Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cabin Fever

Jackson's white line has not improved, despite special shoes and soaking in Clean Trax.  Our farrier wants to try resection -- basically removing part of his hoof in the hopes that it will grow back healthy.  Given the myriad medical conditions that Jackson has, I don't think he would survive the healing process from such a drastic procedure.  He's like a fragile diabetic, with all the complications (and foot problems) that go along with it.  I repeated the Clean Trax treatment last weekend, and we are going to try reverse shoes at the recommendation of our vet.  She specified that Jackson must be in a bone dry environment for the next 6-9 months if he is going to have any success in recovery.

So, Jackson remains confined to the round pen.  While the other horses relax in their pastures, he is surrounded by walls and a roof, with just a window and a door from which he can view the outside world.

He is pretty depressed about the whole thing.  Lately, he has stopped meeting us at the door for his morning bucket, standing instead with his back to us and his face to the wall.

Yesterday, Brett wheeled the muck cart into Jackson's cell roundpen and began picking up manure.  He swung the metal gate closed, but didn't latch it.  Jackson is a friendly sort of guy who usually follows us around and sniffing at the poop in the muck cart.  Yesterday, he walked over to the gate, pulled it open, and walked out before Brett had time to put down his muck rake.

Jackson headed to the hay bales stacked in a corner of the barn.  Brett grabbed Jackson's halter from the chair outside his pen, and followed.  Jackson, the easiest horse on the ranch to halter, the horse who prefers human company to almost anything else, pulled his head away and headed out the door.

Brett followed in hot pursuit as Jackson rounded the corner by the small arena.  Jackson picked up the pace, bucked and kicked out.  After a few more futile minutes where Jackson snatched bites of grass without letting Brett close, Brett went to plan B.

With a red bucket full of senior feed and cookies in his hands, Brett approached again.  This time, Jackson allowed himself to be caught and returned.  He was wearing trail boots at the time, as our farrier won't be out until this afternoon to tack on the reverse shoes.  So, he feet didn't get wet.  And, honestly, I couldn't blame Jackson for taking the opportunity offered by the open gate.  All the running and bucking was probably bad for his feet but it made him happy.  And, sometimes, that is more important.


  1. Oh my. Sad to hear that he was so sad. But I think the little "outing" will lift his spirits for a few days anyway.

  2. You could try the hydrogen peroxide mixed with iodine. I did a twenty minute soak per foot once a week, but it has to be able to reach the white line area.

    We've been battling it for six years and it is now gone after two treatments.

    1. I think Clean Trax is similar. It cleans out the area and kills bacteria -- and you soak the whole hoof so it gets up inside.

  3. This is so hard. I know how important he is to you. (((hugs)))

  4. An American in TokyoDecember 20, 2017 at 8:11 PM

    Poor guy!!
    Can he have visitors? I wonder if he would feel better if someone was in his "cell" with him??
    I hope you guys find a solution soon!! Fingers crossed!!

  5. You may have mentioned this, but I forget....Have you ever had him tested for Cushing's?

    1. Yes, Jackson has Cushing's. He also has thyroid issues and navicular. He's a mess.

  6. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this about Jackson. Poor guy. Sometimes I think the treatments imposed ends up being harder on them than their illness. Could he have a buddy to socialize with? When we have someone injured, each herd member is in rotation for "hospital buddy" duty. Seems to help. Hope he gets better soon. :(

    Merry Christmas Annette and Brett

  7. I hate to hear this. There are so many ups and downs with our sweet horses. It sounds like he is getting very depressed. I hope there is a ray of sunlight for him soon.

    Merry Christmas to you and your herd.


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