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Looking for Vets Opinions (long)

I'm in need of some advice and opinions of the different vets on the list....

On Tuesday, August 21st my 10 yr. old mare underwent a Street Nail Procedure to have a 16-penny framing nail removed from the bottom of her hoof.  The nail went in at about the middle of the frog, both height and width.  It was at least 2" deep according to the X-rays, which we took before the nail was extracted (of course).  The nail did penetrate the bursa, but the bone itself look "very good" according to the vet that performed the operation.  She (my horse) was in the hospital for a week on IV antibiotics, received 10 days of SMZs when she got home, and I have been changing the dressing daily on the wound.  She has a "full-plate" or medicine plate shoe on right now.  The frog has just about healed itself back to normal, back to the level of the sole and starting to "bud-up" again like normal.  It is still "open" looking (fleshy) and still draining about a teaspoon or so a day.

My question is how long should I expect until she will be normal again?  I understand that the chances of full recovery without lameness are pretty slim, but was wondering when I can tell if she beat the odds?  She is hardly limping at a walk now, although she still bobs her head quite a bit at the trot and doesn't put full weight on that leg anymore, even when standing.  Should I start trotting her more to improve her flexion and weight-bearing?  All of this is being done by hand, I'm NOT riding her yet.  I've been doing stretches with her daily as well... any other recommendations to promote healing?  I don't want to push her too hard and want the flexor tendon (which had a hole cut in it during surgery) to heal properly.  How long should I wait before I start asking her to do more strenuous exercise?

I'll leave off here so this post doesn't get too long... please email me for any additional information.

Thank you in advance for your information.

Crysta & Sugar

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