My guy Indy came in from the field last week.... he's been on and off lame.
Vet said put him on 2 gm bute until Tuesday of this week - we did. She came out and saw nothing wrong (of course he wasn't lame that day) and she said start riding again slowly.
Did the vet employ a pair of hoof testers as part of the exam?
Did the vet perform a flexural exam?
Where radiographs done?
My dearest friend and trainer told me a horse is never in that lame unless he is abscessing or had fractured something.
Or suffering laminitis, or navicular disease, or pedal osteitis, or articular arthritis, or sidebone, or a a bone spur, or a tear to the deep digital flexor tendon, or bursa inflammation, or a compromised vascular bed, or a puncture wound, or serious central sulci thrush, or a bowed tendon, or suspensory strain, or etc, etc, etc.
The ONLY thing I can figure is this:
"Abscesses are considered as part of the detoxification process of an unhealthy hoof to a healthy hoof, not because the abscesses develop after the hoof begins the transitioning process, but because the abscesses had been festering in the hoof and deshoeing the hoof, or the implementation of correct trimming allowed the abscesses to finally migrate to soft tissue where it can rupture."
The moderators of this forum would likely ban me if I shared my most sincere opinion of that authors definition of abscess causation. Suffice it to say that the notion is beyond absurd and serves to reinforce the general consensus of professional practitioners that the AANHCP certification is less than worthless.
Probably calling out the farrier, but would rather not. Just spent $150 on a vet visit.... that didn't help anything anyway. Ugh.
With the exception of veterinarians that invest themselves entirely in the specialty of equine lameness, most farriers receive more training specific to the equine distal limb in their first year of practice than a general veterinary practitioner will see in eight years of school. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Yes, call a professional farrier.
1. How long does it take for an abscess to form?
There is no singular answer to your question. Contrary to the nonsense cited in the earlier quote, an abscess can be resultant bacteria or fungal intrusion, foreign objects or trauma to soft tissue. The metabolic reaction to the infection and subsequent discomfort that accompanies the inflammation varies with each animal.
2. What should I DO????? Lol
First, don't presume the problem is an abscess. While it certainly could be, single occurance abscess problems are not typically intermittent in the lameness they cause.
That your vet didn't find a problem does not mean there isn't one. Diagnostics are, by definition, the realm of the veterinarian but farriers, while not veterinarians, will often identify specific problems in the course of their work.
If you are sure your horse does present a lameness issue and your vet was unable to identify the cause, engage another veterinarian and ask them to work with your farrier to isolate and address the problem.
3. Do you think he is abscessing?
While you've made a good attempt at describing the issue, there simply is not enough information provided to make any reasonable determination.
If it is an abscess, it will usually become self evident. There's a cliche among farriers regarding abscesses. "Do a lot, do a little... either way it probably won't much alter the outcome".
Re-engage your vet or acquire the services of a vet that is more specialized in equine lameness and engage your farrier.
Fair warning that some intermittent lameness problems can be tough to diagnose. In layman's terms, that means expensive. While unpleasant, it is an unfortunate reality of owning a horse.