Just wanted to ask a quick question: So, it is better to let the abscess blow out the top than to dig it out?
I wish I had known that. My vet recently dug out an abscess she said that was discovered 2 days before most are found. I thought that a weird thing to say. But there was just a little clear liquid coming out of a crack in the bottom of the hoof. It wasn't pus. My horse was very painful but it was hard to tell from where. She had colic as well. My vet said from the pain. She gave her bannamine. Told me to stall rest for 1 week and then hand walk only. I had to replace the diaper/duct tape boot in 48 hours and then every 48 for another week. At the change of my first boot, so 4 days later there was blood in the diaper. I called both the vet and the "farrier" at the time and both told me I probably either wrapped to tight (which I don't do) or that I cut her when removing the old wrap (which I didin't do).
Sorry to chime in here, but just wanted to share what happened with my horse and agree that it isn't good to ride them if they are hurting and I am glad you didn't ride your horse.
I also was wanting be sure of the abscess information from trinity because I was under the impression that it was some horrible neglect thing if the abscess blows out the coronet band. I am not trying to insult or anything here. I really just don't know.
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 will always have either the vet of farrier cut into the sole for an abscess. The relief is instant for the horse whereas it can take weeks to break out of the coronary band. Secondly, you do not get any hoof wall damage which can and often does happen with a break out on the coronary band, thirdly gravity and weight pressure helps the drainage.
I prefer a larger hole cut than a smaller one, it allows for better drainage and stops it closing over. Once the muck is out then I will pack the hole with cotton wool and stockholm tar. Rarely is the horse unsound for more than a couple of days after opening it.
As for this horse, if it was not reacting to pressure then the farrier would not know where to release the pus from, of course it will be lamer because the pus is building up. Anyone who has had a whitlow on their fingernail will know how painful it is and the relief when it is lanced is great and instant. More so with a horse as we do not weight bear on our fingers!