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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 13
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 - 3:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello,

I have a mare that had an injury back in january. On a trail ride she had a stick go through her coronet band. She was tender to the touch on that coronet (front left). The vet basically cut a hole in her hoof and removed the debris (stick pieces) and she was healing with minor lameness on and off, i kept the open hole in hoof clean. she finally got the okay at the end of may to have the hole patched. she has been sound since then. i rode her on sat and sun on a trail ride both days. first ride sat was around 2 hrs and sunday about an hour. when i put her back in her stall sunday she looked a little sore but then would walk sound with a couple sore steps. i came out monday night and she was really sore on her front left leg. the hoof is hot and it feels kind of soft (squishy) around her cannon bone and fetlock. the ranch owner thinks it's an abscess. i called the farrier and he came out yesterday and said she tested positive in her hoof. he also said it's an abscess. he removed her shoe and packed her hoof (bottom) of hoof and wrapped it. is there anything else i can be doing in the meantime? should she stay in her stall until in pops ? or would handwalking help even though she hurts? haven't given bute. Dr.O any advice? Is it weird that its the same leg as her injury was? or is that normal?
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Julie Masner
Member
Username: juliem

Post Number: 609
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 - 5:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My advice would be to NOT wait until it pops but have your vet make certain it is an abscess and if so, establish draining. The result will be almost immediate relief to your horse and less damage done to the structures of the hoof. Did you read the article about hoof abscesses and their treatment? That will have Dr. O's advice in very clear terms. It seems likely that since it is the same leg as the injury was on there is some dead tissue or foreign material in there and that would make an abscess likely in my opinion. I wouldn't wait one day if it were my horse. Good luck, Julie
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23518
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 - 6:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Danielle I would be looking around the penetration defect as the most likely location. If it has a small defect, bacteria can get in underneath and start up an infection. If a careful exam indicates foot abscess and it is not clearly elsewhere, I would consider removing the patch and see what is underneath. Infection under a hoof patch is very common which is why I avoid them if possible.
DrO
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 - 11:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the advice Julie and Dr.O. I went out tonight to find that my mare was still lame and hurting on her front left leg. It looks like the leg might be a little more swollen today than it was yesterday. I don't know if this is normal to have the swelling with abscess...I've read the leg can swell and read Dr.O's advice on abscess treatment. Her hoof is still wrapped. Was hoping to get it to drain but if Dr.O is right...it could be infection and not an abscess. I left the farrier a message tonight. He told me yesterday that it's better to let the abscess pop on it's own but this has now been since monday. so tomorrow I will place a call to my vet and see what he says, probably will have to have him come out to see her to make a fair diagnosis. i got a thermometer tonight so tomorrow I will also take her temp and see if there is any fever. she's still eating and drinking.
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Julie Masner
Member
Username: juliem

Post Number: 610
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jul 30, 2009 - 12:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Danielle, I cannot think of any reason that it would be better to let an abscess pop on its own! The only advantage would be cost--letting the horse stay painful, letting more damage occur inside the hoof vs. paying vet or farrier to pare it out properly. I have to question your farrier's expertise to make a statement like that! Of course, you don't know for sure it's an abscess and this is where the vet comes in.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23521
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 30, 2009 - 8:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am a bit confused Danielle, abscesses are almost always caused by infection that have pocketed up a small quantity of puss. The infection I talk about above would be most likely abscessed. The article on abscesses explains why it is bad to let the abscess fester undrained.
DrO
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Thursday, Jul 30, 2009 - 3:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O i think i was confused and in turn confused you. i was thinking that it was infection and not an abscess after i read your post...so sorry for the confusion. i did call my vet today and he's going to come out to see her in the afternoon. hopefully we'll know then what is going on with her. i'll keep you posted.
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 16
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, Jul 31, 2009 - 2:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

just wanted to give an update on my mare. my vet came out tonight to see her. he said she does have an abscess. he dug a little out to give it a opening to come out. he said that it was heading up her hoof and her leg was swollen because of it. he said that if an abscess doesn't have anywhere to go it will go up and still might come out her coronet band. he was able to get a little drainage tonight but didn't want to dig deeper. he said to soak the hoof w/ betadine and epsom salt for 10-15 min for 5 days. and after soaking to cleanse w/ iodine and then pack with icthamol and wrap. he gave her antibiotics that will last 5 days as well as bute. i'm hoping that now with the opening the rest of the abscess will drain.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23525
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jul 31, 2009 - 7:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Right Daniellle,
Did pus drain out the hole he opened? This is the way you know you have the diagnosis and position of the hole is right.
DrO
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 17
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, Jul 31, 2009 - 3:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr.O, i was holding my horse while he dug so i didn't really see what came out but the ranch owner was watching as he dug and they both said some of it was draining...i was standing in front of my mare though so i couldn't really see. i think it probably was puss. i hope this whole ordeal will be over soon and that the rest will drain with the soaking and wrapping.
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Brandi
Member
Username: brandi

Post Number: 120
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, Jul 31, 2009 - 8:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Danielle, does the horse seem any more comfortable? My horse abscessed in the rear left hoof earlier this year - he was 3-legged lame and I thought he'd broken his leg. As soon as my vet found the track he opened up a tiny hole and only a very small amount of black ooze came out, yet within minutes he was walking on it a little more willingly. Maybe this isn't entirely normal, but this was my experience. It helps you know for sure you're on the right track.

BTW, my horse's leg also swelled up a bit - about half-way up the rear cannon bone, but he's got a lot of synovitis anyway - very predisposed to building up fluid. For the abscess, I did pretty standard treatment, except that since he's older and usually pretty quiet, I chose not to stall him, instead I put a diaper/duct tape wrap and a Delta/Cavallo Simple boot over that (kind of like an Old Macs or a Boa Boot, full hoof coverage, and obviously oversized to accommodate the diaper), and turned him out. Since he wasn't draining too much fluid I only changed the diaper 2x per day for the first 2 days and only 1x per day after that, which kept his foot VERY dry. He healed up very quickly and uneventfully.

Good luck with your horse.
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 18
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, Jul 31, 2009 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Brandi, I went out tonight to see my mare. She wasn't limping when she came out of her stall which was a good sign. I took her for a hand-walk around the property to see how she was walking and she looked pretty good. I didn't see anymore limping. the vet did say that he thought i would see improvement today, he was right. also she wasn't willing to give me her front right foot to pick out the hoof because she didn't want to put her weight on the front left (abscess hoof). tonight she gave me her right leg and let me pick out the hoof. BIG IMPROVEMENT from the last few days. Her leg still has some swelling in it but i think it went down a little today. probably combo of antibiotics and bute.

my farrier boards his horses at the ranch and he was out there tonight. after i un-wrapped her foot he looked at it and said he thinks it popped. i couldn't really tell but i haven't had a horse with an abscess before so i don't know what it would look like. and hard to tell with the icthamol.

was your horse sore at all when he started excercising again?
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Brandi
Member
Username: brandi

Post Number: 123
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, Aug 1, 2009 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Danielle, My horse was back to his regular work in 2 weeks with no issues. He was not sore, but in all fairness, his was a rear leg, and he's 23yo with very bad hocks, so his stride is not perfect anyway.

I hope your horse continues with this level of improvement, and that it clears up completely. If it's a foreign body you might not be in the clear, even though she feels better.

On another note, I see no reason why you can't ice or wrap that leg to help with the swelling, if you're proficient at such a thing. I iced my horse that first 24 hours before I knew it was an abscess, which is when it's most effective, but I can't see that it would hurt at your stage now.

Good luck.
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, Aug 3, 2009 - 11:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

hi...i posted this thread about my horses abscess. today is the 5th day since the vet came out and i soaked her hoof again and packed it. she looks alot better walking but she's still on bute twice a day and antibiotic. tomorrow will be her last bute and wednesday the last antibiotic. i took some pics after soaking her foot. i don't think the abscess has popped yet. the vet made a drainage path but said it still might come out the coronet. he said it was in the back of her heel and still could pop there. i am attaching some pics. can someone please tell me if they think this is the abscess before it pops??? or if there is a way to know it is out...the pics were taken right after soaking.horse hoof
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 20
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, Aug 3, 2009 - 11:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

second pic from the fronthorse hoof 2nd pic
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 21
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, Aug 3, 2009 - 11:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

and 3rd pic from the back againhorse hoof 3rd pic
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Danielle Savesky
Member
Username: dani1980

Post Number: 22
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, Aug 3, 2009 - 11:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

and lastly should i still be soaking? and packing the hoof, this is the last day the vet said to soak...any help is appreciated. thanks
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23537
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009 - 8:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is hard to tell from the images Danielle as some of these changes in appearance may be related to the soaking. Where an abscess is going to pop out is fairly easy to recognize because it is very painful on palpation once it begins to swell.
DrO
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