I mentioned last week that per the vet, Paddy's weird stiffness/lameness was diagnosed to be a thrush infection deep in the RF heel. The good news is that we've been treating it 2x/day since then, and while he's not quite 100%, he's darn close. I think a few more days and we'll be good to go.
If you've never dealt with a deep infection, it's a bit of a pain. Here's what I'm doing to treat him:
1. Collect all your equipment.
You can get anti fungal cream at your local grocery store. The tip of this one fits perfectly into a 3 ml syringe, so I can load up the syringe and use it as an applicator. The syringe tip lets me get the goo deep down in the crack.
Loaded and ready to go.
Next up, thimerosal. Don't touch this stuff, lick it, get it in your eyes, breathe it, etc. It's an organomercury anti fungal agent (also found as a preservative in vaccines) - great stuff for white line disease and deep thrush, but you don't want to get it on your skin or your horse's. Wear gloves or handle with extreme caution and wash hands immediately after.
Betadine rinse with syringe applicator. I squirt syringe fulls of this up in the crack to rinse out any debris that's gotten up in there.
Also needed but not shown: hoof pick and gauze squares.
2. Collect your Haffie. Distract him with food.
This was the easy part.
3. Treat the foot. This is kind of like treating an abscess - once you get the area clean, you don't want to let him put his foot down until you get it repacked, so be sure to have all the equipment handy.
Pre-cleanout. You can see the gauze crammed in his heel from the last time we did this.
Clean foot VERY well before pulling out gauze (this lessens the chance you'll get any dirt in the crack). Here's what it looks like after I've pulled out the gauze.
Use syringe to rinse out cavity with betadine. Hopefully you can see the giant hole in his heel. Yikes! The hole itself is a lighter color because of the thimerosal.
Put about 5 drops of thimerosal right in the worst part, being careful not to get it anywhere that it could run up into his skin. Cram anti-fungal cream in on top of it.
Using a hoof pick, pack a gauze square in the crack. This keeps dirt out, the dressing in, and allows a little air to get in the deep part (and thrush hates air).
Crush the scorpion that was wandering across the backroom floor.
After 5 days, we're down to using thrush buster (which has formaldehyde in it, did you know?) and anti-fungal cream, but we're still packing it with gauze to keep the dirt out. It's looking SO much better and he's clearly moving better. Now, just gotta stay on top of things so that this doesn't happen ever again!