Question about Hoof Bruising/Abscesses - Page 2

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Question about Hoof Bruising/Abscesses

This is a discussion on Question about Hoof Bruising/Abscesses within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    11-01-2011, 01:55 PM
I would still want radiographs to know where the track of the abscess lies. Leaving these things as "wait and see" can have bad results. My farrier told me one recently: he wanted to dig the abscess out, the vet said to let it burst on its own. It made its way up the leg all the way to the horse's knee and burst out through the tendon sheath, if I recall correctly. It was certainly draining all over the cannon region. The horse recovered, but it took months, when all of this could have been avoided by letting the farrier dig through the sole to begin with.
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    11-01-2011, 02:47 PM
I had a horse that was so lame that she wouldn't put any wieght on one leg. I thought at first it was broken but then I realized it was an abscess. I talked to a farrier friend of mine and he suggested this stuff.Jim Ricken's Foot Formula #1 The next day she was putting wieght on it and two days after that she was sound at all three gaits. It may not work as well for your horse but has worked for me on several other horses over the years. It's cheap and won't do much harm to your horse (but it may ruin your clothes and will stain your hands).
    11-01-2011, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, I just read the Jim Rickens info. Do you use it regularly to prevent soreness in horses that are prone to that? Can it be used therapeutically on a regular basis?
    11-01-2011, 05:00 PM
I don't think you should use it for days on end but the directions on the bottle say to use it a few days before hard work and then twice the day of the work. It was originally developed for use on racehorses. Jim Rickens was a racetrack farrier in New Mexico I believe.
    11-01-2011, 08:42 PM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
It made its way up the leg all the way to the horse's knee and burst out through the tendon sheath, if I recall correctly. It was certainly draining all over the cannon region. The horse recovered, but it took months, when all of this could have been avoided by letting the farrier dig through the sole to begin with.
That doesn't sound like a very likely story IME. I can't see how it's even possible for a hoof abscess to travel all the way up the leg. Even if it did, I think there was something far more serious going on with your horse Bubba and I don't think a farrier digging around in the sole would have been the answer.

Xrays can sometimes pick up an abscess. Yes, bruises can definitely turn into abscessing - one reason I think thin soled horses for eg are best having extra sole protection on hard/rough ground. If a horse is 'prone' to abscesses - meaning more than once in a blue moon, I'd take it as a symptom of other hoof issues that need to be addressed. For an abscess, exercise is good, to help the abscess burst & heal, but I don't believe in forcing a sore horse, so full time turnout in a paddock is generally best, so he can move about as much or little as he sees fit. I wouldn't soak the hoof long-term and if this is not resolved after another week at most, I would be definitely getting xrays & looking at other possibilities. Eg. If it is a fracture, stabilising the hoof with a bar shoe or such and real rest is important. I have not personal experience with fractures though, only having one horse I look after normally now, after he recovered from one.
    11-01-2011, 10:31 PM
It wasn't my horse, loosie, but it's a true story, all right. I didn't see it first-hand, now, but I trust my farrier 100%. He knows his stuff, and he was working on the case with a vet I know (but don't use, for reasons like the above). From what I understand it took several weeks of the vet's "wait-and-see" approach for the infection to travel that far up, searching for an exit point. I guess the vet didn't want the farrier to dig for the abscess because the sole was too hard. Farrier said he wanted to just heat it up and get to work.
    11-02-2011, 01:16 AM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
It wasn't my horse, loosie, but it's a true story,
Yeah, not doubting you Bubba, just the conclusion. Perhaps other experienced people can tell us their opinion/experience on that sort of thing. I'm also one that doesn't like 'digging' for abscesses generally.
    11-03-2011, 06:08 PM
Well, I have an update. After 48 hours of soaking and icthamol wrap over entire foot, I got a call from barn manager yesterday saying "he is three legged lame" He could barely walk out of his stall. I called the vet and she said to get there, soak the foot, and inspect along the coronary band carefully. She said call her if any swelling at all above the foot.

I got there and did exactly as she said. After a 30 minute soak, I asked him to walk out of his stall and he did just fine! I got down and looked along the coronary band, which was very soft at this point. I pushed the hair aside and suddenly I saw a big slit in the skin above the hoof! I would say a little less than one inch. The slit was open, but nothing was coming out. It was only in one spot. Then I asked him to walk, and he was 100 times better than earlier that day. His ears were pricked and he was feeling good! I took him to graze and he was perfectly happy. I walked him outside and other than not having one shoe, he appeared 100% sound.

The vet said that he blew the abscess. She said it was normal not to see pus at the site. (Why is that?!) She said to continue icthamol for 3 more days and keep it clean and wrapped (I am using diapers). She said if sound on Sunday, he can have his shoe back on Monday.

I had imagined a big hole in the hoof, and was surprised at the coronary band "slice". I guess they come out in different ways. And, as people have said, he went from mildly lame, to VERY lame, to feeling good. The entire process has taken 2.5 weeks. I am knocking on wood that were definitely on the mend. Band manager called me today and said he was trotting in the indoor arena (were not letting him outside without that shoe, need to protect that foot) She said he wanted to play and was very comfortable.
    11-07-2011, 03:41 AM
Saratoga, sounds like nothing more than a pretty normal abscess. Some horses will exhibit lameness for a week or more before blowing an abscess, some will exhibit severe swelling with no lameness, some may have both and some may exhibit even more severe symptoms. Abscesses are extremely common where I live due to our climate conditions. My guy has blown two abscesses in the last 5 months, some horses are just more prone than others.

As you said they can come out in different ways. Some will blow out the hoof wall, which is a bad thing in most cases because it can and most likely will cause a quarter crack in the hoof. Some will blow out the toe, some the coronet band and some like my guy has the last two times will blow it out the heel. My guy is one of the ones that exhibits very minimal lameness [looks like he is just stiff and then he works himself out of it] but he swells pretty bad all the way up the leg. As has been stated exercise is good with an abscess, doesn't have to be anything extreme, but the circulation and movement will help the abscess work its way out. I know you can have a farrier dig them out but that isn't something I have ever done so I can't comment on that really. My guy doesn't show that he is abscessing until the day he blows it out so digging it out before hand isn't really an option for us. Not sure about the puss thing.

Anyway sorry that was long winded, long story short abscesses can seem terrible and then most of the time after they blow the horse is perfectly fine. Glad you got it all figured out for your boy :]
    11-07-2011, 09:57 AM
Unfortunately, I spoke too soon! He was very sound and happy after small abscess blew out coronary band. Vet said wait for three days of soundess before putting shoe back on. Glad I did! Saturday he appeared "off" again and yesterday lame with heat back in hoof. Vet said he is still abscessing and its just not finished and to continue the soaking and icth wraps, which we are doing. Has anyone had experience with one right after the other? Is this the same abscess, or another one? She also told me it could come out somewhere else this time. I'm really getting down about this. Its been three weeks. But from what I am reading here, that isnt so unusual.

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