Just wondering if anyone has any experience of using Easy boots (or similar).
My DD's new loan pony has an old, unhealed lesion (a tiny hole in the centre of his hoof, thought to have been caused by a sharp stone), which the vet discovered last week when we mentioned that the pony had been slightly lame for a couple of days. (Vet only came out to give him a flu jab )
The vet has advised us to dry-poultice it, and bind the hoof in Duck tape to prevent water getting in, which we've been doing for the past few days. However, I think the Duck tape creates a moist environment, which isn't what we're trying to achieve, so I was wondering about trying Easy boots. However, they are very pricey, so I want to make sure they are what we need. (The vet said it would be fine to continue with Duck tape, but I'm not so sure.) The pony seems sound, but it's such a strange (and apparently ancient) injury that it's difficult to tell how long it will take to heal up (vet suggested six weeks).
Can't you just bandage the hoof securely and use a nice deep bed so that it stays dry??? Are you only using duct tape? That seems a bit odd, is it an equine vet that has told you to do this? Do you have a friendly farrier you can call to ask for more specific hoof advice???
Thanks MEO for your response. Yes, she was an equine vet. The Duck tape went on on top of the poultice bandage (one of those sticky, stretchy ones).
I have made some progress with this today, thankfully: I asked the farrier to have a look at it and he pared the hoof back a little, squirted on some wound powder and purple spray and advised me to turn the pony out (without any bandages/poultice). I phoned the vet, who has endorsed this treatment (the 'wound' isn't infected or even really a proper wound; it's just a tiny hole. The pony isn't lame.
So I've turned him out and will see how it's looking later on. Hopefully as long as we keep it as clean as possible, it will heal up without any foreign bodies working their way in.
Thanks for your interest - I'm fairly new to this (well, extremely rusty, anyway!).
I use a mixture of Vet Wrap and Duct tape when poulticing, changing every day. Wrap the poultice in the vet wrap (which is pricey I know), and then tape it up. The longest time I've poulticed is about 4 days altogether.
I know what you mean about the moisture though, but it has always worked for us. I too tried boots but my horse always pulled them off. It may be that if it's an old wound, the dampness caused by the tape will soften any hard skin formed over the top of it, bring out the infection and then help it to heal from the inside. I know that if they scab over too quickly then it will seal the infection in.
Give it 48 hours and then see what happens -see if there's any heat, press it and see if any poison comes up, and try a farrier as Manatee suggests.
I'd totally go with the farrier here - I'm one of those people who trusts the farrier more than the vet with hoof/leg problems.
But the reason I'd trust his judgement on this is that the hoof needs to be "dry" to heal. OK, if it rains it rains - but it'll be "clean" - yeh, I know you're thinking dirt - but there's healthy bacteria in the soil. Stable dirt - i.e., faeces and ammonia just softens the hoof and lets it rot.
(Can you guess who the barefoot freak is around here? )
Thanks Manatee (again), Frostyfingers and Skihorse (BTW, LP is barefoot: apparently his hooves are very strong).
All your advice was very helpful and reassuring, and I'm glad my instincts (re moisture) seem to have been right. My DD rode him gently after school yesterday and he was fine, so we'll just keep cleaning it and keep everything crossed. The farrier was very confident about his diagnosis, so I'm hopeful that he's right.
I always cut the corner of a strong plastic bag (like a feed bag) and put that over the foot after putting poultice and bandage. I then cover that with duct tape being carefull not to put it tightly over the actual joint. This keeps the bandage on and dry as it stops moiture being absorbed from bed or wherever the horse is walking. You can just cut it off and throw it when you are changing it. In my experience, the boots usually come off anyway