Stubborn Abscess - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-01-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Stubborn Abscess

My horse has been fighting an abscess for about 4 weeks. It looks like it had come out through the heel.. Everything looked ok so I stopped soaking it for two days...well his leg swelled and he couldn't walk. So i called the vet and they put him on antibiotics for 10 days. well it's the ninth day and he's still pretty bad and theres some liquid stuff kinda coming out. Is this normal??? The farrier is going to pull the shoe and pad to see if anything is going on under the pad that we can't see. I've never dealt with an abscess like this before. He still can't walk on it.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-01-2011, 10:57 PM
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Are you still soaking the foot daily? Sounds like there was just so much stuff built up in there, it got infected. While the antibotics are doing their thing, maybe keep soaking the foot in warm water and espom salt to help draw out the rest of the goop. Keep the foot clean too. Hoof boot will do the trick if you have one.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-03-2011, 01:15 PM
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A horse at the barn I'm at had an awful abcess last year-his owner kept it clean and wrapped and put a boot over it, however it took around 6 months until he was sound again.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-04-2011, 02:19 PM
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My horse also currently has an abscess that's refusing to go away.

A week before Thanksgiving he came up 3-legged lame and after soaking that day and an epsom salt poultice overnight, it appeared to have drained, though he was still a little sore so I soaked again, applied another poultice overnight and then continued soaking for a few days after that. I also limited him to indoor (dry) turnout only.

I was supposed to have a lesson 4 days after he originally had the abscess, and he looked perfectly fine when I put him through w/t/c on the longe line beforehand and walking under saddle, but when I got him up into a trot it was pretty obvious that he was still sore. Back to soaking.

Two days later was his regular farrier appointment, so I had him check to see if he could find it and dig it out, but there was only one slightly suspicious area near his bars which was a little chalky and easy to scrape away, and the farrier didn't think it was suspicious enough to try digging too deeply into it.

This past week he again seemed fine on the longe line, and even under saddle, so I rode him lightly on Wednesday, walked him around a bit on Thursday (mostly just to give him attention as I was riding another horse that evening) and there didn't appear to be any trace of soreness left.

Then yesterday I met someone at the barn to drive together to a clinic I wanted to audit and he was 3-legged lame again!

I waited until after coming back from the clinic to soak him and wrap him up again, and by the time I got back he was noticeably improved already. I soaked him and wrapped him up anyway.

I figure I'll soak and wrap him for the next week solid, whether he looks better or not, and hopefully that will draw out the rest of the abscess. If not, I'll have to get my vet to see if she can find it.

Abscesses are no fun :roll:
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-04-2011, 02:29 PM
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One thing to consider with a persistent abscess is a foreign object in the hoof. My yearling colt came up lame in his right front and was diagnosed with an abscess but we couldn't pinpoint a particular spot so I soaked his foot and it eventually burst out of his heel, with some relief but then got worse again and burst out again. The farrier also looked at his foot but couldn't pinpoint a sore spot so we continued to treat with bute and soaking. I did ask the vet if it was possible that something was in there and wondered if we should x-ray but he said that since we hadn't found a puncture or a specific sore spot, odds were against it. When the 3rd abscess burst out of his heel I was so frustrated and upset. We put him on antibiotics and continued to soak his foot. One day when I was caring for him, I picked up his foot and was just looking at it, wondering what in the world was going on with my poor horse. I saw the glint of something deep in his frog. Got a hoof pick and uncovered the head of a nail! Pulled it out and it was 1 1/2 inches long, all the way up in his foot, deep in the crevice of his frog...... he became sound and quit abscessing right away. Sigh...... felt so bad for him, it had been a month and a half...... This did permanently affect his left front leg as he was growing and supporting his weight on that leg for so long..... he is pigeon-toed and his leg is slightly rotated from compensating for the lameness in his right front :( He still cocks that front sometimes although he passes a lameness exam....

Riverside, CA
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-06-2011, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Well... My farrier pulled the shoe and he thinks that the wedge pad my horse had on caused the infection by his heel. He said he's seen it before. Something about the pressure with the wedge on the heel. Now he has wedge pads because he supposedly has a ruptured tendon. Which I don't agree with because he was able to walk and trot and the vet just diagnosed by looki g at his leg and x rays...which dont show tendons. So anyways we pulled the shoes and pads so his foot can breath and forms the way it needs to.
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