heidi

Horse With Burned Hoofs

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This is a friends horse, not mine. Please, dont flame or criticize, what is done is done.

This weekend this horse got into a smoldering burn pile over night, its not known if he willingly went into it or was chased into it by a pack of dogs. He is the alpha horse so the other horses did not run him into it.

Anyway.. he fell down in the burn pit and burned his hip and all four legs and hoofs.

The burns are the least of their worries right now as the vet has told them that the hoof is seperating at the heel and cornary band and that he is foundering.

The vet has them soaking his feet 3 times a day in cool epsom salts. Front feet are wrapped.

Horse is getting pain meds as well as antibiotics.

crossposted on Health forum.

Is there anything else that they can do to help stop this process? Vet feels that there is a good possibility he will slough his hooves.

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OMG - that sounds BAD... really bad... are all 4 feet burned? OMG! poor baby [Me Cry]

im at a loss. I PRAY the vet is right. [Angel]

did he run through a fence or did they have a fire burning in the pasture?... (im sorry, but.. grrr! [bang Head] not at you, at them)

burn victims, even with the best of care, sometimes dont survive. but, a horse that MUST stand on his burns?????????????

I would think they would treat it as a burn.. should be completely sterile, and packed/in a cast. he should be at a equine hospital. he should be in a sling, especially if all 4 feet are burned.

I dont know... I just dont know... [Me Cry]

but, one thing I know for sure is, I would not allow this animal to suffer.

Edited by jumpin_horses

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I don't know what to do. I feel so badly for this horse. He must be in some kind of pain. Is there a college or university close by that this horse can be taken to?

Two years ago, this sort of thing (minus the hooves), happened to a foal of a neighbors. Got burnt by laying in a smudge. She used lots of aloe vera on the burns. This foal was burnt quite badly on the legs and sides of her barrel. You can hardly tell now that this filly had been burnt.

This is one reason I refuse to have anything burning, or use a smudge for horses, in an area they are kept in.

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jumpin, they had burned a large brush pile in their pasture in a small ditch like area. Somehow he got into it was was walking on the side of the ditch and slipped and fell into the hot, smoldering coals. They can see where he fell and where he scrambled to get up and out of the area.

I told them they should start looking for a sling for him.

They havent considered a vet hospital yet due to the financial impact. They will know more when they go back to the vet tomorrow and what their options are.

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a horse in a sling does not breathe properly and must be monitored by experienced personal 24/7. he needs to have constant vitals taken, and appropriate action constantly. so please dont just hang him up without knowing ALL the consequences.

I guess I just would never, in a 1000 years even consider having any kind of burn pile, or fire anywhere in my horses pasture...... they simply do not understand fire=hot=burn.. until they burn themselves. gently educating the owners is going to be a delicate accomplishment for you [Huggy] it wouldnt be MY strong suit.

My prayers for him. please keep us posted. [Huggy]

ETA - if they cannot take on the "financial impact" of properly caring for a burn victim, then.......... why-oh-why did they build a fire in the pasture?... Im sorry..... I really dont want to "flame" (no pun intended) but, I just cant wrap my head around it....... oye! if I had made such a grave mistake. Id put any amount of $$$ into my animal to assure she was getting the absolute best care possible.... the owners must be horrified, and probably really kicking themselves right now.... but, he should be in a sterile environment, 24/7 monitoring...

Edited by jumpin_horses

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Hubby makes a smudge for his cows all the time. Cows will lay down on the smokey side of the smudge, but not in the fire itself. They've done that for years, and never had a cow get burnt ever. Or if you have chickens, cows will lay down, and allow the chickens to peck the bugs off them. Literally, they will lay there and let the chickens crawl all over them. Only smart thing cows do really. :winking:

But, I find horses are not quite as fire smart as cows are. They often will get burnt, because they like to get right in the middle of the smoke, which means being where the fire or hot coals are, and just stamp their feet when they get hot. Or they will lay right in it. I've heard of so many horses being burnt this way.

It really is too bad that this horse fell into the fire tho. So unfortunate and devastating for the owners too. [Angel] [Huggy] I hope something can be done for this horse. Maybe a college or university will use him and his situation, as a learning experience for their students, and hopefully that will help cost wise for the owners. I've heard of colleges and universities, taking in horses, doing this sort of thing, and then if the horse makes it, they sell it back to the owner at a reasonable price. Might be worth looking into.

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a horse in a sling does not breathe properly and must be monitored by experienced personal 24/7. he needs to have constant vitals taken, and appropriate action constantly. so please dont just hang him up without knowing ALL the consequences.

I guess I just would never, in a 1000 years even consider having any kind of burn pile, or fire anywhere in my horses pasture...... they simply do not understand fire=hot=burn.. until they burn themselves. gently educating the owners is going to be a delicate accomplishment for you [Huggy] it wouldnt be MY strong suit.

My prayers for him. please keep us posted. [Huggy]

ETA - if they cannot take on the "financial impact" of properly caring for a burn victim, then.......... why-oh-why did they build a fire in the pasture?... Im sorry..... I really dont want to "flame" (no pun intended) but, I just cant wrap my head around it....... oye! if I had made such a grave mistake. Id put any amount of $$$ into my animal to assure she was getting the absolute best care possible.... the owners must be horrified, and probably really kicking themselves right now.... but, he should be in a sterile environment, 24/7 monitoring...

I was unaware that a sling would require that type of monitoring.

They have burned many times in the pasture with this horse around. Never had a problem. I know lots of people that do the same thing. They only have 5 acres and part of it was heavily wooded. They were trying to clear out some of the trees and brush.

Im sure they figured that nothing would happen since nothing had happened before. Their pastures are clean of debris or other hazards and I imagine this burn pit is cold now after the rain they got yesterday. I dont think they will ever burn like this again.

They are financially stretched right now, but Im sure they will figure something out to get him the care he needs.

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How absolutely awful [Me Cry]

Alas, the future of this horse is not going to be easy. Burns take extensive care and hospitalization for the first week or so is usually recommended so the burns can be properly debrided with lotsa pain meds on board....and to be in a more controlled, sterile environment. The risk of infection is HUGE.

Perhaps, as a friend, you can help keep them focused on what's best for the horse....perhaps euthanasia would be the kindest thing for him, instead of the pain.

It's no easy decision and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. [Me Cry]

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Im glad you said it CoCo.....

I was avoiding having to say it....

but, if I could not get this horse to a hospital (sterile enviro)

Id humanely euth...

even if by some miracle he recovers.... he is going suffer greatly, and what are his chances of eventually making a full recovery? I dont know... I just dont know..... what his "quality of life" is going be from here on out....

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Look...there's simply not enough information here to really be helpful...and even if there were, we're not veterinarians.

IMHO, what you've described thus far is not sufficient or up to date care for an acute founder/laminitis episode.

Further, I have to believe this isn't just a matter of laminitis like we're used to--this is burnt tissue.

All that said, I would consider this a critical case best entrusted to someone with far more experience than even a local vet. I'd be trying to get to a veterinary school or equine hospital equipped to deal with this sort of thing.

As for the sling...my mare was in a sling for over a month. Yes, there are certainly precautions that need to be taken--you really can't rig it up properly at home. There can be some long term effects of that as well. Luckily, my mare had her injury almost 15 years ago and has been fine since. But that was an acute injury and it was not accompanied by laminitis or founder (rotation).

If I were in your friends' shoes, here's what I would be thinking.

1) What can I afford to spend?

2) Does that amount qualify us to get the care the horse needs at an equine hospital?

3) If not, does that amount qualify us to at least keep the horse comfortable while we try some other options?

4) If not, euth.

We can ask horses to suffer a bit with a good prognosis...but with a poor prognosis an no way to keep the animal comfortable, we have to do right by the horse.

If they feel equipped to handle this at home under the supervision of their regular vet and can keep the horse comfortable...I'd give it a little time. But I don't think that is the best course of action for a good prognosis.

Best wishes to all involved.

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I hate to sound cold here, but they need to consider how much this horse really means to them. I'm in a bit of a different situation with my own horse, but this question was brought to my attention and it really made me think hard on just how much money I was willing to spend and how far to go with the problem. I love my horse to death, so right now all options are open for him, but if your friends don't really have much of an attatchment to this horse and the situation is as bad as you make it sound, I'd have to cut my loss and euth the animal.

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First of all... many, many prayers going out to this poor horse.

[Angel] [Angel] [Angel] [Angel]

Second of all... this horse belongs in an equine hospital right now. If he were a human, he'd have been admitted to one already (human hospital, that is). Burns are VERY delicate, and infection can set in very rapidly. We're talking BURNT flesh here... BURNT hooves.

This is not your typical injury. This is a SERIOUS EMERGENCY.

MOST vets WILL let you make payments on a large bill. Which I'm sure this will be, but either this horse gets admitted to an equine hospital equipped to handle burn victims, and is treated and hopefully recovers and owners can make payments till bill is paid off... OR this horse should probably be euthed.

Of course that all depends on how SERIOUS his injuries are, but it doesn't sound good since you say his hooves have a chance of sloughing off. A horse can't stand without his hooves... so to me this spells EMERGENCY.

This is something you can't treat in a pasture or stall. He's going to run WAY too high of a risk for infection to set into his burns.

I certainly wish all involved the best of luck... he's going to need every ounce you guys can muster up. Please keep us updated. Thanks!

[Angel] [Angel] [Huggy]

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Heidi - I see that you are from Oklahoma. I'm assuming your friends are as well?

I don't know what part of Oklahoma you're in but when my horse required colic surgery a few years ago, I was able to apply for a line of health care credit called "CareCredit" through the OSU Vet School in Stillwater.

While they were unloading him from the trailer, I was filling out the paper work in the office. Before they finished the initial exam, my credit had been checked and my account approved. And, I don't know if this is still the case, the credit line was at 0% interest for the first year. Also....OSU is not as expensive as you think. My horse had surgery and was there for a week and the whole cost was about $2100.

See if your friends can at least get him on a trailer and get him to OSU. They will exam him and give you an estimate on the total cost to treat him. If they can qualify for the line of credit then that is an option. If they can't, then they will at least have compassionate caring professionals on hand to help them make any difficult decisions.

My prayers go out to the poor horse and his owners.

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Thanks for all the replies. I do want to clear some things up.

First, this horse means everything to my friend. She has owned him for 20+ years and is a part of the family. She is devistated right now and I have not been over to see the horse. She is not up to seeing people right now.

Second, the financial part. They have not indicated what they are willing to put into this horse financially, but are willing to give it a good go, but cannot spend thousands and thousands. They do have Care Credit.

Thirdly, their vet is very capable of treating this horses founder. He has articles and special shoes out that have been recognized through national associations. They have not gotten in to see this vet, but did see his associate who probably did a phone consult with him as he was out of town.

The day they found him was Labor Day. They called 4 vets, some at big facilities here, it took hours and hours for one to call them back. These were vets that had on call vets. Since it was a holiday, time was lost due to vets not calling back. Why they didnt call the college, I dont know. I do know that when they called me they were frantic and when someone is in that frame of mind, they dont think clearly of their options.

They will be taking him in for another follow up tomorrow or Friday.

They will not let this horse suffer and will do the right thing, but right now they have to give him a chance to heal. The vet said it was possible for him to heal, but its all going to depend on his feet and if he sloughs.

His burns entail all 4 legs and feet to various degrees. He has a place on his hip about 16" x 12" also. From the pictures it looks to be 1st and 2nd degree burns, with some possibly 3rd degree. His legs are not completely burned all the way around, but have spots that are burned, the back legs got it worse than the front with more surface covered with burns.

They are treating him according to the vets instuction to the letter. They have been keeping him comfortable so far.

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Im sorry I havent posted an update. Ive been busy with school, studying for a big exam Monday.

There really hasnt been a whole lot of change. Depends on which day I talk with as far as how his feet are doing. There is one hoof that is looking worse than the others and they are concerned with it, but so far its still attached.

His burns are trying to heal, but infection has set in, they say he stinks. They and the vets are worried about it going septic and IMO, they are not giving him potent enough antibiotics, but I am not a vet. They are giving pen twice a day and I understand the reason to not go with stronger antibiotics... they are trying to not tax the liver or kidneys. So far his blood work is acceptable.

He is alert, eating and drinking well. Some days he moves around better than others. The vet has encouraged them to allow him out to graze and move on his own in hopes that will help stimulate circulation. His pain is being managed. They considered euthanasia last weekend and their vet encouraged them to keep treating as the vet felt it was too early to make the decision. That the horse was not getting anyworse and they needed to allow him time to heal. Vet said if it had been his horse, he would continue to treat for a bit longer.

I havent gotten an update in a few days, I pray he is still doing as well as can be expected.

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