So... what do you do when you turn your horse out to pasture and he looks fine, no lameness, everything looks great....
...and when you let him back in he's got blood dripping down his hoof and from certain angles it looks like there is a very real possibility that his hoof has started to fall off.
(Ewwww! *shuddering slightly at the memory*)
That's what it looked like at our house yesterday, and yes... it was gross. It was one of those times when I wondered why I'm always the one that has to deal with the blood... sometimes I get tired of being the one who knows what to do with the first aid kit in the barn.
(I will spare you photos of Murphy's mess of a hoof... trust me, you don't want to see them... and post a few random photos of him instead!)
Anyway.... I feel pretty competent when it comes to doctoring Murphy's little cuts, scrapes, and the occasional minor lameness (often a hoof abscess, usually when the ground has gotten very hard....), but I had never seen anything like this before.
So after spraying the gaping wound with antibiotic spray and wrapping it up (just how much "vet wrap" would it take to hold a hoof on, I wonder?), I decided I should probably call the vet...
She came out and declared it (yet another!) hoof abscess and to do what I always do for abscesses. (Soak twice a day in epsom salts and water for three days, and he's good to go...)
I felt better when she said the first time she'd seen one like this she thought the horse's hoof was falling off too...
After she looked at Murphy, we had a nice visit... she took pictures of the pumpkin patch fence (she wants to build one like it) and R has an invitation to volunteer with her large animal practice this fall.
Although it started out somewhat traumatic, it ended up being a good (although slightly expensive) afternoon.