Abcess in front hoof possibly?

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Abcess in front hoof possibly?

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  • Hoof abscesses in horses front or back
  • Abcess on front foot

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    07-13-2011, 12:31 AM
Abcess in front hoof possibly?

3 weeks ago I got a call from my grandma saying Champ was very lame and was not putting weight on his right front foot. I had figured that a cougar had cme down from the mountains behind us, scared the horses and Champ tripped and hurt himself. I cold hosed 6 times a day for a week. He showed great improvment and half way into the second week we went for a very light ride and he did very well. 2 days later I went to ride again (I had been over the day before and he was fine) he was lame. I hosed him again locked him into his night paddock and called the vet. THe assistant told me that it sound like an abcess due to the fact that it was really bad then got better, then got worse. She told me to soak it in hot water and epson salts. I did that twice today. Does this sound like he could have an abcess? He is extremely sensitive on hard ground. I have researched many possible leg injuries and abcess seems very likely. I will have the vet up this friday if theres no improvement. If you have any other suggestions or tips please post them.
Thank you!
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    07-13-2011, 01:09 AM
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Do you happen to have any hoof testers? If you squeezed on his hoof in various locations, you might get a reaction and that would say "abcess", though one cannot rule out other things.

No heat? Harder to go downhill? (then toe is sorest part)
    07-13-2011, 07:50 AM
If it is an abscess, soaking in epsom salt does help bring it out. But I would, like Tinyliny said, use hoof testers to find out if its his hoof that's sore and where. If you don't have any, you should call the vet out. They can test the hoof for you and if they find the sensitive area they can usually locate the channel of the abscess and dig it out with a hoof shaver thing (I don't think that's the techinical term, but that's what they look like to me!!!). If they can dig it out and drain it, you will see improvement in Champ 100% sooner. Its pretty instant. Letting an abscess come out on its own is fine, but it takes longer and can sometimes get infected. At which point you would need an antibiotic from your vet anyway.
    07-13-2011, 08:06 AM
Originally Posted by Wancata    
Letting an abscess come out on its own is fine, but it takes longer and can sometimes get infected.
An abscess is an infection. It does not get further infected.

You do not mention in your original post anything about swelling or bumps or anything anywhere on the lame leg so I will assume there is not any.

A good percentage of the time if you have a sudden acute lameness with no obvious signs of something else being wrong the issue is an abscess.

Abscesses can seem to come and go. Basically two things could be happening. The abscess drained and came back (new abscess or if a foreign body caused the abscess the foreign body might still be there and be causing a new abscess). Or the abscess might be located such that the pressure tends to come and go.

Soaking in hot/warm water and Epsom salts will not hurt anything.

I would not recommend using hoof testers if you do not know how to use them.
    07-13-2011, 01:35 PM
Thank you very much. No theres no bumps or anything on the leg.
    07-13-2011, 01:58 PM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
An abscess is an infection. It does not get further infected.
What I mean was, if the abscess travels up the hoof wall and comes out the cornet band, the soft tissues in the leg can become infected and you may see swelling in the leg after the abscess has drained. At which point, your vet may recommend a round of antibiotics.

The bummer is, if its an abscess and it comes out while soaking, you might not ever see it. So you just kind of have to gage by how your horse feels. If the lameness continues, again I suggest having the vet out. They can test the hoof and possibly dig the abscess out for you and for some instant relief for you guy!
    07-13-2011, 02:04 PM
If you have the farrier coming out they could also most likely tell you if there is an abcess.
    07-14-2011, 10:07 PM
My horse is prone to abcesses too, but don't self-diagnose too much... if it's an abscess it should surface and heal after a couple of weeks. However, if there is no sign of the abscess surfacing, I would get an x-ray. We thought my horse had just another abcess when he dropped weight; turned out to be an abcess AND a large keratoma that had to be surgically removed and the hole disinfencted and packed for abou six months. He immediately put weight back on when we had this removed. Moral of the story: more than one problem usually exists if healing is prolongued.
    07-15-2011, 07:01 PM
Thanks! He was doing very well yesterday but went downhill this morning. Gaahh. I am going to call my farrier and the vet in the morning. Maybe his old should injury is acting up, I don't know!

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