Taking a turn for the worst
Ugh, abscesses, need I say more?
On December 2nd we got a call from the barn saying that Faith was lame. At first we thought it was a rock in her hoof. I went out there and there wasn't anything there but she was limping.
We figured it was an abscess and at first we just wrapped the hoof with some other things. Eventually we got the vet to come out and check it out, it was an abscess and he was able to open it. It wasn't oozing out much or anything, but we just have to soak it in a Epson salts and warm water for 15-20 minutes. And he gave us anti-bacterial spray to put on the hoof every other day. She was much better and wasn't limping nearly as much.
Today I went out to change the bandage and this time it was much worse. I had a hard time getting her out of her stall and she wouldn't even put weight on the hoof. This time her leg was swollen too. It just scared the crap out of me. However I've had her in a stall for a good day or so (I hate nothing more than leaving my horse in a stall for days--at least she gets turned out in the arena) and I've had polo wraps on her legs, when I went to get her I noticed that one of her polo wraps were on her stall and was off her leg (the same leg with the abscess) and it was swollen. So I think it may be that but not 100% sure.
I've been told prior to the abscess bursting the let may get swollen, however the abscess was burst on Friday and not its Tuesday. We called the vet and hes coming out tomorrow.
This is the first time having to deal a horse with an abscess. Very scary stuff for me! Haha.
Is this normal for her to be more limping, nothing has changed other than that (her eating habits are just fine)? Any experiences? I'm very worried!
Why would you use polo wraps for wrapping? They offer nothing at all other then something to get tangled in. Always use cottons and bandages for wrapping.
Moving on. I would be soaking in epsom salt once a day and packing the hoof with epsom salt and iodine. You pack the foot then put a baby diaper and duct tape and its a hoof poultice that will help pull things out, I would also ice the leg while its soaking. If shes so sore she can't walk right I would keep her on stall rest and if she is still this bad by say Thursday I would call the vet out again.
Is she barefoot? If she has shoes I would have them pulled until she is better. Also if shes getting this swollen and sore I would start watching for signs of infection.
Normally shes in a stall for the night, but shes been in a stall for....8 days so the vet advised us to put polo wraps on to support her legs, etc.
We've been exactly what you have said, haha. I just couldn't think of what the stuff was called. I've actually never heard of using a baby diaper before. Strange, haha.
Thanks for your input.
The thing is, a polo offers nothing in terms of helping prevent swelling or support. A good cotton and bandage is what you need when you have a horse stabled that long. Polos do not breath, do not offer support. Nothing. I am surprised a vet suggested it. Google stable bandages. It will be much more effective.
I would also look into getting a clay poultice. You could pack her hoof with that and bandage her legs with the clay poultice to help with swelling :-) And yes baby diapers are a staple in every horse persons first aid kit! They are great for hocks, knees, hooves and anywhere else that you could imagine :D
Baby diapers are a wonderful item to add to your vet kit!
Diapers make brilliant poultices and when my TB injured her leg we used one as a dressing for until the vet could get here to stitch her up [was only 20-30 minutes but hey it worked!]. Nothing better for "bandaging" a hock, nothing else stays up in my experience but a diaper does! I stuck a diaper on her hoof when she had thrush, didn't stay on long but would have if I'd done what most people do and covered it in duct tape.
When using a clay poultice we always add epson salts, and get really good results. Add a bit of mineral oil or baby oil, and water to the mix, to get the same consistency as a clay poultice. Diapers, vetrap and duct tape are the way to go.
I've only had to deal with one abscess. Horse was lame for a good 4 days after it burst. I did the epson salt soaks each day and applied ichthomol before the diaper step. I was told the ichthomol helps draw out the bad stuff. Don't know if it was fact or fiction, but it worked so that's good enough for me.
As for the polos, yeah bad idea. Vetrap over standing or pillow wraps would provide the support you're looking for without the danger.
I personally would turn out with an abscess if the paddock is clean. Movement helps the blood flow and the ooze.
I would soak with the Epsom salt daily as well. As for the wrapping I would only wrap the hoof. Are you doing standing wraps with the polos? I have had a leg swell all the way to the knee just before an abscess burst. I've also had an abscess come back a few times because it would close up and heel over before the evil crud finished draining. Good luck. :(
I've learned a long time ago to not let a vet open an abscess. A good farrier does a much better job and certainly won't do any damage.
I usually poultice with cotton sheet, vetrap and duct tape, and pour a very mild warm iodine solution in there at least 3 times a day. It will open within 3 days. Then I make another poultice shoe, but dry, for two, three days, to protect it from anything entering. Important is that the horse is up to date on his tetanus shots. Have seen a pony die from tetanus due to an abscess.
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