Canker...the equine version of Cancer.
The only way to describe this ****ing disease!!! And my poor lad is suffering with it.
On 4th June he came in from the field had his feet picked like normal, and this was noticed. A couple of weeks earlier he had the farrier and when he cut his frog (offside fore) it bled a little. Nothing major, and nothing was thought of it.
So the vet came out on 5th June and diagnosed with dreaded Canker. Harvey was sedated, and his leg nerve blocked, whilst the canker was cut out. Packed with Metronidazole, and taped up like a poultice. This bandage was changed and fresh Metronidazole was applied every 2 days.
7th June- The white soggy bit you can see is a mixture of cotton wool/Metronidaz (below).
10th June – Looking better already? ---->
This process was repeated for 1 week. After 1 week I sent photos to the vet who advised me to pack with Iodine swabs and bandage back up, changing the bandage every 3 days for 2 more weeks!
20th June – the brown you can see is Iodine.
It looks like Halloumi cheese!!
26th June – Farrier day. Farrier cut back the frog again to remove more canker that was lurking. By this point Harvey has been on box rest for 4 weeks. The longest he’s ever done! Vet informed and he advised to now spray with Alamcyin spray which is a blue coloured aerosol spray- as you can see from the photo’s - indicated for the treatment of foot rot.
28th June – Harvey is a fast healer just like his Mum!! --------->
I lunged Harvey today as advised by the farrier to keep him in work and keep pressure on the frog and Harvey moving to stimulate the blood flow. That went with a BANG, literally. He rocketed off for a good 5 minutes!
Keeping a close on eye on Harvey’s other 3 feet and regularly spraying them with Alamcyin spray too I’d noticed his offside fore had become soft, and his nearside left.
20th July - Vet called again I'd noticed a small amount of white puss and blood in the frog on the offside fore. Vet came back out and cut more away. This time he advised to use Formaldehyde, I had this at 37% which he diluted and advised to now syringe this on to harden up the frogs/heels.
All 4 frogs feeling solid! I’d been working him as normal for around a month without any dramas!
1st August – Near side hind – small amount of white pus in the Central Sulcus – vet informed and advised to treat as I have been doing the offside fore.
11th Aug – Farrier – the Central Sulcus in all 4 feet gone sore and opened up. Treated with Alamcyin then Formaldehyde. Original Canker foot cut back to the horn of the frog, this was like a blood shed. :( Packed with Iodine & Met
and wrapped up, back on box rest. On the advise of the Farrier I purchased Copper Sulphate from Amazon.
Harvey had become difficult ever since this day. He was getting dangerous to pick his front feet up as he was striking out. Any passing farrier on the yard I asked to pick them for me as I have no strength!
19th August - I kept treating the other 3 feet with Formaldehyde. The frogs were solid. Until part of the frog peeled away showing white soft tissue underneath. Formaldehyde certainly harden the outer layer but hasn't really helped to treat the canker. ------>
6th September – The Central Sulcus on his nearside hind had become soft after the outer layer dropped off. On closer inspection he had developed a small hole which was flushed with Saline solution and then flushed with Iodine and packed with sugar & Iodine.
9th September – I cut back Harvey’s feathers and trimmed all the hair out of his heels. Having quite literally not managed to pick his offside fore (original canker foot) I had huge amount of help to hoist his legs up and was mortified at what I saw when this was picked. The smell was back and the frog appeared white and mushy.
Foot doused in Iodine and Harvey head butting a wall traumatising me and Diane he was sent back to the stable.
110th September - I made the decision to sedate him, for his own and our safety and we needed to bloody see that foot!! A passing farrier very kindly helped pick the foot, check his heel and cut into the frog. H A L L E L U J A H !! Clean, HEALTHY frog tissue. Thank the effing lord.
I 100% over reacted sorry friends! I was convinced this was the end for him. :(
So foot packed up with sugar & Iodine and bandaged until Friday 14th September ! Fingers, toes, arms & legs crossed we can get on the home straight.
He sees the farrier again on 20th September I am PRAYING we are half way there at least. I know this is not going to be an easy process but having my little Diane’s help, support and OCD ways helps massively!
I have read so many horror stories online, been given so much support and advise from friends/vet/farriers and online friends.