Sunday, November 14, 2010

the Big Bay does it again

I am SO EXTREMELY proud of Keil Bay. His trimmer and I decided that it would be useful to do a deeper treatment of Keil's hooves, especially the fronts, to address the on again/off again thrush issues he has.

We decided to go ahead and use CleanTrax. After reviewing many home remedies, a number of commercial remedies, and seeing the results from the things I've tried (generally good results but we tend to hit a wall at some point no matter what I do), I felt it would be worthwhile to go for the fairly major treatment protocol and see if we can resolve this issue.

CleanTrax is used in human medical treatments for several issues, including finger and toenail infections, flushing the bladder, severe bedsores, etc. It is non-necrotizing to tissue, which was important to me - many of the otc remedies for thrush are extremely damaging to healthy hoof tissue.

We tried to make the experience as pleasant as possible, setting the Big Bay up in his clean stall with fresh water, a huge manger of hay, and a bag of baby carrots that I planned to use as needed to keep things fun for him. We stayed with him, which helped keep him from moving around much. He spent a fair portion of the time chewing hay with his eyes half-closed as I stroked his neck and shoulder.

If you GO HERE you can see the soaking protocol we used. I wasn't sure how Keil would take to the very tall blue soaking boots I'd ordered. I considered doing a run with plain water, but then decided that it might be better to just do the treatment, expect the best, and at least if there were issues, we'd have treated the hooves while managing whatever might happen.

I'm happy to report that there was absolutely no problem at all. Keil had his hooves picked first, then I assembled our supplies while husband walked and trotted Keil Bay in the arena - the footing tends to polish off the hooves and really cleans them out.

Then I scrubbed the hooves with plain water, dried with a towel, and we put Keil into his stall.

My husband mixed the solution and put it into the soaking boots, and I stood with Keil (with halter and lead rope) with some carrots. He enjoys when I tuck the baby carrots into the hay and let him root around for them - he also enjoys me finding them when they fall to the bottom of the manger. But in no time at all, Keil had two tall blue boots on, with some wild aqua vet wrap helping keep them secure.

We listened to NPR, praised the Big Bay, and stayed right there with him for the first 45 minute portion of the soaking. When 45 minutes had passed, we had to remove the soaking boots, put plastic bags on the front hooves, then shift the soaking boots to the back feet. I'm fortunate that I have a husband who is willing to jump right in and do this kind of thing without blinking an eye. He remains calm, is good at manipulating vet wrap and following my constant instructions, and as it turned out, Keil was perfectly happy to have me at this head feeding carrots, praising, and cheering husband on through the process.

By the very end, when we had plastic bags on his back hooves and were merely counting down until we could take them off, Keil was ready to be done with it all, but even when he was finished and we opened his stall door to the paddock, he didn't rush out. I think he actually enjoyed the attention. Not to mention the bag of carrots!

One of my favorite sites for natural hoof care is Linda Cowles' Healthy Hoof.

She gives so many great tips, and has many good articles on barefoot hoof care.


ponymaid said...

Billie, I understand this was for medicinal purposes but I must say I was struck by the strong fashion statement these boots make. I suspect your lad was quite please to be seen in something so avant garde and fashion forward. I think they allow him to channel his inner fashionista. I myself like the boots but not the soaking part...

billie said...

Sheaffer, I admit, he looked slightly like something out of The Terminator. Doc would probably have approved!

Rafer was quite intrigued and desperately wanted into Keil Bay's stall - we aren't sure if it was the bag of carrots, the fashion statement being made, or simply the coziness of a horse and his people in one stall. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like a long treatment but I'm sure it will work for him. He's such a well behaved guy, of course, the carrots didn't hurt his disposition any either I'm guessing.

billie said...

Arlene, he was incredible. It was a long time to stand in mostly one position, with strange, tarp-like things attached to his legs, and the sloshing of a gallon of solution in each one.

I wondered about the carrots - he can get overly excited about treats, and in fact, the reason he got antsy at the end was b/c he knew there were a last handful of carrots in the bag but I was waiting until the last part to give them to him. He can't stand waiting for something like that. For the most part, though, the carrots were fine. He is so good about things.

jme said...

who wouldn't appreciate a little time relaxing in a nice foot bath with some goodies on hand :-) i've encountered a persistent case of thrush or two and it can be a nightmare. glad you found a protocol that is likely to help without damaging the healthy stuff. and glad you have a such a great assistant to help it all go smoothly :-)

Matthew said...

Keil Bay is a trooper to be sure!

billie said...

Thanks, j!

billie said...

Matthew, agreed. He was great. Thanks for spending all that time in the stall on a lovely Sunday.