I need some advice/ reassurance here....I've never had a horse get an abscess and I need to know if I should keep being patient or how long can these things take to heal??
The horse in question is a 5yo Welsh sec B mare. Zero history of any problems, barefoot, never sore.
I noticed my pony was tender while I rode her on rocky ground about a month ago. On advice from other boarders, I bought a bunch of different meds and began treating for an abscess in the front right.
The pony a couple of days later was non-weightbearing on that leg. No problems anywhere up the leg, definitely painful in the bottom of the foot.
I called my farrier (I have a great farrier, costs a bit more but so worth it) he said to give it a couple of more days.
I waited two more days and asked him to come right away. She was bearing only a tiny bit of weight on the leg; I think because I had started her on bute.
He came out and with some difficulty found an abscess. He was nearly ready to give up searching. I think it was deep, but I have no experience with abscesses. It didn't seem very big to me. He followed a teeny tiny fissure in the toe untill he found a drop of greyish ooze. He then got a power drill (!)and found a small amount of thick pus, followed by blood. It bled quite a bit, He said that was great, that it cleans out the abscess. I packed it and wrapped it.
I quit wrapping and packing it after a week or so. She didn't get better. Still lame and sore. And depressed.
About 12 days ago I had the vet look at her. He picked at the "hole" a bit, which she tolerated but it was painful. He got a tiny drop of blood, then wrapped up the foot again with duct tape. He just said that she had to heal, and it would take a while and to be patient. He charged a pretty penny too, and my pony only got more sore.
Now it has been a month since she first showed symptoms. She can walk, but at the trot (when I turn her out, or lead her) she is head-bobbing lame. She is frustrated that she can't play and isn't herself, she always has to be careful of her foot and is more quiet than normal. We're missing show season and losing muscle. Everyone tells me that abscesses feel better a couple of days after they are burst. Why is this taking so long? Is the soreness from the hole itself, or is the laminae damaged? Does the hoof just have to grow out? Would hoof boots help? Does anyone know anything that would help?