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Is this an Abscess?
Remembering back to my post about our 22 year old QH mare diagnosed with Navicular. Our original thought was abscess however neither vet nor farrier could find one. She was put on Bute for a week and has been off of bute for a week, hadn't shown any signs of pain and very very little to no swelling so we assumed a over blown twisted ankle at that point.
I was just out with the horses however and her leg is swollen again, shes not putting any weight on her right front again and I found this, Abscess correct?
Its swollen and cracked near the bulb of her heel.
At this point its after hours at the vet office, does this require an emergency call or a first thing tomorrow morning call? I've never had a horse with an abscess either so forgive the stupid questions, do they drain it from the bottom/sole or from where its coming out at? Is she at a "to late" stage? I did not think it took a month of on and off lameness to find an abscess, is that normal? I've started soaking her foot in Epsom salt & warm water, thats about all I know on abscess.
I don't think it's an absess but I could be wrong...
Keep us posted.
I was just reading if its to far in the hoof where it cannot be located and a drain hole was unable to be added then chances are the abscess will need to escape via the coronary band - Which it looks like something is trying to do so? I'm not sure if a vet can find the abscess a drain hole since no one thus far has found an abscess of any kind.
This just "showed up" today... Shes been appearing fine for a week with no bute as said, she was fine this morning and then this..
Yep, that's an abscess that's burst at her very high, contracted heel. Are you addressing the heel height & providing any support/protection for her to use her sensitive heels?
Quite possibly it is another abscess causing her more grief. I wouldn't personally tend to get the vet for an abscess, but then it may not be that, and of course it's your call to do what you think's best. If you do get the vet & it is thought to be an abscess, I'd be very hesitant about allowing them to 'dig' for it, and if pain relief is necessary, I'd go the non anti inflammatory option, as bute & such can just suppress the infection by reducing the inflammation that is trying to push it out.
An abscess is an infection or bruise(haematoma) inside the hoof capsule. Bruises frequently become infected before they can heal or come to the surface. As you probably know if you've had a bruise or infection under a fingernail, this can be incredibly painful, as the swelling has nowhere to go. They can happen for a number of reasons & anywhere in the hoof capsule. It can be due to an accumulation of dead tissue that is unable to be flushed out naturally due to lack of circulation or healthy hoof function, as in high, contracted heels for eg. They can be from injuries & bruises, such as bashing a thin hoof wall or a stone bruise to a weak sole or frog. They can be from infection that becomes enclosed in the horn, such as nail pricks. They take the path of least resistance, so if they are close to the hairline, they are more likely to burst there, if they are near the base of the hoof, they may show as a sudden bit of separation/seediness between wall & sole, or they may 'blow out' as holes in the sole.
Exercise is great if possible - the more movement of the hoof, the quicker it should come to a head, but I don't agree with forcing an animal that's in such pain either, for a number of reasons, so keep her out & try to encourage movement without forcing it. Hoof boots or pads can be helpful. If the horse is in great pain, soaking in Epsom salts or ACV may provide some relief as well as softening the horn & helping draw the infection. However, over softening the foot is also not helpful in other ways, so I would only do this if you're pretty sure it's an abscess, and not long term, preferrably only when it was quite painful & just about set to burst anyway.
Pretty sure I've seen an article on hoofrehab.com on abscesses, among all the other great stuff that's there.
At this point, I am un-sure who to call. The vet diagnosed her with navicular and found no abscess when clearly, I think thats it. The farrier I have right now isn't doing his job I feel as all of my riding horses have hoof cracks and I've discussed with him her false soul and contracted heels, he seems to think nothing is wrong!
I have been desperately trying to find a good farrier - we are very limited on a good ANYONE (Vet, farrier, dentist or other) in our area. A previous farrier hit my horses with his rasp and was always in a hurry so hes out. The one before was a family friend and she did wonders for Molly, this mare, however due to health she will no longer trim. Its been eight weeks so everyone is due however I'd rather not call either of the two guys out so I'm looking for someone. At this point I'm willing to pay gas for someone farther away but still no luck!
If this was the only abscess and I soak her hoof once a day (Lets say tomorrow and the next day) give her a light does of bute *IF* this was the only issue should by Saturday she be for the most part better? To give me a way to judge who to call for her? If there is another abscess should I let this one go as well?
Loosie offered quite a bit of comprehensive information. I pretty much agree to not give bute, and definitly don't let a vet try to cut it out, the risk of reinfection is very high with that.
I also think exercise would help. A couple of days of soaks won't do much harm if you're thinking she still has yet another abscess brewing in there.
It's not uncommon for it to take a month of on/off lameness before an abscess rears it's ugly head and drains. With the lack of a good farrier, the visible cracks, there are several factors contributing to the abscesses, but also, not sure what the weather has been like for you this year, but wetter than normal can really soften the hooves too much and make them more susceptable (that is why regular soaking without a good reason is bad for hooves, and why I don't encourage people to create a muddy spot around the water tank to "moisturize" hooves) to bruises and invite more bacteria in to fester.
Personally, if it were my horse, I'd proabably do a couple more soaks, and just wait it out.If it doesn't get better, then I would seek out a vet to prescribe antibiotics, as long as he doesn't cut it open, unless he's dang sure of where it is.
A boot with a pad may offer comofort, depending on where the abscess is. Sometimes though, the pad can make it hurt worse, and they prefer a flat boot or hard, flat ground. If that's the case, there is a subsolar abscess brewing.
Not trying to scare you by any means, just if the one abscess finally draining didn't provide relief, you may have a series you are about to deal with. Could be your horse had some undetected trauma (possibly a puncture wound) or severe thrush that ate it's way to the corium of the hoof. Since there are wall cracks, could very well be just opoortunistic germs out of control in an unthrifty hoof.
Some ice packs might help with the swelling and pain, at least temporarily. I like to use frozen corn or peas. If there's no heat or swelling, it won't help.
Good luck, I feel for you not having a more horse-y vet around.
Thank-you both. Sorry I read that as to give bute - Not to makes seance.
What would you suggest for pain relief? Also, I do have tucoprim powder floating around, would this be something to consider? She doesn't do well with shots as far as antibiotic (Allergic, swelling, stiff muscles, wont move or eat)
When the vet was out a few weeks back to check on her originally he had said she had clean feet, no thrush, no puncture wound or so on so it would surprise me as far as the trauma causing a series of abscesses.
I don't remember your last thread - may look it up if I get time - but I would say with a hoof shaped such as that, 'navicular' is a likely problem. Bearing in mind that it basically means unexplained heel pain, and if 'properly diagnosed' also means unexplained DDFT & bone damage. I personally am quite comfortable with the explanations of people such as Pete Ramey, based on recent research and I use the same sort of 'methods' he advocates with success.
Bearing in mind animals can't talk & tell us exactly where & how it hurts, I give vets some leeway, as it often has to come down to a bit of educated guessing. And of course there are very good, knowledgable vets & farriers out there, but there are also many not so great ones, so you need to understand enough about the principles underlying hoof function & soundness, and underlying the treatment options, to have some idea of who you're dealing with, and how you want to deal with it. Eg. one school of thought is that 'navicular' horses should have their heels jacked up further from ground contact, wear bar shoes... to manage the 'incurable' problem until it's too far progressed to be helped. There is also the 'natural' school of thought which is pretty much the opposite to that. I happen to follow the second camp, but don't advise you to just take my word for it & do likewise. Make it an informed decision either way.
With only those few pics to go on, it appears that there is definitely an issue with heel height, and not recognising contracted heels, regular hoof cracks, etc are other indications of possible farrier fault, it would only be a guess for me to judge the farrier. There are many factors that could come into it, don't have enough information.
Depends what you mean by 'false soles' but this could be due to large solar abscesses which have separated old sole from the new growing from the corium. It could also be that due to hoof shape & function, your horse has just retained a lot of the dead sole. Either way, *as a rule*(there are always exceptions), I wouldn't pare it, but leave it there for extra support & protection.
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