When Kyra stepped into a rusty nail her foot got infected. My barn manager taught me how she wraps hoofs that need to stay dry and clean.
The hoof putty was used to pull the infection and the vet gave me poultice pads to cover the wound when the infection broke through. So that’s instead of the putty.
Step 1: removing the nail
Step 2: Prepare
I gathered everything I needed to soak the hoof, dry it and wrap it before I started. These every day items are good to have in an equine first aid kit:
- Warm water
- Epsom salt
- Rubber bucket to soak
- Paper towels to dry
- Iodine to disinfect
- Hoof packing + rubber glove to keep hands clean
- Poultice pad
- Paper from a paper feed bag
- Small diaper
- Vet wrap (1/2 roll)
- Duct tape (the outdoor is very heavy duty. Not in the picture)
Step 3: Soaking
In order to clean the entry wound as good as possible I soaked her foot in Epsom salt and dried it and put iodine on it. It wasn’t enough and got infected. Lesson learned.
Step 4: Preparing the packing
The packing needs to be kneaded and warmed up to form to the hoof. I used a plastic glove for that.The paper helps keep it in it’s place.
Alternative step 4
A few days later I used a poultice pad to put on the skin where the infection had broken through. These pads are nice an d thick and covered with a plastic layer on the outside.
They are decent size and I could cut them in 3 for Kyra’s hooves. So easy! I never had seen them before (no need).
Step 5: Wrap the hoof
I learned to apply 3 layers and if you do it right (and are lucky) it stays on for 24 hours. Kyra was outside in the paddock. Some days it stayed on, some days it didn’t. The duct tape is not sturdy enough. I used Kyra’s softride boots (meant for front hoof when she had laminitis) and a few days I later bought another poultice boot to cover it up.
- Wrap the packing with a small size diaper
- Use vet wrap to keep the diaper in its place
- A layer of duct tape to reinforce and keep moist out
Space shoe is ready!
Now Kyra’s space shoe is ready. Only a few more pieces of Duct tape to cover up the vet wrap.
I learned so much this week. I was grateful Kyra already is really good with soaking, holding her foot up and wrapping. Preparation for emergencies is smart! You never know when you need it. I taught Kyra to keep her foot in the bucket with clicker training. I also gave lots of reinforcers to keep her foot up.
I hope this was useful. Please leave a comment!
In my next blog I will talk about how you can administer larger amounts of oral medication (like antibiotics) without spilling it. I learned a nice technique to do that this week. So many learnings for me this week.
What have you learned out of emergencies at the barn? I bet you have a tip that for other horse lovers.
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Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
Helping horse people to bond with their horse and get the results they want.
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