Helping Fanny, Trusting Myself

I never broke an abscess on a donkeys hoof before yesterday.  In the past when Fanny was limping from an abscess I wasn’t able to find it on her hoof.  Something our farrier Matt is very good at.

Yesterday, as I was cleaning her hoof to see if I could find where the problem might be, I saw something on the bottom of her hoof that made me scrape it with my hoof pick.  The pick sunk into her hoof making as small hole where blood oozed out.

An abscess on a donkey’s hoof will eventually pop itself.  It just might take longer and cause more pain than if it’s otherwise relieved.

Yesterday after I let Fanny’s hoof bleed for a while to clean it out, I put antibiotic ointment on it with some gauze and wrapped it with hoof wrap (that nonstick bandage).

I should have felt good about it, but then I started to worry that maybe I did something wrong.  Maybe I didn’t clean her hoof enough, maybe I wrapped the bandage too tight… and on and on.

Jon was good about reassuring me. He’s dealt with many more donkey hoof abscesses that I have.  He said I did a good job and my doubt came from the past.

It took me a while to see his point, but it rang true.   I have a habit of going down a dark path when something good happens.  Sometimes I can catch myself, but often the idea that I’m somehow to blame or bad still runs wild inside of me.

The truths is I like taking care of the animals and I’ve gotten good at it.

They have taught me to be calm and patient.  To walk away if an animal is upset and come back a few minutes later when they are calm again.  And they have showed me again and again  that they trust me.   Which means, even if I do make a mistake, or do something wrong, they know it’s not intentional.

I don’t mean that they know the definition of the word “intentional”, but I think they are aware of the concept. Other wise, I don’t think they would trust me.

Fanny is doing better today.

She’s still not doing a lot of walking, but she’s putting weight on her foot and came out of the barn to get a treat and to eat hay.  Her bandage came off this morning and her hoof is as clean as a donkey’s hoof can be when they are walking around.

Her hoof will hurt for a while, but we can see it is gradually getting better.  And once she is completely healed, going out to graze with the rest of the animals, I’ll feel really good about how I was able to help her.

5 thoughts on “Helping Fanny, Trusting Myself

  1. Good job!! You got this! If you hadn’t drained it Fanny would be worse off. You did the right thing and you are good with animals.

  2. Soaking her foot in epsome salts would help. I just dealt with this too. After soaking, I dry the hoof, put on some icthammol or a sole pack, a plastic bag which I cover with a sock to keep everything in place. Then I make a boot out of duct tape that just covers the hoof. It helps draw out the abscess and my horse can walk more comfortably. The first couple of days I also give a little bute as it can be very painful. I imagine there are videos of this process available. If she is very gimpy, I would give her hoof some protection.

    1. Wow, that is quite the process Lori. Interesting to read. Fanny hoof is getting better and it is wrapped to give her some padding.

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