experiences with hoof abcesses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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experiences with hoof abcesses

hi everyone,
I loan a 20 yo mare who I see on weekends, as you can probably guess she's got a hoof access. the farrier spotted this today (I wasn't there) and I had no clue it was there, I don't think she was lame at all since we did have a pretty good ride on Friday, although she had switched her canter leads (she tends to always be on the right lead but stuck to the left lead or did a disunited canter)
I put this down to her having lost a shoe (she only has them on her front feet and I rode in a sand school since both my instructor and the stable owner thought it would be fine, its also what her owners told me to do before when she's lost previous shoes) but I'm wondering if its possible that this could have caused the access...
any way I haven't seen her for 5 days and just got told she has a hoof abcess so no riding for a while, I really have no experience with these things so I'm wondering if I might have missed something or if it could have come up in that time...
im going up this weekend too so I can wash and wrap it (if you disagree with this please don't comment as I'm doing what her owner wants me to do) so I may post some questions relating to that on this thread too

so I guess I really want to know if any one else has had a horse with an absess and how long the recovery was for them or if theres any thing I can do to help make it easier or faster for her?

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 12:39 PM
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Abcesses have numerous causes and are treated a couple of different ways. If the farrier or vet locates the abcess (via hoof testers) and opts to drain it by opening it up, the pain in the hoof will cease immediately and the horse will usually "go sound". This treatment requires the abcesssed area be kept fastidiously protected from picking up contaminants until it closes up - maybe two weeks? I've wrapped the foot and put it in a boot and gone back to work.



Others opt to let the abcess "blow out" on its own, which usually occurs at the coronet. The horse suffers longer term pain, and of course the resulting wound needs to be kept clean.



A horse that abcesses chronically has an underlying issue. But sometimes it's due to excess pressure, say, the bars are too long and bruise the sensitive tissues. I always have the vet drain the abcess (I can take care of the horses daily because they're kept at home). But I changed some hoof care protocols a few years back and haven't had an abcess since. It's frustrating, but horses get wounds and sniffles and such and there's not much we can do about it! Sounds like you're at the mercy of the owner, as to when you'll be allowed to ride again. Best of luck!
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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thank you, I'm pretty sure the farrier drained it since I'm going to clean/wrap it on Saturday so its good to know she's not in as much pain, I don't think she abcesses often since its never been mentioned... thank you for clearing my head from the image of her being locked in a stall for weeks too.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-12-2018, 09:31 PM
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You can turn your horse out and go back and get them a few hours later and they are dead lame from an abcess. So dont worry that you missed something. My horses are barefoot now for the last 10 years and only one abcess in 4 horses. Just an observation.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-13-2018, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chella View Post
You can turn your horse out and go back and get them a few hours later and they are dead lame from an abcess. So dont worry that you missed something. My horses are barefoot now for the last 10 years and only one abcess in 4 horses. Just an observation.
thank you for the reassurance, I was really worried her owner would blame me (bad experience with last loan so I get kind of paranoid).
going up tomorrow to help with bringing her in, her owner said she's been a total pain in the *** to handle so I'm just there to bring her in and out for the farrier and hopefully we can ride again in about 3 weeks.

im sure that eventually her owner will want me to bathe/ bandage her feet so ill see what the farrier does but any tips would be AMAZING.
thanks again

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-13-2018, 09:28 PM
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I love the Animalintex poultice pads to help draw out the abscess. I usually have a couple on hand in my vet box.

If you can't get them I use Icthammol and baby diapers for a pad.

I have always used a poultice even if it's been broke open or dug out to keep drawing out whatever caused it to access. In my case, I believe the issue to be sand. I've had them come out the sole or work out up and break out in the coronet band.
I'll soak in a warm Epsom salt for 20 minutes if I can get them to stand in a rubber tub that long between rewrapping.

I've heard of people using Betadine and sugar but I've not tried it.

Diapers/poultice pad, vet wrap, duct tape and elasticon. I premake a duct tape pad to cover the bottom of the foot then slap it on, a couple rounds of duct tape on the edges and some elastic tape for the top. The elasticon will give it some flexibility and less likely to cut off circulation.

Depending on where he's housed, how active he is and how well wrapped the pad can last for a couple days.
I've done this and branded on a horse and it lasted. (He was sound at that point, just trying to keep the hole clean)

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-13-2018, 10:54 PM
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The poultice the above reviewer said works great. I have used diapers and duct tape to hold it in place. It will work itself out. With or without a Poultice.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-14-2018, 03:16 AM
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Lots of experience with abscesses, tho the only one I recall in my own horses in... Maybe 20 years was one that came out in the rescue pony I got this year, who's previous owner pulled a roofing nail from his sole!! Thankfully, he blew out most of his sole in a massive abscess but nothing more serious.

Anyway... I often point out evidence of abscesses to owners when trimming, generally 'been n gone' ones & they say 'can't be cos he wasn't lame'. Generally abscesses will be painful, often severely, but not always.

I was thinking this may have been the case here, but that you have been told to wrap it - which implies its either current & wrapped with a softening/drawing agent or it was indeed a painful, current one until the farrier opened it up. If the latter then as said, needs to be kept clean & exposed corium protected from damage until new horn covers it.

I would NOT advise conventional shoes at least until its well healed. Depending on cause/state of feet, perhaps for substantially longer. If you have hoof boots, or you're not riding on rocks or such, then so long as the horse isn't lame, can't see why you shouldn't ride tho.

You can check out links below & post hoof pics & further info if you like, for more specific advice.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-14-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Lots of experience with abscesses, tho the only one I recall in my own horses in... Maybe 20 years was one that came out in the rescue pony I got this year, who's previous owner pulled a roofing nail from his sole!! Thankfully, he blew out most of his sole in a massive abscess but nothing more serious.

Anyway... I often point out evidence of abscesses to owners when trimming, generally 'been n gone' ones & they say 'can't be cos he wasn't lame'. Generally abscesses will be painful, often severely, but not always.

I was thinking this may have been the case here, but that you have been told to wrap it - which implies its either current & wrapped with a softening/drawing agent or it was indeed a painful, current one until the farrier opened it up. If the latter then as said, needs to be kept clean & exposed corium protected from damage until new horn covers it.

I would NOT advise conventional shoes at least until its well healed. Depending on cause/state of feet, perhaps for substantially longer. If you have hoof boots, or you're not riding on rocks or such, then so long as the horse isn't lame, can't see why you shouldn't ride tho.

You can check out links below & post hoof pics & further info if you like, for more specific advice.
she was still limping today (access drained on Thursday) so I don't know if thats normal of not, she seemed pretty sad but I caught her fine and normally shes a complete pain if anything is off for her

she's going barefoot for the while, hopefully the other foot won't do anything since the farrier agrees it was probably caused by leaving the shoe off for too long (couldn't book any one for about a week).

the farrier was basically there to wrap it (mare is really stubborn to pick up her feet and sometimes I'm not strong enough,I sprained my wrist yesterday too so I'm glad I wasn't on my own) but all he did was clean out the hoof with a pick and then wrap it, were using pampers diapers and some bandages with duct tape, there wasn't any soaking but I doubt shed let them soak her foot.

im probably going to have to wrap it later on though so this advice is all great, also I'm not hacking her for a while just to be sure, theres a down hill road we walk down to hack and the access is on her front foot so it wouldn't seem fair, sticking to sand schooling for a while once she's back to her normal self...

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post #10 of 15 Old 07-14-2018, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnhappyHacker View Post
she was still limping today (access drained on Thursday) so I don't know if thats normal of not,
Oh so she is/was lame. Yes, depends what's going on, but there should have been significant relief for her as soon as the abscess was released - think an abscess or blood blister under your nail - the pressure is what causes the pain. But it may still be inflamed & even not, if significant, would have caused bruising, which will take longer than a couple of days to heal. Don't let it go on for too long tho - if she's still just as lame in a couple more days, or still gimping after a week, then I'd get the vet.

Quote:
she's going barefoot for the while, hopefully the other foot won't do anything since the farrier agrees it was probably caused by leaving the shoe off for too long
When I said I'd advise no conventional(peripheral loading rims) shoes, I didn't necessarily mean barefoot. She may well need artificial protection. You haven't said where the abscess was, but if the farrier cut a hole in the sole, then she WILL likely need protection, and for it to be kept clean, until more horn can grow over the hole.

I don't believe that 'leaving shoes off for too long' caused this in the least. Unless it's from an accidental stepped hard on a sharp rock kind of occurance, it is likely due to her hooves being compromised/weak. Especially if she has been shod conventionally for long without respite, she will likely have compromised hooves, and THAT is likely to allow thin soles/bruising/abscess.

Quote:
I'm not hacking her for a while just to be sure, theres a down hill road we walk down to hack and the access is on her front foot so it wouldn't seem fair, sticking to sand schooling for a while once she's back to her normal self...
If the abscess has come about due to thin soles, yeah, hopefully she will be fine on sand & other yielding surfaces bare, but if that's the prob, you could look at the abscess as a symptom rather than THE problem, and she will need protection/support UNDER her feet(so not rims) for hard/rough ground for some time, as PART of her rehab. Generally, hoof boots are a pretty good option there, and you can take them off when she's not working on these surfaces.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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