Wednesday 8 March 2023

Hurtin' Soles

The ponies recently had their pedicure in the midst of another cold spell. We were spoiled for a few weeks at the end of January and beginning of February with unseasonally warm weather (no where near bikini weather, but warm for Canadian prairies in the winter weather), which means that everything on the ground is icy and hard and there has been little snow covering it up and making it feel softer.

I was out fixing holes in their haynet (again) and Cisco was being all cute watching me while resting his chin on Phantom's withers.

The perfect recipe for hoof abscesses!

It looks like Cisco's big flat feet have fallen victim to the hard surface. When riding him last Monday, he was not quite right. To me he felt a bit foot sore in front, which I attributed to maybe a bit of bruising from the hard ground he lives on. 

I trotted him up the barn aisle on Wednesday, he still seemed NQR. On Thursday, I checked his digital pulses to make sure it wasn't laminitis, and found a strongish pulse on his right foot. Maybe an abscess was brewing?

Friday - picked up his foot and immediately saw an opening towards his toe that very much looked like an abscess had burst through. There was also some funky flaky stuff happening to his sole next to the hole. That had me more concerned than the hole. Is his sole shedding? Or should I expect a big chunk of the sole to come off related to the abscess? Is it an old abscess that he didn't tell me about? Cisco hadn't been lame other than the NQR under saddle earlier in the week, which I likely never would have picked up on if I wasn't on him.

I wrapped his foot on Friday with some Animalintex to see if any goop was draining - the padding was all goop free the next day. I opted to leave it unwrapped after that because a duct tape boot is about as slippery to walk on as a Krazy Karpet on ice. Since everything out here is frozen, I'm not as concerned about keeping it clean as I would be in the spring with mud.

My first time wrapping Cisco's big foot - not my best work. I could use some practice, but I hope I never need to!

My farrier agreed with my assessment and plan after I shot her a picture asking if I should expect his sole to fall off. She said soles have been taking a shit kicking in our weather as of late.

I'm going to keep Cisco out of the arena for the next week at least to reduce the risk of sand getting in the hole. The digital pulse has gone down and he is much more forward trotting down the barn aisle, so I will use those to monitor how he is feeling. In the meantime, we'll stay on the frozen ground and go for hand walks. It's cold enough that I little incentive to ride for the next few days anyways!

There were beautiful blue skies to walk under this weekend. It was still cold though!

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