My mare got an abscess in her sole. She was walking very awkwardly and everything. The BO said it was probably just a stone bruise and to not even bother calling the vet. The farrier did a test and didn't find anything, After two days of it, however, I called the vet. No joke - the vet looked at my horse in her stall for about 5 seconds and said abscess. Took a hoof scraper, scraped a layer of the sole, and found a black spot and pointed out the abscess.
He opened it. He put my mare under a little bit of sedation so he could dig a small hole to the abscess to help with expressing it. For days after that, he told me to put a farrier's nail into the hole to try opening it (never let the horse put its hoof down while the nail is in there. You're just trying to express it).
1. Then put the hoof in warm water and epsom salt for about 10-15 minutes. If you're using a bag (like the IV bags from a hospital), it's okay to let the horse walk on soft bedding because each step they take will push the liquid into the abscess.
2. During the 10-15 minutes, you should have vet wrap handy and duct tape. Tear pieces of duct tape and stick them to your leg just while your horse's hoof is soaking. You're trying to make a bit of a cast with the tape so make sure it's large enough for your horses hoof but not that it would go past their coronary band and stick to their hair. You also need betadine and animalintex.
3. After 10-15 minutes, take the hoof out of the solution, but don't let it touch the ground. I was given Animalintex. Soak a piece of that with Betadine and place over the hole/abscess then keep it in place by wrapping vet wrap over the hoof.
4. Once vet wrap has been applied to entire hoof, take your duct tape cast-thing and stick it to the bottom of the hoof with the ends going up the hoof.
4. Once the duct tape cast is on, take your roll of duct tape and wrap it around the hoof just to keep the ends of your cast-thing down. That will also keep dirt out.
I had to do this twice a day - once in the morning and once at night.. Just always digging with that nail and treating it in the bag of epsom salt and warm water, betadine, and animalintex.
That's my experience... My mare had abscess issues for a few months when she was young but hasn't had one since (knock on wood) and it's been 2 years.
I can try to elaborate if some part of what I said is confusing haha. It's much easier to see it be done than told...
There's a video. They use something other than Betadine and Animalintex which I've used on her abscesses before also and it works :) I just don't know how to spell it. Ic-something lol