Maggie and Rocky

Rocky Recovery

Rocky, my 15-year-old OTTB, always seemed just a little bit off on his left foreleg.  He has huge osselets in both front fetlocks, and his left front hoof is a bit clubby, so a slight lameness was never unexpected.  About once a year he would come up three-legged lame due to an abscess in that left hoof, and he had a pesky crack that ran vertically from his coronary band to the ground which just never seemed to go away.  But last year, when he came up with two abscesses in a row, I decided to have him x-rayed to see if there was something else causing the problem.  That’s when he was diagnosed with a keratoma, a rare benign tumor that continues to grow inside the hoof and which must be surgically removed. 

So, we trailered Rocky the four-hour trip from Virginia Beach to NC State where the surgery was performed, and after which, he was missing about a one inch section of hoof from his coronary band to the ground.  The hoof was bridged together with a metal band, some screws and a huge mess of epoxy covering it all.  Previously barefoot, Rocky is now in front shoes to support his hoof while it heals and grows back down.  He was confined to his stall for the first 6-8 weeks, after which time he was allowed out on a small paddock we built for him behind his stall so he could go in and out as he wanted, but still be apart from the herd.  Just now, in the 8th month and earlier than I expected, he has been cleared for light turnout with his herd. 

Darren Owen, the farrier who had come highly recommended for his expertise in this type of rehabilitation, re-shod Rocky on that first visit and recommended that I start him on Life Data’s Farrier’s Formula® to help with his hoof growth.  I have to admit that I am often skeptical about supplements and their effectiveness, but after learning it would be approximately one year before Rocky’s hoof would completely grow out, I was happy to give Farrier’s Formula® a try.  The growth in the first four months seemed painfully slow, but by the 6th month, I was really seeing a change!  Now, in the 8th month, Rocky’s hoof has grown approximately 2/3 of the way down and is looking very healthy.   Because of these results, I have started giving Farrier’s Formula® to my Appaloosa, Chief, as well, even though he naturally has beautiful hooves.  In fact, I have so much confidence in the Life Data® products, I have started both horses on their balancer, Barn Bag®, which has allowed me to take Rocky, a hard-keeper, off the large quantities of premium feed I had been giving him for the past seven years.  And Chief, who has been on a different balancer product, is now on one that provides even more of the nutrients he needs.

Rocky is not completely out of the woods, and he still has some time to go in his rehabilitation before he can do much on his “new” hoof.  But thanks to expert farrier care, along with Life Data’s nutritional products, he is well ahead in the game.  Thank you, Darren and Life Data® for making that possible!

Rocky's Keratoma Recovery