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Ashsunnyeventer 02-27-2013 10:25 PM

Could it be an abcess?
On Friday, my mom was riding my gelding and about 30 minutes into the ride, he started to limp. She got off, we untacked and waited for him to cool off. Then we felt his legs and hoof and nothing was wrong. We picked out his feet (she was riding in the sand arena- nothing was in his feet) and trotted him, but he was clearly limping (not like "I broke my leg" limping, but like his foot hurt). We soaked his foot in epsom salt and betadyne and put him in his stall.

The next day, we came, and trotted him. He trotted sound, hoof was normal temperature, so she got on and rode him. Again, about 40 minutes into the ride, he starts limping. We did the same thing as the day before and put him in his field. We though- if it's an abcess, he should walk on it anyways, and the ground was soft.

So Sunday comes, and we see him galloping around his field with his buddy. We think- he must be fine. Wrong. His right front foot was so hot. Like body temperature hot, while the other was cold (it was 30 degrees out). We trotted him and he was limping a little, but not much. We soaked it and put him in his stall. There was no other heat in his leg and no swelling.

Monday, Tuesday and today he has had a hot hoof and trotted lame, but walked fine. We keep soaking it. He still goes out in his field everyday and stall every night.

He had a twisted shoe about the middle of January where he was walking on the clip until he got brought in from the field that night. Could that have caused an abcess? It seems really long ago. He also got his feet done 2 weeks ago- could a nail be bothering him? A girl who does stalls at our barn is a farrier and she said that he would be more lame if it was an abcess. She would help us out a little bit more if she wasn't 7 months pregnant... Now it's like he's off, but not limping too bad. What could it be?

He has a history of mysterious lamenesses, but those were just out of the blue. He would start acting like his leg was broken in the middle or end of the ride, almost not being able to walk, but no heat or swelling. The lameness would be gone a few days later. He was diagnosed with Lymes in the fall and these types of lamenesses are symptoms. This isn't really the same as those times though. Should we remove the shoe or call the vet? Also, the working student seems to think he's faking, but I honestly don't think he's that smart, and his hoof is hot. Sorry for writing a book.

tabasco 02-27-2013 10:37 PM

A hot hoof is no good. I recommend calling your vet. What did Your farrier say about the heat in his hoof?

I used to ride a mare that would fake limp, and when I got off her, she magically stopped, and was sound. This definitely doesn't sound like he's faking it.

Ashsunnyeventer 02-27-2013 10:41 PM

We haven't called our farrier yet. The girl at the barn is a farrier, but not the one we use. She said it could be an abcess, but she'd be surprised since he wasn't limping as much as she would expect. She can't really do much to see what else it could be. So now the question- who to call first vet or farrier? Farrier could pull the shoe, find the abcess and pop it IF it's an abcess, or vet in case it's more serious?

tabasco 02-27-2013 10:46 PM


If there is heat in the hoof, trouble is a brewin' did you check his didgital pulse?

Ashsunnyeventer 02-28-2013 06:20 AM

I'm not sure what that is. I've always heard that if it's an abcess, you will feel the pulse right above the heels, but I didn't now if that was true. We checked and couldn't feel it.

Cherie 02-28-2013 09:05 AM

We use clips on all of our trail horses. Having a shoe turn and getting a clip imbedded will definitely cause an abscess. I've had them more than once. If an abscess does not break out on the bottom or coronet band (which I prefer) in a week or two, I would have a farrier at least use hoof testers and make sure the sore spot is on the same side the clip went in.

I would also take this horse's temperature. A hoof abscess will usually elevate it a little -- higher in the evening than in the morning.

Ashsunnyeventer 02-28-2013 02:29 PM

Okay. The clip didn't like puncture his sole, but I would imagine that it caused bruising. The whole shoe was twisted around so maybe a nail got him. We noticed the hoof is hotter on the inside than the outside but that is not where the clip was.
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Ashsunnyeventer 02-28-2013 07:24 PM

Went out tonight and the foot was a normal temperature and he was sound. My mom rode him for an hour and part of that was on a gravel road. He was fine. Maybe just bruising that he got over then?

farmpony84 02-28-2013 07:29 PM

It could be a stone bruise and it could be an abscess. It could be other stuff too but it kind of sounds like an abscess...

Ashsunnyeventer 02-28-2013 07:31 PM

Maybe he popped it him self and is feeling better then? That's what someone at the barn mentioned, although we couldn't find any area where it popped unless it's under his shoe.

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