Sunday, November 24, 2013

November is Not Our Friend

I feel like we dodged a bullet today and it wasn't from a crazy hunter.  With the coming of the cold, wet, miserable weather Ramsey has been somewhat lame on his bad leg.  It wasn't the hoof, but the arthritis he has developed in the fetlock joint.   At least, that is what it was until a few days ago when he came up VERY lame and I opened an abscess in his bad foot.

I have to admit, it's been a rough few days.  This foot is far more vulnerable to another bone or joint infection then normal and another such infection would be the end.  I was on the phone with two of Ramsey's vets last night listening to a discussion about doing regional limb perfusion again and....well, it was a rough night.

Fortunately, Ramsey is still a very good patient and this morning, he was significantly better and still no hint of fever.  I think, knock-on-wood, that all is well, something to be very thankful for this week.

I am going to continue treating the foot well past the point of my extreme paranoia and will probably put a cast on it for a couple of weeks to protect the sole and prevent any possibility of  reinfection. 

Speaking of treatment, I have been using a product called Magic Cushion made by Absorbine as a sole packing underneath a bandage and I truly believe that this stuff helped avert disaster.  It will be in my emergency kit and hoof care arsenal from now on and I would highly recommend it, especially for treating any kind of sole pain and for removing false sole.  It is sticky and messy and you will probably have to swear at it a lot, but it works.  It is a thick, black, tar like substance that has an oddly pleasant herbal smell to it.

Wear gloves.  It does not wash off well.

The stuff may seem a bit pricey, but a little bit goes a very long way and I think it is the best abscess treatment I have ever found.  It's worth it.  I especially like the way it draws out infection while simultaneously sealing out and killing bacteria.  It is a topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic as well.  I was skeptical about all of its claims at first, but I have used it for several different applications now and have been pleased every time.  It's earned a place on my shelf.

Aside from this darned abscess, I had been cautiously pleased with Ramsey's feet and had been planning on writing an update soon.  I think there has been some improvement in the lateral distortion I have been concerned about.  I decided to sort of throw out the instructions I had been given about his foot and try to let it tell me what it needs.  I have been "trimming" very minutely every two weeks, trying to encourage healthy growth and mimic his natural wear pattern.  Taking only what I think might wear off naturally if he were walking on more abrasive ground.  I am mostly just trying to let his foot do whatever it needs to while keeping it from overgrowing and distorting. 

Aside from the nasty stone bruise that abscessed, I think it is working.  The feedback I got from the Donkey Sanctuary when I sent them photos a while ago was basically, "You're doing a great job trimming feet.  Try not to over-analyze too much:)."  

Thank you to the great folks at the DS, I certainly appreciate all the input.  And as for that last bit....let's just say you aren't the only ones to tell me that I think too much:)  I'll try.

I actually have a bunch of very interesting feet pictures to share along with some equally interesting nutrition stuff.  The two are very much related.  Hopefully I will get to them soon.  With all the snow, high winds and below zero temps that have descended on us, maybe tomorrow.  I'm sure not gonna want to go out and actually deal with it.  In fact, I'm off to go hide under the covers.


  1. This last shot is amazing. How beautiful! I haven't been out in the woods at all. May put on head to toe blaze orange and go to the creek. It is so blasted cold, that most deer hunters will not be out.

    November is tough on us all.
    Although our animals, except Mona who is ill, are dealing with the temps very well.

  2. Such a good boy standing in his soak! I will be sending positive thought over for his hooves :)

  3. Oh no. My vet used the magic cushion stuff on our Annie a while back. Very good stuff. I hope it does the trick for Ramsey.

  4. Ramsey sure has had more then his share of hoof calamities! Hope he heals up soon, and stays that way for the long haul. It's harder for some of us to not to over analyze....all we can do is try. Rest up & stay warm!

  5. Oh my goodness Ramsey talk about putting your Mom through the worry mill! Such a good job your Mom caught this abscess so quick, fingers and hooves crossed you'll be all sorted very soon. Gotta say though... those little feet are looking great! And as for thinking too much..... our human is prone to this too, you are very lucky to have a Mom that loves you so much :-) Neighbrays and whinnies for get well wishes - The Muleteers xxx

  6. Thanks for the update - gosh I hope Ramsey's hoof disaster has been averted - he is getting the BEST of care! I over-analyze everything too, so I completely sympathize!
    Hang in there - Winter Solstice is less than a month away, which means the light will slowly return.
    Even though it's really the 1st day of winter, I take comfort in this!

  7. Wow, I would have been in an agony of worry over Ramsey's new abscess too. I hope it clears up without any complications.

  8. Ramsey! Stop making life so streesful for your mother!

  9. I'll say a prayer for the little donkey feet... and for you, to get some rest, in mind and body.

  10. You are so vigilant that I am sure you caught Ramsey's abscess in time. Try not to worry. The Magic Cushion product sounds worth having on hand in the barn. Be well little Ramsey.

  11. Sorry to hear about new hoof troubles. It sounds like you are on top of it with a vengeance so I'm hoping all will be good. That Magic Cushion sounds a bit like the old icthamol - black, sticky, antisceptic and drawing and with a tangy medicinal smell. Hugs to Ramsey and all.

  12. Oh, sweet Ramsey. Hope his hoof heals quickly, and does not cause you too much worry.

  13. Another worrier here! One of things I like about not having equids any more is less worrying. They can seem so fragile at times, especially when you are waiting for the vet with a colicky old pony or similar. I hope Ramsay's foot is well on the way to recovery. You certainly do your best for your furkids.

  14. Delrene in Carlsbad, CaliforniaNovember 24, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    So very sorry, foot problems re inventing themselves. You are such a good Mom and Ramsey looks really cute. I have enjoyed your blog over the last year. Stay healthy Ramsey , for Mom and all your friends in cyberspace. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  15. What a good boy keeping his foot there nice and steady .
    Here's too that healing up nicely !