Tuesday morning when I went down to feed, I found Tuffy standing on three legs. He held his front leg off the ground and didn't move. I felt the leg -- no heat, no swelling. But, it was obviously excruciating. Tuffy would barely touch the ground with the hoof and then yank it quickly back into the air.
I left work early so I could check on him while it was still light. Jackpot! Our farrier was here when I got home, tacking shoes back onto Jackson and Flash. He offered to take a look.
Tuffy hates the farrier. I don't understand why since there has never been any pain involved in having his hooves trimmed. Tuffy will let me hold his feet and clean them all day long without a complaint but he won't let the farrier near. I got the halter on Tuffy and the farrier tried getting close enough to give Tuffy some scritches and scratches. Tuffy wasn't having any of it. He loves the vet who gives him shots... why not the farrier?
We finally got Tuffy to stand still and after a few minutes of love and attention, Tuffy relaxed and buried his head in my stomach. Our farrier was able to pick up the foot and trim away the sole without further tantrums. We're pretty sure it's an abscess; the sole is very tender in one spot even to finger pressure.
I wrapped Tuffy's hoof in epsom salt poultice, part of a diaper, and vet wrap. I usually use duct tape but we seem to be out of it at the moment.
Poor little guy. I hope it bursts soon. In the meantime, he seems to have mastered the three-legged hop.