Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Foot Today

I got a few pictures of Ramsey's foot this afternoon during the bandage change. 

The farrier at Cornell took off a lot of excess hoof.  The constant bandaging has made the coronet band flatten and creep upwards giving the foot a stretched and overly long look.  The foot is still overly long, but it couldn't be cut back any further, it will have to wear back over time once the bandage is no longer needed.

As you can see from the position of the surgical hole, the foot has grown over an inch since he had surgery.  Hopefully, once it grows out enough that the it no longer needs bandaging, it will start growing and wearing more normally.  I have never seen a foot that has had to remain bandaged for so long and the results are interesting.  It definitely shows how too much constricture can cause problems.  I often see horses with hoof problems that I believe are caused by wearing too-small shoes.  Ramsey's foot certainly demonstrates how those problems begin. 

I think that with careful trimming, I will be able to correct the issues in Ramsey's foot over time once we can get back to normal.  The foot is too tall and the heels are very contracted.  Both are very common problems for young donkeys and they have been exacerbated by 10 weeks of bandaging. 

The bottom of the foot shows that will still have quite a ways to go.  Sorry for the odd camera angle, the foot isn't really that off-center, it's just darned hard to get pictures.  Another case of needing more than two hands.

The spot just in front of my finger is where the sensitive, internal structures of the foot are still exposed.  If you follow the curve of the foot upwards, you can see light and dark patches in the sole.  The light color on the right is healthey sole, the grey and black on the left is where the abscess traveled under the sole, undermining the whole hoof.  All of that black and grey is going to die off and be repleced over time.  You can really see just how extensive the infection was as there isn't much healthy sole left.  The foot will have to stay clean, dry and bandaged until good hoof grows over the internal strucures and he has a bit more healthy sole to support him. 

He is going to loose a lot more of the frog as well (that's the dark, triangular bit at the back of the foot), but it will regenerate with time.  I think he will have to regrow the whole foot before it is normal again, which may take as much as a year, but I think we will get there.  Someday.


  1. Someday you'll look at your healthy little donkey's foot and you'll look back at these posts and ask yourself "Did it really look like that?"

  2. Looks like progress is being made, if slowly. And what a sweet little foot it is, even though the shape is off a bit at the moment. Good on you for your persistence and dedication.

  3. I'm so happy it is growing out well! It sure looks clean and "healing."

  4. Good gosh... when you really think about it... it's phenomenal that he even is alive... and able to walk on that foot!

  5. I still think you have a lot to be proud of in your care, coz that has been one heck of an infection!

    We get stuff called "Farriers Formula" in the UK. It's a biotin based vitamin & mineral supplement, which I used for a long while with an ex-racer who had pedal osteitis & had to be stabled for nearly 6 months.

    His problem was from a different cause, but I think it helped a lot in regrowing good-quality hoof - is there an equivalent product in the States?

    link to UK site is http://www.lifedatalabs.com/farriers-formula.html

  6. Thank you Dougie Donk. They do sell that here and I may try it. Ramsey does get a vitamin supplement that includes biotin, lysine and methionine, but increasing the levels with a hoof specific blend like Farrier's Formula might help. It couldn't hurt. I am glad it worked for your racer.

  7. Great progress in conquering that infection! Regrowth of the hoof seems like an eternity, but things are looking good. Congrats on your dedication and hard work with that sweet little Ramsey.

  8. I think you are doing a great job Kris. And I also think that is the cleanest hoof I have seen in a bit.. :)

  9. The photos of the (oh so dainty) foot's progress are a very impressive illustration of what you and Ramsey have been through, and that you still have a ways to go; however, the hardest-by-far part is behind you, thank goodness. Here's to continued good progress and healing!
    Looks like you've also been very successful in teaching little Ramsey polite manners - how else would you be able to take these pictures?!!
    Best wishes always, e-m

  10. Ramsey has been so lucky, to have you, looking after him!!