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disastercupcake 08-10-2013 09:47 PM

Abscess or?
I came out today to find my young horse limping badly. By that I mean he would not fully step on his front right leg, and would not extend the fetlock joint. It looked like he was walking on his 'toe'. I felt everywhere, cleaned the foot, and only found a small hard lump on the inside of the pastern bone. It did not seem painful to touch/rub it, nor did it feel hot, and there didn't seem to be anything else abnormal. Temp was 101.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

I called the vet immediately and she didn't see any reason to come out. She said it's an abscess, probably due to the less-than-stellar farrier job, and to soak it in Epsom salt twice a day, and call back on Monday if it gets any worse.

Does this seem typical for a hoof abscess? I've never had one happen to one of my horses before, and I don't feel that it should result in a lump up on the pastern?

farmpony84 08-10-2013 10:05 PM

It sounds like an abscess if there is no heat or swelling in the leg and w/ the sudden on-set. My husband has this tool that he uses for work, it's a square box that has a light and he can hold it to a surface and it will tell him what the temp is, if you have one, you could hold it around the hoof and sometimes it will show you where the abscess is because that spot will be hotter than the rest of the hoof.

I would soak it and then maybe use an Epsom salt poultice overnight to see if you can draw it out. if not, just keep soaking.

He may get worse as in 3 legged lame just before it bursts....

Good luck to you. Do you have any bute?

princessfluffybritches 08-10-2013 10:44 PM

It sounds like an abcess. I agree with the poultice, the idea being it keeps the sole soft so that abcess can blow thru. I love this stuff called Magna Paste. It's Epsom salt gel . You pack it in, and place a folded up towel on top of that and duct tape the whole thing. Some people also swear by this stuff ickthamol, which is a drawing salve that looks like tar. It's hard to watch them ouchy.

cakemom 08-10-2013 11:24 PM

Very typical, dealing with one right now. She is limping so bad I'm doing body massages twice a day to keep her comfortable. Then she has a soak then a poultice.
I am not giving bute, not a fan of it for this- she needs to self limit. I am giving silicea to promote it erupting.
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gssw5 08-11-2013 09:06 AM

Yep sounds like an abcess, and just as an aside bute may not help anyway. My 18yo gelding just blew an abcess, he went around three legged lame for a full week before it blew. He also had swelling up to his knee and a lot of heat. I soaked him everyday, but could not poultice it because he lives outside and we have been really wet, and bute was of no help at all. The only thing you can really do is wait it out. My horse finally blew out the top of his coronet band at which point he found instant relief. I smeared ickthamol on it and wrapped it during the day for a couple days It took a couple days for the swelling to go down.

Trinity3205 08-11-2013 10:46 AM

Bute can sometimes cause an abscess to fester. Inflammation is what helps push the pus out. Reducing it will cause it to sit in one spot which you do not want. However after the abscess is formed, bute can help them walk better and make it potp. Its a fine line. I always recommend waiting 3 to 5 days before trying bute. Id wait to give bute for a couple more days and see if it will pop on its own and preferably up on the coronet which heals faster and is much easier to keep clean. I would not soak the foot (soaking makes the hoof capsule soft and pliable which again is not conducive to working the puss out of the foot even tho it make the hors emore comfortable temporarily) but I WOULD diaper and duct tape the foot with ichthammol on the sole and up around the coronet. Leave the horse turned out. Walking helps work it out.

disastercupcake 08-12-2013 08:32 AM

Ugh, thanks guys for responding. I guess it's really no big deal but you wouldn't know that from looking at the poor guy :(

Was just kinda stressed over it but thanks again for the reassurance :)

mls 08-12-2013 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by disastercupcake (Post 3315961)
I don't feel that it should result in a lump up on the pastern?

The lump on the pastern is a splint.

disastercupcake 08-12-2013 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by mls (Post 3327026)
The lump on the pastern is a splint.

What is a splint?

disastercupcake 08-12-2013 10:20 AM

Okay, nevermind I just looked up what a splint is- and that does seem to be exactly what is on his pastern. Although it is cool to the touch and hard, so I think it's a 'cold splint' and shouldn't be causing any pain?

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