What should I do for feet trimmed too short?

I recently had to switch farriers and the new farrier trimmed my horse’s front feet (which are shod) too short, particularly the front right. I put him on bute, cold-hoses, and rubbed lineament on his legs but after a few days there was no improvement so I called the farrier back. He insisted that it was a nail, rather than him being trimmed too short. He took out a medial nail and my horse seemed to improve so we took him off the bute and he was lame again.

I called the vet on 10/9 and the vet determined that the hooves had heat and there was a pulse. He took off both shoes and told me he had been trimmed too short and unevenly and that there was a broken nail left in the hoof, underneath the shoe the farrier had put on. He told me not to use that farrier anymore and to soak, pack with cotton, and wrap the hooves for 10 days-2 weeks. I followed up with my farrier to let him know that I would be seeking services elsewhere and he said that my vet was wrong and, if my horse was trimmed too short, what he really needed were pads on his feet.

So now I don’t know what to think! Am I doing the right thing by soaking, packing, and wrapping his feet or should I get someone to put pads on? So confused!

#1 follow vets advice about farrier.

Honestly, Id leave him barefoot and let it grow out. Follow the vets direction and soak, pack and wrap for the 2 weeks. You are likely to see an abcess from that broken nail that got left in the hoof. Hand walking would probably be beneficial just to get him moving, maybe hand graze if you have grass. There are various boots you can buy for the hooves but don’t know if they would be worth it short term and may take longer to ship to you then the hoof takes to grow out.

Id be afraid trying to nail anything on a too short, uneven trim would just make things worse. Probably back off the Bute too, especially if it does abcess, you want that to boil and burst and the bute is hard on their tummies when given for longer then a few days.

There are hoof supplements that grow the hoof faster but not that fast. He should be much better in 2 or 3 weeks. Wouldn’t be in a huge hurry to re shoe unless he’s out on rocks or something. Let it grow.

Thanks, findeight!

The vet said to bute him 2x a day from this past Fri-Sun and then from Sun-Wed 1x a day and then stop with the bute. So I’ll be stopping that soon enough. Man, I hope I don’t see an abscess…I’ve never dealt with one before but I guess what I’m doing now is essentially the same for an abscess so might as well get that experience too. Haha. I have been putting betadine inside the hole (as best I could) before I pack it, though, so hopefully that helps prevent an abscess.

He has been on Farrier’s Formula Double Strength for a year now so that should help the growth as well.

Thanks again for your advice! It sucks to have him off for so long as he is young and high energy and, thus, being extremely naughty in his stall. But c’est la vie!

Hoof abscesses are a nuisance but nothing to worry yourself too much about dealing with. Not fun I realize but nothing you can not handle.

I would continue to follow the advice of your vet.

When it comes to short feet, a Farrier has the ability to get your horse feeling better much quicker than a vet.

A sore foot is going to have heat and a pulse. Having an old nail still in the foot doesn’t matter one way or the other.

If the sole is sore, I prefer to have a shoe on the foot so he doesn’t stand on the sore sole all day. It also allows you to packing to stay under the sore sole instead of squishing out like it would barefoot.

Magic Cushion. Without a shoe, you’re going to need to make a bandage with duct tape and padding. With a shoe, I just pack it in and cover with a piece of paper or shavings. Deep bedding.

As a retired horseshoer I recommend you keep your horse unshod. More shoeing requires more trimming and paring, even if only in a limited amount. Experience tells me that unshod hooves grown faster. Get some boots at your local tack shop or TSC and put them on. Can’t leave them on for more than 24 hours, but when I use them on my own horses, (I never trim them short as I’m perfect - LOL) I keep them on for about 8 to 12 hours, off for four, and then back on. You can vary from this, just don’t leave them on for more than 24 hours straight. This allows the hoof breath and dry out, gives support, eases the pain, and is great to ice the hoof. You can treat any infection with soaks like Epsom Salts in these boots also.

Getting old and just had a memory lapse on the brand, but there is a medical boot out (blue uppers on black sole) that works great. I keep two or three in my tool bag all the time. They hold up well in the paddock. Like wraps, put them on in pairs. Horses tend to lay off to the side with the least amount pain so one leg and hoof is under double stress. In your case, it maybe hard to tell. The most important concept to remember is that the horse must continue to move to keep maximum circulation for health and growth. Boots are great investment. I can guarantee you’ll thank the Spirit of Pegasus that you have them.

Also, it is likely if the hoof is trimmed short, the sole has been pared too thin. The boots will provide protection. I don’t like giving Bute over the long term. Aspirin in powder form works for longer periods of time and is more tolerable. I use it over bute.

I’m not saying that some of the other suggestions won’t work, because they will. I will say that my “boot” program does take some labor and time management, so choose the best methods that work with your schedule. Last check the horse’s temperature daily along with palpating the hoof and leg to look for heat. Temperatures as low 96 or 97 indicate shock and temps at 103 or 104 indicate serious disease.

Best wishes.


So now I don’t know what to think! Am I doing the right thing by soaking, packing, and wrapping his feet or should I get someone to put pads on? So confused![/QUOTE]

If the horse was trimmed a little short and is slightly off, you could probably throw a pad on.

If the horse is off as much as you are describing, you will want to reduce pain and inflammation before any pads are added.

If you think he may possibly abscess, I’d be soaking in ice water and epson salts a few times a day. Since the foot is bare you may be better off painting a topical solution such as Durasole or something of that nature and then wrapping a very thick layer of cotton to give him something soft to stand on.

You’ll probably be dealing with an abscess soon enough. Leave the shoe off. Soak his hoof for as long as you can stand with warm water and epsom salts, and then wrap it with Animalintex, vet wrap and duct tape until the abscess comes out. It could take a few days/week before it appears. Keep the horse in a clean stall. Horse’s feet that have been punctured almost always abscess.

Horse’s feet that have been punctured almost always abscess.[/QUOTE]

It doesn’t sound like the foot was punctured.

It doesn’t sound like the foot was punctured.[/QUOTE]

Didn’t sound like it to me either. Did the Vet remove the broken nail? Maybe I missed that part. If nail is only in the hoof wall, it is just like any shoe nail. Not painful, not going to abcess, but does need removal from the wall because it is not of any use in the hoof wall.

I am in the “shoe him with a pad” thinking, since I HATE seeing a horse gimp around when he doesn’t have to. Shoe gets his thin sole up off the dirt, pads the wall for pressure, so horse can move easier. However the Farrier needs SKILL, to just level the hoof and put on the shoe with pad. Not removing any more than needed to get hoof leveled.

The boot suggested is a Davis Boot. They work well and stay on. Another thing you can do is paint the bottom of the feet/soles with DMSO and cortisone. THAT will draw the soreness out very well. If the soles are soft you can paint them with Venus turpentine to harden them. Time is what the horse needs the most and something (s) to keep him comfortable as the feet grow. Good luck.

Hoof boots. I have Cavallo simple boots and love them. Have a pair for both my boys, and talked owner into getting a set for pony mare was having a tough transition to barefoot. Night and day for miss mare, she is now moving more correctly, stimulating better hoof growth, and going comfortably without her boots.

So worth it to have a set on hand for lost shoes and those times where there isn’t enough horn to nail on a shoe comfortably.

I’m in the camp that says leave him barefoot right now. I would continue following the vets advice, possible packing with magic cushion and then switching to hoof boots for turnout once he’s a little more comfortable. If you’re concerned about an abscess then I definitely wouldn’t be putting pads on. I for one would not want to deal with that popping out the sole and then having to pull the pads off.

For those in favor of barefoot, when a barefoot horse goes sore from having short feet, most people seem to recommend shoes. When a Farrier trims one short, why do people recommend barefoot?

The horse will get better regardless. Just wondering why.

?..If the soles are soft you can paint them with Venus turpentine to harden them. Time is what the horse needs the most and something (s) to keep him comfortable as the feet grow. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

er, VENICE turpentine. But it works, has been a go to for probably hundreds of years plus is a cheap way to harden soles-keep it off the frog though. Used Keratex etc. at much greater cost, that worked about the same as the VT. But I wouldn’t use a hardner right now, wait until the possibility of an abcess passes. And I think you may get one from nail the farrier pulled if not the broken one, he improved after that medial nail was pulled, sounds like he quicked him. It happens and those abcess about half the time.

You can also pack the soles with Icthammol (sp?) black, nasty goop that helps draw out soreness and abcesses. It’s another old standby that’s not expensive- you’ll want to wear gloves when you glop it on the bottom of the hoof before padding and wrapping.

But really think the best medicine here is tincture of time.

For those who think leaving an old nail, which broke off in the hoof, will cause an abscess. Can you explain how this is possible?

I had a horse the vet had been treating as if he had an abscess get very sore feet after he was shod. The farrier aggressively pared the soles and when I had the vet out again he took X-rays which showed thin soles. It was a comedy of errors although it certainly wasn’t funny
The vet treated it like a laminitic episode. He gave DMSO IV, we alternated bute and banamine and a few days later, the farrier added pour in pads. The horse was sore enough to do rollbacks to avoid using his front feet. We still haven’t figured out the initial lameness problem but I’m sure someday and many more dollars down the road, we will.
I wouldn’t put shoes on until you get some growth but would figure out a way to cushion the foot with boots, magic cushion etc

I was thinking that the horse was comfortable after the farrier removed the first wayward nail (aka, he hit the horse too far in/too far up). That is the abscess I would be worried about, not from the second nail.

If there a possibility of an abscess I would not give bute. None of us here have seen him and your vet has.

In this circumstance I would go with your vets opinion. This farrier already messed him up and has given you no reason to trust him.

If it were my horse I would put protective boots on and just keep them clean and let him be. Check again for improvement. If none I would have xrays done.