Four months after sole penetration, Druid is struggling.
Oct. 12, 2003
It has been four months since the coffin bones sank.
I am finally getting the courage to bring the toe back. Since he was walking on his toes (knuckling over), it was making the walls fold and wave.I have rasped into the lamillar wedge at the bottom of the foot.
This is the same day. I used the flash in this picture, so the coloring is very different.
Here is the other foot. You can really see the fold in the hoof wall. The top of the hoof is actually growing in line with the coffin bone. Everything in front of that is just extra hoof wall, and I should have trimmed it.
The bottom of Druid's feet are finally beginning to look a bit more normal. He has heels and bars, and I have begun to bring the foot in closer to the coffin bone.
The frog is not blended in with the sole like it was previously.
Oct. 21, 2003
In these pictures, Druid has a nasty abscess draining.
This was the day that the rest of the wall at the toe fell off. I was rasping to bring the toes back further when a whole chunk came off.
The wall had been acting like a scab. As soon as the underlying structures hardened off enough, then he no longer needed this and it fell off.
Maybe it was OK to leave it until now. I will never know.
Everything below the bulge in the wall came off in one big piece.
Ironically, he began putting his heels on the ground as soon as this came off. I think the fold in the wall was crimping the underlying corium and lamina. When that pressure was removed, he could lower his heels because it did not hurt. This did happen over night, so it really makes me believe that the bulge in the wall was causing the pain.
Part of me feels that I should have taken this off sooner and that he would have been more comfortable. Another part of me wonders if his body knew what to do. Did he need this extra wall until today?
If I am ever faced with this situation again, I will work each foot differently. Then I will have a direct comparison. Maybe it will answer some of these questions.
It was very alarming how short his feet looked after the front wall came off.
Now the tip of the frog is almost to the toe. I had just soaked his feet. These pictures show how slimy looking his feet were after soaking. The water did soften everything too much. It helped drain the abscesses but did not increase his comfort.
Oct. 26, 2003
This is four and a half months after the coffin bones sank.
Druid was beginning to look very bad. He continued to drop weight and his coat was getting dull. He seemed to be giving up. The abscesses were draining non-stop and he was not feeling well.
At this point I was starting to doubt whether I could save him.
As weird as his feet looked, they were finally beginning to look like feet again. I felt bad that we had gotten him this far for nothing.
All along I had been telling Peter and Haley that it did not matter what happened to his feet. It was his body I was worried about. This was proving true. The feet had improved, but I was not taking proper care of his body. I really did not know what else to do.
The bottom of the foot had improved dramatically. Foot wise, I felt like I knew what I was doing.
As far as his overall health went, I was at a loss. I called Catherine, Peter and Haley and told them I thought it was time to let him go. I just didn't think there was any more I could do for him.
When I talked to Haley, she knew I was right and she began to make arrangements to have him brought home. Haley wanted buried on the farm. I had talked to my vet and had gotten the process started to have Druid put down.
Haley wanted to come see him before he was put down. There was no emergency, so I waited a few days.
In the mean time, I was told by a friend that Catherine really thought that ulcers were causing Druid's problems. As soon as I heard this, I decided to ask my vet if I could get a few days worth of Gastrogard for Druid. I knew it may not work, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. I didn't even tell anyone that I was doing this because I didn't want anyone to have false hope.
I had not thought of ulcers because Druid had continued to eat. He wasn't a voracious eater, but he ate everything I gave him.
I now think that he did not go off his food because everything I was feeding him was high in fiber. Apparently, fiber does not cause as much pH change and not quite as much pain. He was just feeling bad all the time not just at mealtime.
The other thing that had confused me about the ulcers was that we had treated him in the beginning and then put him on Ranitidine while he was still on pain medication. In my mind, that should have been enough. As I weaned him off the pain meds, I had also taken him off the ulcer meds. This was a mistake.
I bought only five days worth of Gastrogard (because it is very expensive) and started him on it. Haley came to see Druid about 3 days into the treatment. I wasn't home when she came, so she had to call me later. When she finally got a chance to talk to me, she said that she really didn't know if it was time to put Druid down. He had seemed much happier and brighter than he had been in weeks. She felt that he didn't look as bad as what I had described.
I was astounded that she thought that. I had also thought he looked much better, but I had questioned whether I was imagining things. When she told me she thought the same, I was floored.
After only 5 days of Gastrogard, Druid was like a new horse.
At the same time that I was trying the ulcer medication, I met a woman that works with essential oils and energy work. Sandy Rakowitz suggested some oils to use on Druid and did some energy work on him. I am sure these played a role in his returning health.
I was religiously using the oils on his coronary bands like she described. The abscess exit wounds in the coronary bands dried up within a day or two, and Druid acted much more comfortable.
A few weeks into using the oils, I went out of town for a few days. I did not ask the caretaker to put the oils on Druid, because I wasn't convinced he still needed them. After only four days, I came home to bulging coronary bands and a sore horse.I immediately went back to using the oils and he felt better.
Druid had been draining abscesses continuously for two months before I started using the oils. After I started using them, he has only had one abscess since. That abscess was a year and a half later.
Return to the beginning of Druid's story.
Druid's feet one month later.
The second and third month of care.
Four months after sole penetration, Druid is struggling.
Five months into his care, Druid finally turns the corner.
The X-rays taken at six months show huge improvements in Druid's feet.
Seven months later, Druid has gotten comfortable on soft surfaces.
The eighth month is when Druid's hooves really started to change.
Nine months later, Druid goes home.
In ten months, we ride Druid!
Eleven months plus, Druid has a new career.
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