08-19-2013, 02:43 AM
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I'm sorry you're having to go through this, especially on top of the other issues.
My gelding burst 4 consecutive abscesses throughout the first winter I owned him, and honestly, the best way for him ended up being to have them dug out, but my vet didn't make a big enough hole so it closed up and restarted. My farrier come out and made a hole, then gave me a shoe nail and instructed me to keep the hole open with the nail (cleansing nail and just ensuring nothing was stuck in hole to close it, NOT jamming it into the hoof)
It is then a whole lot easier to keep the hoof clean and dry. Since you don't want a waterlogged hoof I would get the vet to dig out the abscesses and then you can use a poultice (even a dry poultice such as animalintex) put that over the dug out areas, hopefully the sole if possible, as then gravity will help a whole lot more with draining than having holes in the coronet band will.
So put the poultice over the dug out areas, then stick a baby nappy over the hoof, wrap with vet wrap, and if you need to waterproof then use duct tape over that. It's a little tricky at first, and you have to check it every day and re-wrap it, ensuring it's not too tight over the coronet band. (I ended up laying the nappy over a fence post and duct taping strips over what would be my base, and then doing the nappy up on the hoof and adding more duct tape as needed.)
I ended up doing away with the vetwrap, simply because each roll is rather expensive here and I was doing two hooves all winter, every day, so buying a big roll of duct tape ended up being more economical, and also electrical tape for temporary repairs was handy. My vet was really impressed at my setup, which was suggested by somebody on here a while ago.
You can also use a tyre inner tube over the hoof, folded up over the front and tied/taped at the top so it wont come off, but honestly I found the other method easier.
I know you would rather not have his hooves dug at, but in all honestly it's going to be the fastest and the most comfortable thing for him long term, since releasing the pressure gives almost instant relief, rather than waiting weeks for an abscess to burst by soaking.
Oh yeah, and if it's possible, if you wrap it as I suggested, then when you take it off to check it each day, it would be beneficial to have him stand on a clean dry concrete surface to ensure his hooves are getting air circulating around them for a little while, as I found that Mitch's coronet bands would get almost sweaty looking and softer than normal from the lack of airflow.
Oh yes, I forgot, movement is also good where you can. The more your horse is able to move around the better