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.