Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Digs

I think (knock wood) that we are done with the Invasion Of The Scratches. It is also know as dew poisoning and hoof rot so you would imagine an oozing pus-ridden mass of sores. That I would be able to diagnose with a glance. It really just looks like scratches. A few scabs or a small bloody spot. If you found it on your own foot, you would wash it and forget it.

When I first saw it on Claire, I was unconcerned. Then it got much worse and spread to Libby. Big concern. Every morning for weeks I had to scrub legs. It never got better until Lee stepped in. He found a web site that I had not. It had a lot more information and was very helpful. I have no idea what it was, but here is what it said and what we did.

It is contagious. Don't share brushes. OK. Too late for that. But it is a good idea and I should get more brushes and have a tack box for each horse. Put that on my list.

Clip the feet and legs so that the bacteria is more easily scrubbed off. We did that. It also said to scrub off the scabs to get rid of the bacteria under them and we did this....mostly. Some scabs were quite stubborn. And I didn't want to be digging at their feet too much. It seemed to be painful and I did the best I could.

It also said to clip the pasture low to get rid of any high grasses. Lee mowed the whole field and the outside perimeter, then used the weed eater under the fence line to have it all clipped. Mowing also breaks up the manure so that if it ever rains again in my lifetime, it can break down more easily.

We scrubbed and scrubbed twice a day. When it looked like we had a handle on it we started using Desitin (actually the Dollar General brand) to dry the sores up and to coat the foot above the hoof line. I didn't have time to wait for the feet to dry from the scrubbing. I had to get to work. So, I would scrub and clean stall and buckets and then put the horses back in their stall. Lee would go down an hour or so later and goop up their legs and let them out. By this time the dew was off the grass and that may have helped also.

So this morning was the last scrub day. I clipped them again yesterday and gooped them up. Then this morning I scrubbed all the scabs off and gave them one more dose of Betadine. I hope we are DONE!

Lee put the rails and gates up all by himself on the new turnouts. Is there any question as to why he is my mother's favorite son-in-law?? (In fact this has become a family joke and all my aunts are now required to call him their favorite son-in-law, too. The fact is, my mother has only one son-in-law.) I had some minor surgery and have been too sore to help, so he went and did it all alone while I was at work! See why he is my favorite husband?(Once again, the one and only, but still.....)

We have been planning on and working on these turnouts for quite some time. It is just serendipity that they are done at a time when moving the horses to a different stall might also help with their recuperation. If there was also bacteria in their old stalls and turnouts, then they will no longer be there to be reinfected.

We scrubbed the new stalls and moved the salt blocks and put in fresh shavings. New Digs! I have no idea if they like the new digs or not. We waited around and all they wanted to do was eat dinner. If I didn't know better, I might think they were male. "Just feed me and I don't care what you do with the place."

Next week is soon enough to disinfect the old stalls. We swept and hosed them out. Have the Lysol. Just don't have the energy. Gotta save something for next weekend! Of course there is a fund raiser for the Eagle Rock Library at the Blue Ridge Winery next weekend. I have to reserve some energy for that. We love going to the local wineries for a meal and some music. This vist has the added benefit of supporting the Eagle Rock Library. It is the newest of the Botetourt libraries and still has a lot of shelves to fill up. They have an active Friends group and I will go to support them. We'll share a bottle of wine, have a meal and not think about horse hooves at all.

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