How long does a hoof abscess take to heal??
My horse, Apollo, went dead lame on his right hind on August 5th, 2011. The next day we had the vet out and he decided it was an abscess. He dug a small hole in the toe area of his hoof and a little bit of pus came out. So we started soaking it in epsom salts for 30 minutes twice a day and wrapping it with Mag-60 whenever it wasn't being soaked. On the 8th the abscess blew out at his coronet. It's a pretty large crack where it blew out. He got better throughout the week but not 100%. We kept soaking it and wrapping it for another week and a half and he got better but still not 100%. So fast forward to today, the 15th. He has good days and bad days. Yesterday was pretty bad. He's still running to the gate when I call so I know it must not hurt too bad but, his trot is extremely gimpy. He's a showmanship machine and he usually has perfect pivots but he's having a lot of trouble. His back is really good though. I don't want to push him so I'm basically just hand walking him right now. He's lost a ton of muscle since he's not getting a normal workout but that doesn't really worry me. We are showing at Congress in a little over a month and I'm starting to wonder if he will be healed up in time. It is supposed to take this long to heal? Any suggestions on what I should do?
Call your vet. You don't have to call them out but call and get the vets opinion. If they want to see him again, there you go. Otherwise they might have something to try. Is there heat or a pulse?
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Is the horse shod? Pads?
Where in sole did vet dig?
Pic's of sole and foot from front and side might help.
Our mare abcessed twice when we first bought her, one front and one hind. The front foot blew out the coronet and took about 6 weeks to heal. We only soaked with Epsom Salts for 4 days then after that put on poultice, and kept wrapped and cleaned daily (we just used peroxide to rinse it out) until it healed. Our vet stopped the soaking after a few days because he was afraid her foot would become too soft from it. The rear foot just blew out the bottom of her foot, she was lame one day, it blew out the next, and with a couple of weeks she was ridden and sound again.
I think the problem with the ones that go up and out is that that infection has to push up the wall of the foot and out and it definately has to have more time to heal. In our mares xrays you could actually see the path the abcess took to find the way out at the coronet band. It certainly helped us understand why it took so much longer to heal. I dont think there is a magic number for healing time. It depends on the path the infection takes to get out. Wish I could be of more help.
^this one is a picture of where the hole was dug out. It's obviously smaller now.
^that's the hole where most of it blew out. It blew out closer to the top of his hoof but has grown out since.
^this is more of a straight on view.
I just took these today right after I soaked his hoof in epsom salts. He doesn't wear shoes but he gets trimmed every 4-6 weeks. He is doing better today but you can tell it still hurts to jog
Based on the pic's I would go w/ a set of shoes considering that Congress is coming soon. This should allow you to keep the horse in work w/o further problems. A bit of cotton soaked in 7% iodine stuffed in the openig under the shoe should keep things fine.
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