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Horse Hoof Treatment: Duct Tape and a Diaper

3/12/2010 2:16:30 PM

Tags: Khrysta, Horses, Treating illness

Red Pine Mountain logo“All you need is duct tape and a diaper,” so said my vet as he finished draining Khrysta’s hoof abscess. “Just soak the hoof twice a day for 15 minutes and then wrap it up. The easiest thing to do is use a disposable diaper to wrap the hoof and then duct tape it.”

Hmm, duct tape and diapers. Not the first thing that comes to mind, but, hey, I’ve been missing that time of my life so what the heck. Horse, baby, whatever. I’ll just enjoy the experience of having tiny diapers in the house even if it is for a 1,200 pound equine.

Off went Mountain Man to the drugstore to purchase the needed supplies. I was very explicit with my instructions. “Buy newborn diapers, not those toddler things; newborn or preemie diapers. Remember her hoof is about the size of a newborn baby’s bottom. And, if you can find ones that are pink colored, that’s even better.”

Mountain Man gave me a strange look but never one to shirk any assigned task, off he went.

I had visions of him standing in a vast aisle of baby supplies looking lost and a clerk asking him if he needed help. I can hear it now.

“May I help you?”

“Yes, I’m looking for small baby diapers, preferably pink ones.”

“How old is your little girl?”

“Well, she’s about 4 but her foot is about the size of a newborn baby’s bottom.”

“Foot? You do know you don’t put diapers on the foot?”

“Of course I know that. It’s for my wife’s horse and she wants fancy diapers, pink she said. She’s very fussy about her horse.”

My brave Mountain Man returned with my adorable little diapers. (Kind of makes me want to hear more than the pitter patter of giant hooves, but alas at this stage of my life, that will have to do.)

I assembled my supplies, including a fancy soaking bucket just for hooves, and I was all set to get on with it. After all, the vet made it look easy.

But, I soon discovered a very stubborn Morgan mare with a bruised foot has other ideas.

Here are some of the photos as I struggled.

The necessary supplies assembled.

Supplies for soaking hoof assembled.

The soaking boot filled with betadine mixed exactly as I’d been told.

Soaking boot filled with betadine solution.

But the vet had duct taped her hoof and I couldn’t get the blasted stuff off.

Hoof sticky from the wrap the vet put on.

So I just pulled the duct tape up over her hoof and proceeded to stick it all in the bucket.

Soaking the hoof before getting the old wrap off.

Mountain Man, seeing me struggle, reluctantly decided to help. He tried cutting the old duct tape off with his trusty knife.

Mountain Man attempts to remove old hoof wrap.

And kept on trying.

Mountain Man cuts and unravels the old hoof wrap.

Finally, he got it off mumbling something about “hay burners and all the trouble they cause.” He then made a hasty exit leaving me to deal with my cranky mare.

I finally managed to get her hoof in the soaking bucket and hastily grab the camera before she bolted.

The hoof finally soaking.

My efforts to wrap her hoof in adorable baby diapers were quite a struggle. Just me and the equally determined Khrysta who had decided she was done cooperating.

All did end well, Khrysta finally let me wrap her hoof, Mountain Man was able to get over his embarrassment and go into the drugstore again. And me, well, I’m just happy for once in my life I got to use pretty pink diapers; even if it was for a 1,200 pound mare.



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Post a comment below.

 

Mountain Woman
3/14/2010 2:39:44 PM
Cindy, :-) Yes, she's all better. This happened last spring. She rested about 5 or 6 weeks and now she's as good as new and as cranky and feisty as ever. Thanks for asking!!

Cindy Murphy
3/14/2010 9:58:02 AM
Hi, Mountain Woman. Your story is proof what I've always suspected - that kids can sometimes act just like animals, and vice-versa. In this example, it shows neither can hold still long enough to get a diaper on them! Hope Khrysta's hoof is well on its way to being mended. Cindy

Mountain Woman
3/14/2010 7:59:24 AM
Rodeo Princess, Brown Horse must be a handful. I can just see it now, just like Khrysta. This is my first horse at home and my first horse since I was a teen so I've been a nervous, worried Mom and I also didn't count on how much more cautious I've gotten as my bones are aging. I don't really want to get kicked so I dance around her and that doesn't help. It takes a lot of bravery I think to cope with horses. Thanks so much for the tips. They are really helpful and if she gets another one of these stone bruises, I'll use your suggestions. Thanks for dropping by :-)

Rodeo Princess
3/14/2010 7:33:43 AM
You capture the angst of these stone bruise situations so well! But, Oh, pooor Mountain Woman. I have been there and done that. Last time Brown Horse went up in the cross ties and tore them out of the wall, got the soaking bucket stuck on her leg, went down, thrashed around in the aisle of the barn and then, got up, shook herself and escaped out the door. A practical hint I can give you is this: BEFORE you even catch that horse, make a lattice of duct tape strips three thicknesses deep and about a foot square. One side should be the sticky side, one side should be the silvery side. Form the diaper into a little cup, with the tapes you would fasten at the waist. Then, once you have that foot soaked, You can slide that diaper on, place the tape square on the ground sticky side up, put the horse's foot down in the middle of it, then pull the tape up and just sort of mash it together around the horse's ankle so it sticks. Then let the horse go and watch as the mud and ice in the pasture try to suck this off until you do it all again. I was told by my vet the last time that now, unless it's a really TERRIBLE bruise, they just let them burst by themselves instead of cutting them out. NOW they tell me.

Mountain Woman
3/14/2010 6:46:19 AM
Hi Oz Girl, Thanks for visiting. I'm envious of your mud. We're still kind of frozen here. It's been a learning experience for sure learning how to work with large animals who don't necessarily see eye to eye with what you want them to do. Your mare sounds like Khrysta :-)

Oz Girl
3/13/2010 6:28:30 PM
I know how much work those hoof injuries can be, even though hubby was the one to deal with our paint horse a few years ago (not me!)... horses certainly have a mind of their own at times, well, a lot of times actually. The deep hoof prints in our rain-soaked front yard (and I mean DEEP!!) are proof of that today, as our mare decided she did NOT want to load up to go to the farrier this morning and escaped not once, not twice, but 3 times. Good thing she always ran over to the other two horses, ahem, gentlemen. LOL Hope you and Mountain Man are having a lovely weekend!



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