The crevice in the center is normal, although deeper than it should be, the crevice to the right is not normal. It should look like the left half of the heel....
Ben is completely sound on this foot and shows no signs of distress. In this odd crevice though,(which I have taken to calling the Troll Cave) is this one spot that still looks funky (that's the technical term).
That spot is nasty looking like canker, but is not sensitive nor does it bleed like canker. So, I am not sure if it is canker or, perhaps, scarring from treating the canker. I don't like the look of it regardless and I am not happy that the Troll Cave is not filling in with healthy tissue. However, I am not sure that cutting into it to remove the funky spot would be warranted at this point as there is healthy looking tissue under it.
Treating canker is not a straightforward or simple thing and I am groping my way through this, as everyone does. However, my instinct is to treat it as aggressively as possible without causing permanent damage.
The wet ground definitely seems to encourage canker growth as this funky spot only turned nasty looking with the arrival of the Fall mud season. I had left the foot unwrapped while the ground was dry, but the real Fall rains showed up in earnest this past weekend and all is wet, wet, wet. I have reapplied a liberal dose of Magic Cushion, which has worked well to fend off the canker so far, and I will be keeping the foot wrapped for the foreseeable future.
I will also be sending all of this to my vet to see if there is anything else I should be doing. Another round of the metronozidole/acetone concoction might be in order. Maybe more cryotherapy too?
With the soggy wet has also come some white line separation and some seedy toe. I have trimmed the hoof wall back with a strong bevel all the way around and the Magic Cushion should help with that as well.
The good news is that Ben is not at all bothered by any of this. He has plenty of nice concavity in the foot with nice thick soles and walls, which are all good things. Aside from the canker and the problems associated with being water-logged, he has nice feet.
It may be that keeping the canker in check will be an ongoing management issue rather than conquering it all at once. I am not happy about the idea, but it is not unbearable either. It is much like the ongoing management issues I employ to keep Ramsey's bad foot healthy. He too is sporting a wrapped foot today to protect it from the wet. Because of the missing chunk of coffin bone, he is prone to abscesses during the Spring and Fall mud seasons. I want to prevent further pain and damage to his foot so it is wrapped with Magic Cushion for the duration as well.
The boys will be sporting matching outfits, like twinsies.