Nail this emergency

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

You might chuckle at the amount of debris you pick out of your horse’s hooves. But if your equine buddy steps on a nail, it’s no laughing matter.

Even a small nail can lead to big problems. Call your veterinarian right away, then fight your instinct to remove the nail. If the nail has penetrated a bone, joint or tendon sheath, your horse needs aggressive care and probably surgery. The nail will appear on an x-ray image, showing how the extent of the damage. While awaiting the veterinarian, try to prevent your horse from walking on the injured foot. If the nail is long, cut it flush to the hoof. Then, wrap your horse’s foot with a bandage until the veterinarian arrives. And always make sure your horse is up to date on tetanus vaccinations.

Keeping these things in mind will help you nail this emergency.