Monday, November 25, 2013

Catching up, part two: The Ordeal

Apparently, Apollo might have a Thing about winter -- we spent much of last fall and winter rehabbing the gash on his leg, and this fall and winter, it's an abscess and a case of Thoroughbred feet.

About four weeks or so ago, Apollo was a little off. I noticed when I pulled him out of the pasture, and when I brought him in and tossed him on the longe line, it was clear: pony was lame on his right front. Well, dang. We figured "abscess" and the plan was to do the Epsom salt soaking, then give him time off to blow the abscess out himself or just resolve whatever was going on. That was a Tuesday, and the farrier was scheduled to come out on Friday. A fresh shoeing didn't reveal anything or resolve anything, alas.

It's the hottest fall equine fashion!

It is very hard to be Apollo some days.

And Apollo didn't blow an abscess, either. He just got lamer and lamer and sadder and sadder, until TW texted to say he was quite a bit worse than the day before and that it was time for the vet to see him. A thousand blessings on my vet -- he was able to get out there the next day to dig out the abscess. Which it did indeed end up being -- I had been a little concerned that it would be something much scarier than an abscess, honestly, even though all signs pointed that way. The unknown is scary, yo.

It ended up being a rather nasty one, too. The vet had to dig more than he expected, and the abscess ran farther under the sole than he expected. He also discovered quite a bit of bruising in Apollo's white line - enough to call it chronic. Poor pony! So we got on with more Epsom-salt-soaking, and I put him in a borrowed EasyBoot Trail boot to protect the foot. After a week or so, the vet and farrier happened to be out at the same time and cleared him to have a shoe put back on and to get turned back out. Yay, thought I! That was easier than I expected, thought I!

Silly, silly me. ;) He packed enough mud in his softened-from-soaking, already-thin-soled foot to lame himself up again out in the field. So back into the stall he went, shoe pulled, and I went with the full Epsom salt paste, diaper, duct tape, Easyboot treatment, as well as liberal applications of Durasole daily. I also had the vet take some radiographs of Apollo's feet to make sure we're shoeing correctly and getting the angles as best as we can.

And that's where we are today. He's still in the stall as of right now, but when I walked him out barefoot today, he was much sounder than he was last time we checked. TW thinks we could probably get a shoe back on him and see how he does with turnout now -- something I'm sure Apollo is enthusiastic about too. The trick now is to keep him from doing this again by toughening up his soles, helping him grow better quality hoof, helping him grow better quality hoof faster, and making sure his shoeing is supporting those goals.

So he's getting a big scoop of NuHoof Maximizer (a biotin/methionine/zinc/copper/other mineral hoof support supplement) and two packets of Knox gelatin in his bucket daily, and I'm doing my very best to make sure he gets that bucket every day. I missed a day this last week; shame on me ... I had to get work done, though, for two evenings. :/ Anyway, so we're working on his hooves from the inside with that.

From the outside, until he gets the shoe back on I'll continue the abscess bandaging/packing, and I'm putting the Durasole on daily. He'll keep getting the Durasole on indefinitely, too, or sole paint I will get from the equine hospital. And our blessed farrier will keep shoeing him with an eye to the angles, especially now that we have rads of Apollo's bones. (which, incidentally, I need to get copies of; must email vet.)


  1. Blegh abscesses, sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep him happy and awesome :)

  2. So frustrating. Hopefully you're on the path to soundness now!