So. You probably forgot (I know I was trying to) among all the OTHER things that have gone on in the last three months that as of August, Tristan is back in shoes. Which is both budget- and soul-crushing for me.
The good news, I guess: they’ve worked exactly as they were supposed to. He’s clearly a touch more comfortable (not, like, dramatically, but he’s got a bit more float in his trot, and he’s a bit more willing to go forward). And his foot is clearly more stable.
When he was at the hospital, we had the surgeon (the same one who did his surgery 6 years ago) look closely at the foot with an eye to everything we’ve been talking about.
The surgeon’s takeaway was that he wasn’t surprised at all that the sole was growing back differently; that was just an inevitable consequence of surgery on the foot.
Interestingly, though, is that he was not nearly as concerned as the farrier was about the line of bacteria that was getting up into the foot. He felt that unless and until Tris was lame he would not worry about it.
I’m not entirely comfortable with “horse goes lame” as an indicator of problems when we have visual evidence for impending problems, but it’s at least a useful thing to keep in mind for how far we have to go before we start to really freak out.
So we’re still on the wait and see path. Specifically, we’ll wait until the foot grows back down to the toe with decent sole again, filling in the hole that the farrier had to keep cutting back. Then, once it does so, we’re going to sale the toe with Hoof Armor.
Farrier is a touch skeptical. I did a fair amount of back-and-forth emailing with the company owners and some sleuthing in endurance forums (where this product is most frequently used) and I think in our conditions, for our application, it has a decent chance of success.
Though it’s intended to protect sensitive soles on tough terrain, we’d be using it to simply create a barrier between the ground (and bacteria) and the funky scar tissue spot on his sole. The hope is that re-applying it periodically will keep it refreshed. It’s supposed to last from trim to trim, but I’m not counting on anything. If need be, I can rasp it off and re-apply every two weeks or so.
We’ll see. I’ll definitely report back whenever it is we get to this point – it will most likely be later in the winter, as he’s got a decent amount of sole to regrow.
In other foot issues, his hind foot heel grab is healing up more or less fine. Some proud flesh, but the nascent infection has been kicked to the curb. I’m still re-wrapping every two days and swapping back and forth between the antibiotic cream and the steroid cream, like we did with the front foot. So far our theory of “it will heal better if we jump on it quickly and it’s not so damn hot and humid” has proved true. Like the front foot, he hasn’t taken a lame step on it. Except when I scrub it down before re-wrapping (which I’m sure stings) he doesn’t even know it’s there.
Bottom left is last Friday. These were taken roughly at each re-wrapping so represent about 10 days of healing. WAY faster than the stupid RF.