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post #11 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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In general you want the abscess to blow out the top because it's easiest to keep it clean and draining. If it blows out the bottom it's nearly impossible to keep clean and is continually closing up and locking icky crap inside which invites more and more abscesses...

I recently switched farriers myself. While my old farrier was actually doing a pretty good job, he wasn't experienced enough to handle the issues that I had so I switched and interestingly enough... After the switch, I went from an abscess a month to none. I thought I had one coming along after my last shoeing but I poultice and the soreness went away...

As for riding a horse with an abscess, I disagree but I understand her concept. I do believe that turning an abscessing horse out is better than stalling one because of the blood flow that movement brings on...

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post #12 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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One of our mares when dead lame on us about two months ago. It scared me cause she was walking three legged around her paddock. Thinking the worse we looked her up and down. No swelling no heat, nothing. Her hoof wasnt even warm. So we have both the vet and farrier out at the same time and both said absess even though there was no heat anywhere. I have never ever known my farrier to be wrong so whatever he says, goes. We turned her out in the large paddock with four other horses and in two days the absess had worked its way out the bottom of her hoof. Now she did not respond at all to hoof testers. She not once even so much as flinched. My mare didnt show any other symptoms of having an absess but being lame.
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 11:23 AM
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Okay, please don't hit me! If a horse is lame from an abcess, why trim her? It will be more painful because the sole is closer to the ground.

I would shoe her for a while and give her bute for a week and see what happens. It would also make it easier to pack in some ichthamol , and wrap her hoof to draw that abcess out. Once that's done, stop the bute and see what happens. I would also , abcess gone, start using some durasole to get those soles hardened up, so if you go barefoot again, you have some defense. And biotin.

If your horse CONtinues to get abcesses, she may need shoes to get her soles further off the ground. Barefoot's desirable , but some horses need some methods to stop further damage.

Right now, I have a farrier and a vet that believe barefoot is best unless shoes are really needed, they will say so. That's why I don't have trimmers because I want what's best for my horse-even if it's shoes, and some trimmers will say that it all can be fixed barefoot. Sometimes it can't, or the need for shoes is temporary.

I live in Florida, on sugar sand, or grass. Not really a need for shoes, but would get them in a minute if she needed them.

Food for thought..........

Last edited by princessfluffybritches; 02-16-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 11:31 AM
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According to my farrier shoes are the worst think you can do for an absess depending on where the absess is located because you do not want to put a nail threw the absess. According to him by rupturing an absess via nail entry the possibility for another absess in the same location is very high. The best thing to do is leave them barefoot and do epsom salt soaks and let the absess work its way out naturally. Adding a shoe can also add more shock to the hoof instead of being a shock absorber.

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post #15 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 12:15 PM
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Toosexy, good points. Someone I knew would glob ichthamol on and fold up a kitchen towel then duct tape it to the bottom of the hoof. But after the treatment I feel you need the hoof to dry out and harden to prevent the sole from the chronic absessing problem. Hopefully, if shoes are needed, I would hope the farrier would use his hoof testers to make sure he's not near the absess.

I know there are many ways to treat an absess. I think I am focusing more on the future, getting the sole off the ground for a while, and using durasole to harden up that sole so that going barefoot again does not mean chronic absessing for this horse.

I think you have a good point in no shoes during the absess healing. You've got me thinking about other ways to heal then protect the sole (like the kitchen towell method, LOL). After treatment, how would you let the hoof dry out and harden before the horse gets another absess?
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 12:35 PM
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What I did with my mare after the absess blew out the bottom, which IMO is not ideal, its hard too keep clean, but after you could visibly and easily see the hole in the bottom of her hoof we had a custom shoe done to where there at the toe of the shoe (where the hole was) was torched out so that even with a shoe you could easily get to and clean the old absess site. I cleaned her hoof twice a day everyday. She was still very tender and showed a slight limp when asked to work. Every morning I would would clean her foot her and do an epsom salt soak and then clean with triodine. At night I would clean her foot again and apply a heavy layer of hooflex and pinetar. She was stalled at night. This was approx. 2 months ago, may have been a little longer but not quite three months. I did NOT trim her for 3 weeks after the absess blew out. After the first trim. 2 weeks after that you could easily see the whole in the bottom of her hoof which was dug out and when the shoe was set only the back six nails were set. The two nails closest to the toe of the shoe were not put in. My mare has extremely rapid hoof growth. She is shod every 5 weeks and an over an inch of hoof is removed each time. So this happened rather fast on her but typically I wouldnt shoe three months after and absess if the horse has slow growing feet cause sometimes the hole from the absess takes longer to appear and some farriers dont like to dig them out. I actually used a denture brush to get up in the hole and clean it out because it has a pointed end with bristles. My horses are always shod due to the extremely rocky areas we ride. Leaving a horse barefoot is one of the easiest and most natural ways of getting a sole to harden back up. It takes longer and sometimes its hard to sit back and watch your horse limp because he is still tender from an old absess but a truly good hard sole on a horse is from leaving them barefoot.

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Last edited by toosexy4myspotz; 02-16-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 01:39 PM
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In my over 40 years with horses I've had my share of abscesses, and I learned the hard way to:
NEVER let a vet dig for an abscess

Best bet is to not dig for it period, just let it run it's course, soak the foot with a diaper/vetrap/ducttape shoe and a thin, tepid Betadine solution or Epson salt, add this at least twuce a day, turn horse out with herd, and once it pops, dry "boot" for three days. That's it. Oh, tetanus vaccine has to be up to date, very important, I've seen an unvaccinated colt die from tetanus after an abscess.

I've seen horses lame for close to a year with a hole in the foot from digging around, I've seen horses diagnosed with a ruptured tendon and retired from racing, and it was an abscess, I've seen horses ruined from digging and treating it wrong. I had horses who had popped one at the coronary and never did a lame step, and others who were three legged lame for a day had it pop and were sound right away.
All in all, I agree with Trinity and loosie here.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 01:58 PM
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Don't let the farrier go digging for abcess. I been there done that my horse was lame for over 2 months from it.
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 02:43 PM
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Mine didnt dig looking for it. You could see the hole already he just opened up so that it could be cleaned instead of keeping packed we debris up in it.

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post #20 of 24 Old 02-16-2013, 04:25 PM
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It is important that the foot that is abscessing is properly trimmed and not left overgrown. Overgrowth will actually hold one in longer. Its not that the sole is not closer to the ground, its that the hoof is functioning properly. That will help drive the abscess out. I dont see them alot but when I do, this is the protocol that works for me. I try to be minimally invasive and allow the body to heal itself. That is usually the best. Do no harm. IMO digging them out does harm more often than helps. Shoeing a previously bare abscessing foot will keep the abscess in longer also by inhibiting flexing of the foot. Def not recommended by me. Im not anti shoe but barefoot is the way to blow and abscess fast. I think that is why I rarely see them as a rule.

Sometimes you can get an abscess to blow just by applying a proper trim if the hoof is due or overdue. Been there done that at least 4 or 5 times over the years. Lame horse with abscess instantly sound as I trim the problem area (heels and bars are the typical suspects) and the brewing abscess finds an easy exit. I never dig for them but if a normal trim allows them to escape, all the better. Just have to keep the foot clean for a couple days while it drys up typically.
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