Vet : Hi there, Vet Andrew here. I take it that Taz is 6, rather than 60?! Since there has been a previous problem in that foot my first move would be to give the area a thorough clean up with brush, water bucket and hoof pick, focusing on the sole and frog. Trim away any excess horn tags if you have a hoof knife. Press firmly on any suspect areas and see if she flinches. Feel for any warm spots right up to the hock. Next, examine closely, in good light, the area from the coronet to the hock for any wounds or punctures - if you find anything up to this point now would be the time to call a vet in.
Vet : If you find nothing, try flexing, extending, and moving the foot side-to-side as well as gentle twisting to determine where the pain occurs. Press gently, then firmly over the swollen spots and assess how painful they are. Any signs of svere pain and it's vet time.
Vet : if you do all the above and are left with a mild pain and swelling over the spots you describe, I would treat as a mild sprain or strain. If you have any bute, and she has been on it before, give her a low dose rate for 5-7 days.. I will need an approximate body weight if you require specifics here. Keep her on limited exercise for two weeks, avoiding road work and galloping.
Vet : Please keep a close eye on her progress, as lamenesses can be very serious in horses. If there is no improvement within three days, or the lameness or swellings get worse, you will have to call in the vet. Please also check that her tetanus is up to date as any wounds you might miss pose a risk. You are welcome to keep in touch about the problem.
Vet : All the best,
Vet : Vet Andrew
Hi Andrew, thank you for your reponse. The farrier has trimmed his frog and reckon we have overcome the thrush now, I was scrubbing it daily with a mild antiseptic detergent. I thought initially it was the thrush making him lame but as he is still lame after getting rid of it I can't help but think there is something else. Taz is a gelding and he is 18 years old. I have had him for nearly 6 years and he has never been lame before apart from one other occasion when the Farrier said he had thrush, but once he had cut off any excess frog Taz was fine. I have noticed on the odd occasion that he does seem sensitive when I turn him on his inside rear leg (sorry I think I said offside before). He has been like this now for several weeks with only a slight improvement. I am now at the point of getting in the Vet in but before doing so thought I would give you a try. I haven't been exercising him at all and he has been out in the field most of the time. Should I be maybe hosing with cold water for 15 minutes and walking him out?
Vet : Ok, that makes more sense given his age. His tendons and ligaments won't be quite so springy as they were, and there may be some arthritis creeping in somewhere. The current advice for these types of injury is no longer box rest, unless they are severe, but rather to keep to a reduced level of exercise which keeps everything moving and stimulates healing naturally. If he is not lame at the walk then I would advise walking out for half and hour or so, and then 10 minutes of cold hosing afterwards. Do this for a week then gradually get back into trot and canter over the next few weeks. Monitor for improvement or worsening all the time. If you are getting nowhere then call in your vet who mightnwant X rays. . I suspect you will end up with a supply of bute to give him at a very low level, increasing as needed when things flare up. This is a cheap and effective way of managing the old boys.