Multiple Hoof Abcesses!!!
Oh this has been a crappy day! I got up to do chores this morning and found my mare to be dead lame! She was laying down when i got down to the barn and has been often throughout. She apears to have abscesses in two feet, the front left and the rear right! There is no pain or swelling anywhere on her legs, I have checked and checked again! A gal the boards at my place accidently let two pastures of horses mix yesterday and a mare that Patty does not get along with got in with her. I wasn't there and cant get a hold of the gal so i don't know what all went on. When I got home last night Patty was sweaty but not lame. Its sunday and i can't get a vet out here, I have called the emergency pagers and lines for the two equine vets around here a few times and nothing!!!!!! Why have a vet on call if they arent goin to answer a call! I posted a while back about a mystery lameness where my mare would periodically go very lame for no real reason. Well the vet found nothing wrong in her x-rays but the farrier has started to find old abcess cavities in all four of her feet! The swelling she was expriencing before was most likely stocking up as the swellings never really seemed to be the real source of pain. So anyways she has been developing abcesses often and no one really seems to know why! I am so flustered right now! I started her on hoof supplements, which seem to be working as in she is growing a ring of nicer looking hoof. I've been using the same farrier for a few years now and he has always done a great job, she's never showed signs of lameness after a trim. The only real difference in her life is this year around the middle of May she was put into a differant pasture, her 1st round of lameness happened around the begining of april. Shes in the pasture that surrounds the barn and there are several gravel driveways and a large cement pad that she has to walk around and across. Her hooves haven't looked as good as they used to when she was on all grass, but she doesnt have any big cracks or anything. The farrier doesn't want to shoe her and thinks that leaving her barefooted is the best way to go and that her feet will get used to the rocky and hard surfaces that shes never really had to walk across. Might I add that she only seems to get them after periods of running, which none of the horses do all that often(there lazy fat QH), like across the gravel(theres a good deal of it) I would love to know everyones opinon on whats going on and what your thoughts on shoes for her are? I want to get her a set of Old Macs( there like horsey tennis shoes i guess) but there pretty pricey, has anyone ever used them and what did you think of em? Thanks a ton
Old Macs or other boots are good for riding, but not great to keep on all the time. I did put easyboot on my horse when she had abscess to prevent from mud etc., and she tend to loose it in field every other day. :(
If your horse have weak hoofs than she certainly could get hurt her hoofs on gravel up to abscess. When my vet checked out my horse's abscess he said the abscess could develop from simple hematoma, when she stepped on something or knock on metallic feeder (has this bad habit).
May be it makes sense for you to try shoes for 2-3 months to see whether it'll change something. I personally not big fan of shoeing, but it looks like the way to try. In any case you can always return back to barefeet.
My TB was prone to abcesses. Anytime he started showing signs of a new one, the farrier would cut it open to drain & then we'd pack it with clay. It seemed to really help him. But I'd try the shoes on your mare first, If it's just the gravel & stuff hurting her they should help
My paint mare abcessed on front hoof ,I had the farrier come out to take care of it. the next week the other front foot abcessed ,so I had my vet to come out also just to check her out . I gave her atibiotics for seven days. the vet told me that I needed to keep shoes on her front feet for a year to get her hooves in better shape and out of the dirt, I don't really like to shoe but I have to admit that she has had no problems since and her hooves look great,so try shoeing ,it does help elevate the foot and keep from getting stone bruises. good luck .
I personally don't think that shoes are going to help her hoof quality. Abscessing frequently tells me there is something else going on.
I think one thing to try is perhaps leaving a tad more hoof wall when trimmed. I'm talking about 1/16th-1/8th of an inch more than what is being left already for a couple of trims. If your horse is frequently on gravel and soft terrain, this is an option. If your horse is more often on concrete, then it's not a good choice.
The slight extra wall would raise her off the ground a little, lessening the impact of the gravel as she runs accross. And provides great traction in mud.
The farrier should be using a good mustang roll or bevel all the way around the foot-this changes the mechanics of the hoof to encourage a more concave sole and he shouldn't remove any sole, even if it's flaking and cracking, when trimming-the dead sole would help to cushion agains the rocks and prevent bruising which leads to abscessing.
Shoes would lift the foot higher, but not solve the problem. It would encoruage the foot to spread flatter, so when then there's never a good concavity and still prone to bruising, esp if you remove the shoes again or one falls off. Also, the sole is usually cut for shoe prep, further weakening the body's protection.
Boots such as Old Macs can be used in turnout for a while. There is more work involved, you would have to remove them every day and let them air out to prevent thrush problems.
If you did turnout with boots, padded inserts would help to build the sole your horse needs to go barefoot on rocks. The sole needs stimualtion and short term protection and boots can protect and get the horse comfortable enough to move more,which means there will be more growth, and sole will build quicker than leaving it naked and the horse doesn't move as much.Either way,the sole will build, but a couple of months in boots can really speed up the process.
I think I would try the shoes. If she is more flat she is going to have problems and be prone to bruising and absesses. Also another suggestion is to have pads put on the shoes on the front hooves. I do that with my quarter horse and it works wonders. Just a thought.
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