Equine Canker Redux and What Type of Boot Will I use?…

The farrier was out yesterday and found a new little spot of Canker in Tess’ heel. Drat. I was so proud that she was canker-free for over a year and that she had made it through this very wet winter… But alas, I didn’t look deeply into the crevice of her sole.   And, I probably should have removed her from her majestic but wet paddock and put her uphill where no standing water can survive.  I guess I got cocky — or forgetful. I truly almost forgot that she was a canker survivor. It had been soooo long. Sigh.

The good news is that I don’t have to panic because now I know it can be cured quickly.  And, luckily, I had a small schmear of Purple Mush left.

Let me pause for a moment and give anyone who needs it, the information for the Holy Grail of cures for Equine Canker.  Call CoCo and ask for his “Purple Mush”.  Do not pass go, do not do anything else but call him immediately if you have canker…  I waded in a year of canker hell before I found him.  You have to call him, however, because the Mush is not on his website:

Coco Fernandez
Master Farrier
(805) 801-8365

OK, back to today…

So, I gathered my wrapper game face and headed to the tack room to pull the needed supplies.  Hmmmmm, let’s see, how will I wrap this then?…  I took some cotton pads, the tiny amount of left over Mush, vet wrap (I had bought 2 cases (!) of vet wrap from Ebay just before I found the cure so I have lots left…), a hoof pick and lemme see… which boot… Hmmmmm, again.  I decided to use my Davis Boot because that was all I had, really.  I was just not up for creating the little duct tape lattice work bottom wrap thing.  Ugh. I  HATE making those.  OK, I was set.

I tied her up in her usual hoof wrapping spot and she fell right into the old pattern.  “OK, I sit here patiently and you give me grain, right?”  Uh huh.  I hate lying to her… but I did.  She is a bit too portly to get any more grain, in my opinion.  Besides, being a bit round is not good if you have canker.  It could lead to founder.  So, no grain.  Poor girl.  Anyway, it is so much easier to apply the Mush instead of that horrible concoction/wrap we had in the days before the Mush.  If you haven’t read my previous post about the horrors of Equine Canker, you can read it here. Anyway, today’s wrap was pretty easy.  In fact, Tess hardly had time to dream about her non-existent grain.   Here is what I did for those of you interested.  First I cleaned the area and I made sure it was very dry.  Next, I dug out some mush and squished it into the cankerous crevice.  The Mush gets everywhere so be careful, wear clothes you don’t care about when applying it and wash your hands immediately!  Anyway, I shoved the gooey Mush down in there and then packed that spot with cotton gauze.  I wanted to make sure the goo stayed deep to reach the infection — this is key.  Then, I wrapped vet wrap (a lovely red color) around the area to keep the cotton in place and to keep it clean.  Finally, I put her demure foot into the huge Davis Boot and wrapped the boot top with the vet wrap because the boot is way too big.

I have so much practice with wrapping that I felt like I should have yelled, Ole! when I was finished.  Or perhaps, “And that son, is how it is DONE!”  But, Tess would have just rolled her eyes at me and I would have been humiliated by my stoic and Aunt Bea type mare.  So, I refrained.

Now, I did contemplate all the other boots I should have had here for her…  After all, I really should have a boot for her in case this happens periodically.  And, since I need to keep this Purple Mush wrap on for three days, I better figure out a plan.  So, what to do, what to do?  The Davis Boot is kinda clumsy.  I mean, it works GREAT and is very durable, but it is too big and I’m too cheap to get a smaller size — it works well enough.  At least I didn’t use duct tape to keep it on… at least I used a sassy red wrap.  But still, in my conscience, I think I could have done better.

So, I started to research what I could and should use.  Let’s go over the particulars… She will be in the barn at night so that won’t be too hard on a boot.  But, I do want to let her out to graze for a few hours so she can put her face into the sunshine and clean air.  Grazing on the irrigated pasture (my front lawn and don’t tell Hubby — let’s check if he reads my blog, shall we…?  ;)  )   is uneven and could be tricky in a balloon boot.  Today, I let her graze in her floppy Davis Boot and she sounded like a kindergartener in new galoshes.  It was a good thing she had a fly mask on or I would have seen the disgust in her face.  “Is this the best you can do?  Sheesh.”

I gathered all my calculations together…  Needs to be kept dry and clean, cannot wear through at night in the barn, needs to be able to go outside on the uneven lawn and she needs to be able to wear it comfortably for three days.  Oh, and it has to stay on and Mommy needs to be able to afford it.  OK.  I knew what I needed, sort-of.

My first inclination was to get another Easy Boot RX.  Do you know these?  They are fantabulous when it comes to any foot wrapping needs.  It is the obvious answer except I am too cheap to purchase another.  Even on Ebay, they are not discounted.  So, I really tightened my thinking cap.  I could do the duct tape lattice wrap temporary shoe and wrap that in a thick plastic bag.  Hmmmmm.  Ugly.  And, I don’t have any more IV bags left anyway.  (Oh, that is a tip, everyone… IV bags from a vet hospital or your vet work great for wrapping hooves.)  Thinking.  Thinking.  I think a thought is forming… Yes… Yes!  I remember seeing something in the Valley Vet catalog for a temporary shoe that can fold up and be put in your trail pack for when you lose a shoe on the trail…  What was that called?  I skipped to my computer and onto the Valley Vet website and punched in “temporary shoe”.  Alas, it popped right up.  It is called the Quick Fix Hoof Wrap. Ahhh, sounds Perfect!

I looked at it and read the description: This rugged nylon bandage was designed to allow horses to be turned out to pasture during hoof treatment. Makes treating hoof problems like abscesses and stone bruises easier, or can provide temporary protection after shoe loss. The wrap-around design provides a custom fit that is double reinforced under foot. Tough hook-and-loop closures keep the wrap on, yet allow it to be removed, cleaned and reapplied. One size fits most horses. EVA foam hoof pad included.  Hmmmmm.  Sounds pretty good.

So, I purchased one (and several other things I coveted because I’m a sucker for free shipping if you purchase “X” amount…).  It will arrive here probably after I don’t need it anymore.  But, I will have it for next time!  In the meantime, the poor girl will have to galumpf around the place in her big ol’ clown boot.  I don’t feel too badly for her, after all, she is head mare.  No one is going to mess with her or call her a name…  Besides, she is Queen for a week anyway because she gets dibs on the barn.  Yup, she has a luxury suite in the Big Grey Inn.  Tess has a master bedroom (large stall) filled to the brim with fluffy down shavings and a look-out window where she can watch over her subjects stuck in the valley below.  Her room opens to the wide and luxurious aisle way for the Queen’s strolling pleasure.  In the bath area Tess will find two large matching Temptress Red buckets of fresh water as well as her favorite potty corner all clean and ready.  And, as our lovely guest saunters down the aisle, she can nibble on green grass growing for her dining pleasure, she can feast on a variety of grass hays at her disposal and she can hunt around for any other sweet morsel dropped outside the feed room.  Lastly, Tess can put her lovely head and neck over the entrance gate and survey her queendom as the sun sets.  Not bad for a girl in an ill fitting shoe.

So, I’ll keep you posted on the death of the canker.  I am fully expecting it to be gone in the three days.  And, won’t I be surprised if it isn’t… But, I will show you the pics and tell you the honest truth.

Thanks for taking this Canker Cruise with me.  I’m going to put on my chamber maid apron and mosey down to the Big Grey Inn and check on Her Royal Highness.  At this hotel, we offer tuck-in service, of course!   Long Live the Queen.  I remember her when…

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

Click this photo for an update on or to donate to the Bucket Fund

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Only one comment so far...

  1. Wendy

    I have a set of the quick fix hoof boots. They are very handy for emergencies like yours, although on “trickier” horses, you may want to use duct tape over the Velcro, so they don’t take them off!

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *