abscess blew out the heel, wrap or not? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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abscess blew out the heel, wrap or not?

My horse blew an abscess out his heel on Wednesday or Thursday. He was not lame at all until AFTER it blew out. On advice of barn owner, I've been soaking his foot twice a day in hot water and Epsom salt. Yesterday the barn manager (cleans stalls, brings horses in and out, and owns a few race horses!) said I should wrap it with DMSO, cotton, vetwrap, and duct tape. Barn owner was non-committal about that, seemed to think soaking was fine.

I think the abscess was localized in the heel becuase there is a soft spot with a pus color to it right above where it blew out. Not sure if it goes deeper. I've been scrubbing as best I can with a medicated soap before I soak it.

So, as a somewhat worry wart horse owner, what am I to do? It is Sunday and he is walking sound. I wrapped it last night, but got overanxious that I had done it wrong or too tight or something, so when I went this am, I took the wrap off. He was on stall rest but if he is sound, he might go out tonight.

The barn owner is at a big A show today, so not readily available.

So, thoughts? Wrap it or not? I can't decide what to do!
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 05:06 PM
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If you feel that the abscess has drained completely, I would not soak it anymore in the Epsom salts. That just draws the abscess out. I would recommend wrapping it because you still have a hole in your horses foot that needs to be kept clean so it will not get reinfected.

I would clean the area and pour iodine or any other antiseptic on it. I personally would not use DMSO. Too harsh! Then I would use cotton or a diaper over the hoof and wrap with vet wrap. Then duct tape, which helps keep the vet wrap on and also make a somewhat waterproof barrier. Wrap just tight enough to keep the bandaging on, but not so tight to cut off circulation. Repeat once a day.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 05:38 PM
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I agree with the post above.
Keeping infection away would be my biggest concern now. Wrapping is a good way to keep it clean.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-04-2011, 07:19 PM
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Just to add one thing.. If your horse is on stall rest due to the abscess you may want to reconsider that. They do best if they have room to move around more when recovering from abscess's It helps push the yuckies out. Or so it would seem to me. I would add that if other horses would be pushing a lame one I would try keeping the lame one where that can't happen. :) Don't worry too much.. The hole will close up soon. If all the yuckies aren't expelled there could be a re-occurrence so don't be surprised if that happens.

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks! I was rethinking the soaking at this point due to info online that it jus softens the hoof wall. It's hard to tell if all the goo is out, but it's been half a week with the soaks, so probably.

He was mystery lame on the other front foot for a day and I had visions of 2 abscesses, but now he seems OK there.

I am not big on the stall rest, but the barn owner is pretty sure that's what needs to happen, and it's one of those situations where she's forgotten more than I will ever know about horses, and it's her barn, so I kinda got to go with her plan for now. I will keep pushing for him to go out though. I mean the field is probably cleaner than his stall, and he's now only lame at the trot, so I think he'll be just fine out there!
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 09:01 AM
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I would keep pushing for the turnout. If the foot is wrapped, there is no reason for stall rest. Even if you turn out without the foot wrapped, as long as you do clean it and put antiseptic on it, (and it is not excessively muddy) he needs to move as the circulation is better for the healing process.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 09:10 AM
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Iodine burns horses. A pasture is cleaner than a stall and his walking around will keep it draining. Mine was put on a 10 regiment of antibiotics because the vet dug it out of his sole. The horse was so lame and sore he was losing weight. Wrapping can also create a warm moist nest for bacteria to thrive. Phone the vet and get his/her opinion. They don't usually charge for a call if it's brief.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, he's going out tonight! He's much better. His heel is very gross looking because I did wrap it last night, and it's all soft, so I left the wrap off today because I thought it would heal more quickly and cleanly dry. Barn Owner said it was fine that it was wet and gross but also fine to leave it unwrapped. She hopes he'll be sound by Wedensday.

Thanks for all your help!
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