Friday, February 17, 2012

there's a hoof in the bucket. . .

. . .dear Liza, dear Liza. There's a hoof in the bucket, dear Liza, a hoof!
Brrr! The water is cold!
I had to put Shyloh's left rear leg in a cold bucket of water today. I was picking her feet and that leg, from the fetlock down to the coronet band was warm. I double checked the warmth I felt by feeling the rest of her legs and they were cold. I asked Kathy and Beth to feel her leg and they agreed that it felt warm. The bottom of her hoof was not warm at all, just that general area. 
But. . . it was not swollen, Shy was walking just fine, she was bearing weight on it, and she was not showing any signs of pain with it. 

In fact, when I went outside to get Shy, she had me smiling from ear to ear! She was in the way back of the pasture and I called for her. She looked up and ran toward the gate and me! She stopped right before it got really muddy, pooped, then navigated through the mud all the way to the gate. She let me halter her without a peppermint and we walked out of the pasture. Then we trotted to the barn. Shy was completely fine and really willing to trot next to me. Fun times!
Helping Aunt Kathy clean up the hay!
Once we got in the barn, she was in a great mood. Shy was very curious and I let her poke about the buckets and bins along the aisle way. She also picked up as much fallen hay as she could. She was walking fine and at this point I had no idea we could be having a potential problem.
Nosy pony!
Any hay under here?
I put Shy in the cross ties to groom and de-mud her a little bit. She is a shedding pony! Look at all that hair! I am sure that this is just the beginning of a massive amount of hair loss.
I am building Shy a brother Haflinger from her extra hair.
Then I picked her feet and felt the warmth. Beth advised that I cold soak her leg, preferably with epsom salt. I had never done this before, so I filled a bucket (minus the salts, we had none at the barn) and made my first attempt at putting her leg in the bucket. Shy was willing to let me lift her leg, but a little hesitant to put it in the cold cold water. Eventually, she did lower her leg and stand there. I was pretty amazed! She only tipped the bucket twice and that is just when she tried to move, otherwise, she was great!
"Don't look at me like this!"
After her cold soak, I put her in her stall and we worked on our first trickonometry trick, which required no movement on Shy's part. We are off to a good first start, so soon I hope to have a video of her first trick!

I am very surprised that I am not totally freaking out about this heat on Shy's leg, but besides it being warm, she is fine. I am a bit worried and anxious to see how she will be in the morning. I picked up some epsom salts on the way home in case I need them tomorrow or in the future. Beth is guessing that is it not an abscess and not laminitis. Perhaps she just did something, like twist it,  from the mud?

Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be or any experience with something similar to this?
Still sassy! Even with a bucket hoof!


  1. Sorry... I can't help - I haven't had experience with heat and no swelling or lameness. I love how she just stood there. What a good girl!
    I also love the Haffie you are building - my guys have begun to shed as well.

  2. Update from a knowledgeable horse friend:
    Could be "A bad turn of her hoof in the pasture, or even in her stall. Halfie's are not known for lameness. It could be any soft tissue injury, up to and including a sprained ligament in the fetlock region. There isn't much musculature in that area, but a ton of tendons and ligaments. Or it could be cutaneous, like a small cellulitis in that area.
    An ingrown hair can cause a cellulitis."
    Recommendation is cold hosing a few times a day for 20 minutes for 2 days and maybe bute.

  3. Glad you had someone who had some ideas for you. I'm clueless. Mighty impressed at how good Shy is for standing in the bucket!! She deserves extra peppermints for that :)

  4. If you have trouble with the bucket, the cold hose is great, but at least 15-20 minutes. Another trick is a bag of frozen peas and wrap a standing or polo around to keep in place for 15-20 min. If it is in the foot, we have found that the boots are wonderful for soaking. You can add water, a little ice, if your horse will tolerate the sound, it has a kind of crackling noise, and add the epsom salts.
    My husband and I board for a living and we end up taking care of everyone else's problems. We try to keep it quiet and as safe for us and the horse as possible.
    We live in Florida and even tho it is sandy, most of our horses have front shoes.

  5. Poor Shy. I hope it was perfectly fine the next morning. :) When Chrome was growing he had heat in his hooves, but no swelling or pain. I never did find out what it was and since it was the hoof and not the leg it isn't really relevant. I'm sure she's fine.


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