This short article deals with the minor injuries to the heel, the heel bulbs and related coronet. I am emphasizing the word “minor”, because in more serious cases other more suitable treatment must be implemented. Both of these cases present injuries to the heel, heel bulb and the coronet caused commonly by interference, the hind leg hitting the front leg in the previously mentioned areas.
Most common cause of these injuries is accidentally self-inflicted by the horse when running or playing on muddy fields or uneven terrain. This is also why horses often tear off the front shoes for the same reasons, and not that the mud would “suck” the shoes off, which is nothing more but nonsense.
In my travels I have seen many cases, and I’ve seen people treating these minor injuries in various, often complicated ways, while making things worse rather than better. The inexperienced and worrisome folks often attempt to bandage the wound which in most cases complicated the healing process. The following pictures shows two cases of this type of injuries, both treated the same way, and with satisfactory results. I have also noticed in many cases that people did not even notice, or were they aware of, these injuries, which is not uncommon, since often these injuries are covered in mud and the bleeding has stopped. Therefore this is just another reason why we should pick the horse’s feet daily, which gives us the opportunity to check for injuries to the lower leg, while contributing to the general health of the hoof.
1st photo. Here you can clearly see that this injury can be easily overlooked as it is covered with mud, while the horse showed no obvious lameness when coming in from the pasture. The first part of treatment is of course washing off the wound from the mud, which is done simply with cold water and a washcloth.
2nd photo. After we wash the mud off the wound we can see clearly the extent of the injury, which gives us better idea in how to treat it. In this case it became more than obvious that the detached part of the horn and the overgrowing hair had to be removed, lest it would complicate the healing process.
This picture clearly shows the extent of the injury and what the wound looked like before it was treated with Reducine, using the so-called paint brush. The main purpose of the Reducing treatment is to help the hoof in regeneration of the coronet, and to grow and repair the hoof.
Once all the previous treatment of the wound was finished we’ve applied the Reducine to the afflicted area with at first gently brushing it on, and then, in dabbing or patting like fashion, applying a rich amount of the Reducine to the injury and surrounding area.
How often we reapply the Reducine depends on the condition of the wound and the effects of the environment on it. Please make sure to let the area dry off before applying the Reducine.
Generally we apply the Reducine to the wound about 3 to 4 days later and then as needed, but without washing off the wound, unless it is covered with mud or manure, in which case we need to let the area dry out. We do not want the hoof to become too soft and the wound too soggy, which is what the bandaging of such wounds usually does. Please keep in mind that the Reducine is a blister with antibacterial, but also with inflammatory properties, and so use your head when using it.
The below pictures show another case of this type of injury with similar treatment but with less bruising.
If you are in the area, visit Haycock Stables in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for horseback riding lessons and horses for sale.