guy without telling him what a loser he is.

Photo from previous beach trip. 

If your horse has a puncture wound in his hoof DO NOT REMOVE THE OBJECT. If you leave the object in the vet will be able to X-ray the hoof and find out exactly where the object is, if it’s affecting the bone or joint. It also ensures that you can follow the original puncture track when removing the object and avoid addtional damage by pulling it out at the wrong angle.

The vet came out and took an X-ray, gave home some long acting antibiotics and said he should be 100% in a week. The expectation was that he might continue to be theee legged lame for a day or two then the recovery would be swift from there. If he wasn’t then we needed to call back because the object may have damaged his coffin bone.

This is about a week after the incident. The slit at the top of the hoof is where the metal went in from the top towards the toe. 

Dickie was back on four legs in two days rather than one, but that wasn’t shocking because he’s a drama queen. Our beach trip was quickly approaching and we began to worry that he wouldn’t recover in time but I was still hopeful he would be back to normal soon. He continued to improve but at day ten he wasn’t close to 100% sound by any means. The puncture site was also continuing drain slightly and was not closing. We called our ever patient vet to have another look at Dickie.

Good article about emergency care for a hoof puncture:

Keywords: coffin bone sequestrum, hoof puncture

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