Irrigating an Abscess, tricks and advice. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-18-2012, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Irrigating an Abscess, tricks and advice.

My boy came up with an abscess on his mouth the other day, I noticed it yesterday and had the vet out this morning, as we're supposed to be competing on the weekend. It's sore, but he has no temperature and was otherwise eating and drinking normally, so she drained it and cut it open so we can irrigate and clean it out. But of course... regardless of whether or not he's buted up, what horse in his right mind wants a big syringe shoved into a hole in his face, so we can flush saline through his wound The vet said if we bute him twice a day, and irrigate 2 - 3 times a day he will be fine to compete this coming weekend, but I went out tonight and was only able to get around it / squirt some of the saline inside (though he wasn't about to hold still).
I doubt there's very much any of you can tell me... but if you have any tips that's great, otherwise this was a bit of a rant...
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-18-2012, 07:29 AM
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hose perhaps

Is it on the inside or outside of his face, for a horse with an eye issue we had a vet sew a fine tube in so we did not have to try and get drops in every 2 to four hours, maybe a tube that you can connect a syringe to would be okay if it really needed flushing.

Even tap water is a good option with the hose, I did this on a horse with a large hole in his chest from an abscess and as long as the tip is not in dirty water and kept up it will work too. Is what vets told me to use!
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-18-2012, 11:01 AM
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Lip chain, twitch or sedate.

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post #4 of 5 Old 03-18-2012, 11:22 AM
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Ahh yes, the joys of irrigation.
If you can't actually get the syringe tip in to flush it out, make sure to keep it from scabbing over and do your best to flush the outside to encourage free drainage without gunk build up around the edges.

Body temp. solution helps as does holding a clean cloth dipped into the flushing solution just over the hole. It softens the build up and makes the wound feel better.
Sometimes if the horse realizes you are just going to hold a warm rag on the outside he will relax a bit and not really feel it if you sneak the syringe close enough to squirt a little into it.
I'm sure the vet showed you how to really "flush" it out forcefully, but as one who has had that treatment myself... it feels weird! (I didn't have an abcess.. deep wounds and surgery with with penrose drains.)

Perhaps more gentle squirts after the warm rag will help him stay relaxed.
Maybe some favorite treats for distraction too.

Fun ain't it?
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-18-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Wish I could twitch but it's right above / on his lip.

I went out this morning and gave him his Bute, waited a little while (how long does Bute take to 'kick in' is another question, I've never had to use it before) and then my dad bribed him with cookies and I held the warm cloth over the wound, and wiped away the scab. We still couldn't get the syringe INSIDE the hole, but I could squirt the saline into it and went through a couple big syringes of the stuff, and then I soaked a fresh cloth in saline and held it over his wound. We'll be in contact with the vet today, and she's coming back on Tuesday.

Yes, so much fun.
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