Monday, February 01, 2016

New Farrier Visits!

Siera's left front foot before and after trim.

To our new farrier's credit, he was not finished when I took the second photo. He had some more work to do as well as quite a bit of rasping to shape and not have the toe so 'sharp' looking.

I got so involved in listening to his description of his plan on being able to help Siera grow frogs back that I didn't take any more shots.

I will state here that I am no foot expert and I won't pretend to be.  I rely on the expert work of the farrier I work with.  The farrier we had for the past 10 or so years seemed to do a fine job.  At times, he seemed in a hurry, cut, rasp, drop the foot and on to another.  If he was not trimming up to par, it seemed most of our animals were still getting along.

Except Siera.  Gaited Peruvian Paso Mule.  Over the summer, her feet did get neglected and when trimmed it was a quick shot deal.  I was busy with my husband's cancer treatment to pay much attention.
That is until suddenly Siera was standing on three legs and barely making it to the hay pile.

I immediately realized there was a problem.  As far as we could tell it could have been an abscess and thrush.  Although that was confusing as it had been so incredibly dry.
When I cleaned her feet the frogs were a mess.  Old farrier rarely trimmed off the rough pieces saying they'd just wear off.  Deep in her frog there was a putrid grey nasty goo.
Infection of some sort.  Her frogs were disappearing on her left side.  I packed antibiotic cream into her affected areas and made duct tape shoes.  I did this off and on for two weeks.

The old farrier came by and did a trim.  I was perplexed, wasn't her frog supposed to impact the ground as well as the heel?  "Well," said old farrier, "it is the best I can do right now."

Let's just say old farrier ended up leaving us.

We were so happy to accidentally run across this farrier who is a Certified Farrier, not a fellow who picked it up so he could make some money.

Dan and his son Danny both work as a team.  They make their own shoes and other products.  Dan knows his stuff.
I was impressed at the amount of time he took to explain Siera's plan of recovery.  
He also told me to ride her lightly in the snowy pasture to promote growth, which exercise would do. Yippee!

Dan was not looking for new clients but when Rich told him it was "The Wife's Mule." Dan exclaimed that he would proclaim that as an "Emergency!" and he and his son came over as soon as they were done at the neighbor's place.

He can now safely schedule a whole day on our ridge.  My neighbor, us, and another lady I know about 1.5 miles from our place.

I plan on being here when we returns and I will ask if I can take a lot more photos.  He actually likes it when clients do that.
The man certainly knows his hooves.

Color me happy.


The Dancing Donkey said...

Thrush can be a big problem, even in dry weather and especially when it gets deep into the sulcus - that is very painful. A treatment I like to use is a 50/50 mix of triple antibiotic plus pain releiver with athletes foot cream. I mix it up in a syringe with a long curved tip that will get deep into the crevices. The snow might help as well. If you can get the thrush under control, then exercise is the best medicine.

There is usually a nutritional component as well. I don't know what your soil is like, but the most common problem is too much iron and manganese and to little copper and zinc. You could put her on California Trace Plus for a few months and see if you notice a difference, I think you would.

I hope the new farrier works out for you and you and Sierra can get back out on the trail.

Val Ewing said...

She had the thrush this summer and we got rid of that with triple antibiotic cream. I filled the frog area with it and then wrapped it in duct tape to keep dirt out.
She is coming out of it now and yes, she had a very very serious issue.

On the mend now!