Cracked heels on gypsy cob

joanne1920

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2 January 2007
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I bought my 13.2hh 2 year coloured cob 3 months ago now from a gyspy dealer close to where i live. I had him vetted (only the basic oneas he was tethered and virtually unhandled) and he passed although the vet said to give him a good bath and delouse as he had scabs in his feathers. So i bought him. I did as the vet said i washed his feathers and legs with hibiscrub waited for them to dry and then de loused, then i started to treat the scabs, after reading up on mud fever that s what i thought it was and began treating with protocon to remove the scabs and then using anticeptic cream (dermoline i think) anyway after a few days one leg started to swell and was hot to to touch so i called the vet out and he was given antibiotics and antibiotic cream and bute, i was advised to clip off his feathers to get to the base of the problem and frontline spray him in case of mites - all of which i did. the scabs and cracks got better and healed icluding the big sores he had on his hind legs heels from the tethering chain rubbing his heels.
Meanwhile he's had his first tetanus injection and been wormed twice - yuk - dont think he had ever been wormed... 6" long ones came out

1 month later the beginning of Decemeber and and my livery provider decided it would be a good idea to put rubble in a sodden gateway, rubble with had broken tiles and other unsuitable things in it.

Anyway basically my pony cut his heel and i started to treat it like i had done before using the antibiotic cream that i had left over, 2 days later and puss was coming out and it was beginning to swell. Meanwhile after a heated debate with the liver owner i'd moved my pony to the summer grazing that was being rested granted no grass but no rubble either! Mickey was being turned out during the day and in at night and the area only being rinsed with cold water if it was really muddy but id been putting a barrier on anyway, all the other feet/legs were and are still fine. Vet called out again, a different one this time, who was really nice and explained that the cut was on old scar tissue(mickey has got lots of lumps, bumps and ridges in his heels) she told me the scar tissue was from untreated mud fever infections that he's probably had since a foal
anyway she gave me more cream and antibiotics and said that it would be better within a few days as the infection had been caught early and i had done all the right things. and now the orginal cut has almost healed but he's got a crack that will not heel up, i phoned the vet and she said to stop using the antibiotic cream and just use aloe vera jelly and see how that goes and if its no better in a couple of weeks to giver her another call.
Well the crack which i thought i was on top of had now opened up and spread back on to the bit that had healed

ahhhh.... im using sudocream during the day with robinsons prevent it up his legs, then when he comes in im spraying tea tree mist on waiting ten mins and the putting the aloe vera on waiting 10 mins then putting him to bed, it keeps cracking because its on a joint and even me picking his feet out moves the whole area.... please can some one help??? its not infected at the mo touch wood but im really struggling to get it healed up. Sorry for such a long post but i thought to give me advice it would be better to know the back ground... I was thinking of getting some echinecea to add to his feed to build up his immune system?? also pig oil and sulphur... although i really dont want to use that unless i have too....
Jo
 

piebaldsparkle

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26 July 2006
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Echinecea is definatly a good idea. Try Putting Hoof to Heel by Barrier Health on the crack its wonderful (my mares get crack/scab at the back of her knees). I rub some in each morning & night (wipe the old stuff off with clean towel and try not to wash the area too much), should be much better in 3-4 days. Feeding MSM can also help.
 

joanne1920

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2 January 2007
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ok thanks, im going to the tack shop this week to get Mickey some feed, so ill get some hoof to heel cream, i saw it in there as i read the label! your horse looks lovely, hopefully mickey will turn out ok when he's full grown, he's come on leaps and bounds ... thanks for your advice, Jo
 

Maesfen

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I would be really inclined to leave the washing off and would smother it with Protocon and leave which may seem heartless but has worked numerous times for me in the past.
I would also be making sure his diet is correct because only by being right on the inside can he be right on the outside; it all comes from within. I don't know what you are feeding him but I would be putting him on Blue Chip as well; it will provide all the vits and minerals he will need, is very good for skin and feet health too; I swear by it! Don't know if that is a good recommendation or not!
 

joanne1920

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Hi, thanks for that, he's on Baileys Local Balancer ( for his vits and mins) and HiFi Good Doer, and Limestone Flour as he's still a baby and had a bad start, he didnt even know what horse food was when i got him, he had only been feed carrots and bread!
 

Theresa_F

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This may help - works wonders for my hairies

1 tablespoon of sudocream
1 teaspoon of sulphur
5 drops of teatree oil

Mixed together and apply daily.

If he is itchy, get some frontline for the feather and use it every 14 days for three applications to get rid of mites. Pig oil and sulphur then will keep his feather in tip top condition and pest free.

Don't wash out the legs constantly - I leave my boys from late September to April with only the ends of the feather washed with a little cold water if really gunky and leave the P&S to protect the legs.

My little cob is 2 1/2 and is doing really well on simple feeds systems - they are worth a call - I feed 1 scoop of greengold - pure alfa and 2 scoops of lucie between two feeds a day with a little speedibeet and their total eclipse supplement plus ad lib hay. He is growing really well and looks great. With gypsy cobs avoid too much rich food and sugar - they can colic on it.

They are tough chaps and with a bit of tlc will soon come round. They have lovely natures but watch he doesn't get bolshy and walk all over you - they are very clever, not plods and need constant firm but fair handling and are worth their weight in gold - as you can guess I love them.
 

joy

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16 September 2004
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My dressage horse when I bought him was very poor, with very hairy heels and very bad mud fever.
I clipped his heels, washed his legs in very gentle cleansing soap such as Tee tree or Hibiscrub, at night he was in and I bandaged his legs. In the morning when his legs were dry before turn out I used Barrier Health cream. I can't remember the actual product name but it smelt of lemon souffle and it worked.
As the condition improved I stopped bandaging and switched to the thick gloopy Protocon in the tub. I lathered this on daily and it did the trick.
 

joanne1920

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2 January 2007
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Thankyou Piebald Sparkle! I bought some heel to hoof/hoof to heel cream/lotion it was even half price! and ive been using it for 3 days and havent been washing the mud off at night and it look much better, even the scabs come off the crack! so thanks so much for your advice!
 

Sooty

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Can't add to the excellent advice other than to say it is surprising how much damage washing a horse's heels can do! We found that out the hard way. I think your cob is very lucky to have you for an owner, he has definitely fallen on his feet.
 

joanne1920

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2 January 2007
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I know and i thought i was doing the right thing getting rid of the wet mud off every night but all i do know is leave it if its not too bad but if its plastered i just some cotton wool and wipe the worst off! thankyou you all for your help... thanks
 

joanne1920

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2 January 2007
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HELP!!! I've been doing the above and the orginal crack is looking much better, i was having a good look in Mickeys feathers this morning to fing another crack that had been weeping about 2cm wide and another above the orginal which is perhaps half a cm.... i think i need to wash his leg with hibiscrub as the heel to hoof as stuck to his fetahers and theyve collect mud.... all ive done to put him out this morning is slap a load of heel to hoof on the crack in between the dreadlocked graesy mud.... what should i do???? do i wash and towel dry and slap a load more cream on tommorrow morning? or do i just keep slapping cream on and leave dreadlocked mud....
 

henryhorn

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I think in your case I would treat this like a wound and dress it as such.
We use honey and cod liver oil tulle dressings available from a pharmacy by order, you get 32 in a pack and they were developed in burns units.
I can't say why but they work incredibly well on hard to heal wounds, and the secret is to leave them on at least 36 hours undisturbed.
All you do is clean the wound as normal, apply the tulle, bandage over with sticky bandage and leave it alone.
Failing that treat as for mud rash, apply sudocrem or similar, cover with clingfilm then a sticky bandage and again leave alone at least 36 hours, then when you remove the lot all the scabs come with it and you can start to dry it up.
Your problem is the place the injury is, moving will keep opening it so you may have to box rest for a few days to enable it to heal.
pm me if you need details.
 
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