Abscess-like but no pain, hmmm? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question Abscess-like but no pain, hmmm?

In the past couple of months, my gelding has what appears to be abscesses starting at the coronary band. Easy diagnosis? Not really, he has not been off a step, has shown NO pain (not even slight), and no pus.

I called the farrier out this past week because he had two new ones forming and the farrier is stumped. My farrier is a barefoot trimmer who looked through all his references and can not find any information about horizontal abscess-like cracks at the coronary band. He used his hoof testers and found no pain anywhere. In fact, Fella was falling asleep. He is a rather stoic horse, but he has let me know previously of an abscess and was quite wimpy about it.

My next step is to have the vet do digital x-rays of what is happening inside...maybe it is something not seen on the outside.

Has anyone ever seen this before? How do his angles and heels appear (feet are one of my weak areas)? Could it be a deficiency in something or too much of something else? I don't know what to expect!

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 04:39 PM
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sometimes they don't have pain w/ abscesses... If it concerns you, I'd call a vet out...?

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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After talking with equine-knowledgable friends/farrier/barn manager/trainer, I was under the impression that pain was associated with abscesses. So, hmmm...not always?

Since he is not sore, I am not in a hurry to have vet out (unless someone raises a red flag!) but when she is out to do our shots in a couple of weeks I will ask her to do xrays.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 05:53 PM
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Does your horse paw at all? My horse used to and he would get abscesses like those all along the sides of his hooves.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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He does paw occasionally when waiting to be tacked or untacked, BUT he is on soft ground or rubber mats like in the photo most of the time. He is on pasture 24/7. I suppose it could take just a couple strikes to cause a bruise/irritation though??????
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-13-2009, 06:50 PM
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Yeah same with my horse. My horse sometimes pawed and hit walls and sometimes his own hooves.

I figured it was also probably him striking himself while turning sharp and fast while free lunging him or riding him... he eventually stopped after some time. I did find it odd though.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-14-2009, 10:52 AM
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Those definitely look like abscesses to me that have busted at the top. I would also really question that red bruise on the side there. His toes look long to me. I would DEFINITELY get digital xrays of what is going on in there...regardless of lameness.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-14-2009, 11:15 AM
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Once you get that sort of opening with an abcess, pain is almost 100% relieved. The pain is caused by the pressure from pus building up within the hoof. When it opens and drains, the pain ceases.

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-14-2009, 11:31 AM
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Those are abcesses and they are caused by your horse's feet being unbalanced.

For starters, he had too much heel and quarter. Once the heels and quarters are taken down to where they should be, it's going to become apparent that his frog and toes are stretched. He'll have some toe to take off the bottom, but he's going to have toe that needs to be brought back from the top...you won't be able to take it all the way back w/o making him lame...so you're looking at 2-3 trims to bring the foot back to where it should be.

Also, when you get those toes back to where they are suppose to be, they'll stop cracking.

Abcessing, particularly chronic abcessing, is always foot imbalance related.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-14-2009, 03:22 PM
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His feet are really unbalanced. The angles in the last pic are quite obvious in showing the angle difference in those feet. Mercedes is right, my gelding had 6 abcesses in a period of 3 months when I first got him because of this. He wasnt lame hardly at all but they blew out everywhere on his feet. I would get a farrier who knows how to correct angles and rebalance his feet.
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