Sunday Chewie gleefully flung his right shoe off. I almost thought I saw him giggling when he galloped by me, kicked up, and the shoe departed his hoof. I checked the foot, and it looked okay, not tore up or damaged. The epoxy padding was still on there, and I figured it couldn't do too much damage for a day or so.
Monday morning I called Farrier Mike, reported the missing shoe. He responded he'd go to put it back on, I replied "okay, but if he needs barefoot & soaking, please let me know that, too". Response? "K" .. hmm.. awful professional, but *whatever*.
3:45pm Monday I got a phone call, "Jennifer, this is Mike, we just went to look at Chewie's hoof, and it's too tore up to put a shoe on. He's going to have to regrow his hoof, and build up a hoof wall so I can put a shoe on it, and not have the same risk of quicking him again. That means he'll be off for about 6 to 8 weeks while his hoof grows back. Put some terpentine on his sole so it will toughen up, and he can put normal weight on it. He's got some wrap on there now, but he's real tender, and doesn't want to put weight on it. I'll call you again later so we can talk."
Good grief. I was terrified. What could have honestly happened in 24 hours that would've taken that much foot off?! I called my vet. Dr. Moscatelli was a hero. Doc says, "Come to the office. I'll give you a penicillin shot to give him, a tetanus shot, antibiotic pills to mash in his food, iodine to pour over the nail hole. It probably looked like it was healing then got worse because it's an abscess brewing. Come get the drugs, we'll talk."
On the way home from work, I stopped at Doc's office. All the girls that know Chewie reassured me in their "nursey ways" that it'd all work out, just as abscesses before. I gathered my drugs, paid my bill, and headed home.
I changed clothes, settled the dogs, cats, and reassured Romeo. Found Chewie standing in his stall (voluntarily), with pink vetwrap & duct tape on his hoof. Gathered my abscess supplies, hoof bucket, hay bag with a flake, and "caught" my horse. His eyes just said, "Momma, make it quit hurting, please?" He took his shots like a champ, one in the hiney ("It's a pretty easy muscle to stick", says the Doc), one in the skin of his neck, and while he seemed sore, he was putting more weight on that hoof than the last abscess, which was comforting. I took the farrier's wrap off, and noticed it wasn't tore up, that bad. It looked like the equilox on the inner-outside of his hoof (need to learn what that's really called) had come off, and took a little hoof wall with it. Overall, the sole wasn't squish to the touch, and the wall was mostly intact. I gave the sole a good push with my fingertips, and he didn't angrily pull it away, but he did flinch a bit when I pushed near the quicked nail hole.
I've become somewhat of a "hoof soaking expert" since Chewie and I became family. With hay in his face, and a sore foot, that good boy will stand in the bucket of salt water.
*Sturdy and somewhat small black thick rubber bucket, warm water, add handful of epsom salts, stir
*Clean hoof, place in water bucket, stand for 15-20 minutes (insert hay in face here)
*Rubber glove hands
*Remove from water, drip-dry
*Iodine over nail hole, Ichthammol on sole
*Duct tape patch (I'll take a picture - it's a nifty shortcut to wrapping the duct tape in strands around the hoof, and seems to hold up pretty good)
*Reward with a cookie or three
Overall, it wasn't in as bad shape as Farrier Mike had me fearing. It might still be infected, but the drugs should address that pretty easily.
I'm going to miss riding him these next few weeks. A lot ... Romeo's barefoot, and while shoes on him will make him more frequent to ride, he might not appreciate it, and the stiffness/soreness might rear it's ugly face again, making him chasey & goofy. I've talked to Cowboy Les, and he said, "You know you've always got four horses to ride (Romeo, Amigo, Sugar, and Blue)." This time away from Chewie might give me more confidence to canter the other horses. I won't have a lot of choice - Romeo isn't going to want to canter much, if at all. Amigo is easy going enough I can practice, and the others will have to teach me a bit more confidence.