I have a question regarding abcesses.....
this is what I think is happening to a horse I am part leasing. He was "off" this Aug. I took him to a vet, vet nerve blocked the navicular area and he was still off. vet said most likely arthritus in his fetlock. we put him in a small paddock and NO riding. He got mildly better.
later, we noticed puffiness in the fetlock and we though suspensory, and his lameness got worse, like overnight. some heat in the hoof and pastern. started wrapping his leg with standing wraps.
few days later, a vet that was at the barn for another person's horse kind took the time to look at "my" horse. this vet did hoof testers, and horse is pronouncedly ouchy on front left hoof, left quarter. we have been using standing wraps on that leg, but this vet thinks his lameness is due to an abcess or stone bruise. do soaks, he says.
I did some epsom salt soaks, but no one can be there to do it daily, and we don't have hot water at the barn. I know , I could bring some in a thermos. But, if it were an abcess, would it take two months to come out? he's been lame , to a greater or lesser degree, for more than two months. His owner think it's a strained ligament and wants to just wrap him and keep him on a small paddock. She does not want to pay for Xrays or ultrasound, since she feels that the directions for treatment will be what she is already doing.
will the epsom salt diaper boot, duct taped on, help draw out an abcess? or does this only work AFTER it's been openned by a vet/farrier by a hole cut in the hoof?
I have been nagging the owner to get the farrier out to look at this. Very frustrating.
Tiny mare mare had an "undiagnosed" abscess or stone bruise soon after I purchased her. I combined epsom salt and iodine (Use gloves)....packed the hoof...covered with a diaper and then secured with vetwrap. I did this daily for 4 days . Helped tremendously.
Obviously an examination. ...xrays..etc..would be a first choice....but it certainly cant hurt to try a poultice to draw it out. And u wouldnt need hot water.
Certainly possible that the old and new lameness arent related. Perhaps its both...a strained ligament or whatever AND a newer abscess or stone bruise....u never know....
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Has he been checked for ring bone and side bone?
The vet did mention the possibility of ring bone. I really wish the owner would just spring for some x-rays to start with. I'm going to try that poultice idea I'm going out there today so I'll stop Barthels and buy the supplies thanks guys for your advice.
"boot" with either Epsom salt or a weak iodine solution will work. if you can levee some of the solution there for days you're not there, maybe somebody there could just pour something in so it stays moist. I think it's mainly the moisture that helps the abscess ripen, softens the tissue so it can come out somewhere, most likely along the coronary band. Once it's popped, wrap it dry for a few days, to make sure dirt stays out. Check his vaccination status for tetanus. Once it pops he should be considerably better. I'd have a farrier check him anyway.
I would get a farrier to check him - if it is an abscess he/she can usually detect it by testing for sensitivity - in the early stages its easier to open up from the sole and then drain and poultice but if its moved upwards then best to just poultice and hope it will soften the coronet area enough for it to pop
If the lameness is bone or tendon related then an X ray or an ultrasound will at least confirm if there is or isn't a problem there - worth spending the money for peace of mind
I had a visiting vet (again, I just happened to be there while she was looking at another horse) look at him. She did not think ligament or tendon issue. one could see he was reacitve to hoof testers, but he was a bit reactive all around, and she think he has a thin sole to start with. He has always been shod, and is still shod now. she flexed him at the fetlock and felt that it was something in his fetlock area, most likely a bony issue, such as arthritis. So, back full circle to that .
I made the epsom salt/ diaper/ duct tape poultice. it was a laughable attempt, but it's the firsdt time I have ever done that. if it stays on two days it will be a miracle!
I want the owner to go for xrays! needless to say, until she does, I won't be part leasing him any further.
I don't really have any answers for how to draw out the abscess, but I am learning so much from this thread.
But as for hot water, I'm sure that your stable has electricity at least. I used to use one of those small 4 cup "Mr Coffee" coffee makers at my old stable when I needed hot water. I just didn't put coffee in it, just rant the water through. Maybe something like that may work.
Another tip is to try the new Duct Tape Sheets. You can usually find them at craft stores and Walmart has them too. You can just cut from the outside in towards the middle but leaving an area about the size of the horse's hoof uncut. Put the pultice on, and then put the sheet on the bottom of the foot, then the "flaps" you cut can just be folded up over the top of the hoof and hen trimmed. Then wrap maybe one strip of regular around it. This is what I used on Cin when he had that crazy coronet cut a year ago. It takes a lot of time off the ductaping process.
Haha....I didnt do so well the first time either. You will get better with practice. ;)
And I dont blame u for being frustrated with the owner. Im not a run your child/horse to the doctor for every little sniffle or bruise kind of mom. But there comes a point where diagnostic testing has to be done. Apppears your lease horse needs it.
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