What is this? Abscess? Something else? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-24-2020, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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What is this? Abscess? Something else?

About a month ago, my horse blew an abscess through his frog. At least, I think it was an abscess. Now part of his frog looks yellowish and it's tender to the touch. Is this normal? What is it?

He is a 20 year old grade gelding. He's a little bit lame on that leg, but he also has arthritis in that fetlock. Our weather has been so back and forth from warm to freezing that the slight lameness may well be due to the arthritis. However, he does not like me poking the yellowish spot, especially near where the abscess blew.

In the second pic, I circled the yellowish spot in yellow. The green arrow is the abscess hole. The red line is a crack that has opened up on the side of the yellowish thing. Sorry for the pic quality and the mud. He doesn't like to hold that leg up for very long, and the pic was taken on a flip phone.

My farrier will be here Friday. The horse is due for a trim but not overdue.

Any ideas what this is?
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 01:15 AM
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That looks to me like a seriously thrushy frog. Perhaps there was an abscess as well...

Unfortunately, wet footing is not good for hooves, and can weaken(like your soles after a long bath) them & make them more susceptible to infection too. So keep your horse on dry footing if at all possible, or mostly dry. Or at worst, pull him out & keep him on dry footing for at least some time each day. Packing with salt can help to not only treat infection, but dry the hoof some, by osmosis.

Thrush(& seedy toe - same beast but in the wall material) thrives in warm, dark, airless environs. Unfortunately hooves that are contracted & weak heeled like his, are 'prone' to infection too, so depending on your environment, it may be a matter of just managing what you are stuck with.
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I've been afraid to treat it with anything harsh because of the abscess hole. I don't want to impede the healing on the inside. What would be safe to put on it?

Unfortunately, I can't keep him out of the mud. He does spend some time inside on a dry concrete floor every day. Also, when we've been riding the other horses, I've been cleaning his hooves and leaving him tied on the concrete so that hoof can dry out as much as possible.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 08:33 AM
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Right now, with the rain and all we're having down here, keeping hooves dry is a big challenge. I've got ONE out of ten who seems more prone to deep sulcus thrush (the groove in the frog) than all of the other nine combined. If it's not raining during the day, and it's not too sloppy out, I let him out in the pasture and bring him in for the night so he can stand in dry bedding. Of course, that assumes the barn isn't flooded, that hasn't been too bad this year.....yet.

If you can pick his feet out while he's tied out on the concrete that will help a lot to get that mess started clearing up. For deep stuff like that I use Tomorrow (it's a cow mastitis medicine that comes in a tube with a small tip syringe to put it in small, tight places) and I do the feet that need it once a day. For the stuff that's around the frog, I use Thrush Buster or Koppertox, just wear gloves.


The feed stores around here sell it by the tube, it's about $3.50/tube, IIRC.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 04:58 PM
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There are so many folks talking about their horses living in mud, that I am almost convinced there are more horses living in continual mud than arenít.

Fortunately I donít have mud issues and that can be addressed by folks whose horses are home but it costs money.

So I went hunting for water barriers for hooves. There are many products out there, some good, some worthless, and not all of them seem safe or efficient for the heel bulb area.

I found this product that might be able to be used in mud conditions but the heel bulbs will need to be thoroughly cleaned and patted as dry as possible, a paper towel will work:)


To reiterate, I found a lot of water barrier products, maybe there is something better that someone knows about but, if I had horses living in constant mud, I would try this ďPure Sole Hoof MudĒ first.
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Packing with salt can help to not only treat infection, but dry the hoof some, by osmosis.

Can you please describe the packing with salt and what kind of salt to use.
I've rarely heard of this and don't know how to do, what to use or when it is appropriate to do this...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 05:54 PM
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I wonder if extra strength diaper rash cream would be gentle enough to push into there. Probably wouldn't be enough on its own to kill the thrush, but it would help a bit, until you can get a professional opinion, and maybe not be too harsh on the live tissue that's trying to heal. Could put the diaper rash cream into the hole and pack it with cotton balls to keep mud from getting up into it.

Disclaimer: I have not done this, but I've read about lots of people using similar treatments.
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 06:48 PM
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HLG, you can make a saturated saline solution to soak feet, or you can make a salt 'scrub' with enough water to make it a paste or a putty consistency. You can 'pack' the paste into the sulci & any other crevasses/separation & wrap/boot to keep it in/clean for a while. Any salt will do. I use unrefined sea salt, because that's what I use for supps(& my own kitchen use).
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
There are so many folks talking about their horses living in mud, that I am almost convinced there are more horses living in continual mud than arenít.
Unfortunately, the relentless rain and resulting widespread flooding did not help matters in Central MS Even our high ground pastures are completely waterlogged, but at least the horses are not knee-deep in water. The water table has risen so much, it just can't go anywhere... Wish I could re-direct some rain!

So I know exactly how you feel @mkmurphy81 !
What seems to help a bit (and stay put for a few hours out in the pasture as well if the hoof was reasonably dry when applied) is 40% zinc oxide (diaper rash ointment) mixed with copper sulphate powder (8oz ointment with 1 teaspoon copper sulphate)Ö Or you could add Tomorrow to the hole and "plug" it with diaper rash ointment...
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-25-2020, 08:10 PM
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I also love salt scrubs and soaks (Epsom salt and warm water). The first thing I do with my mare when I see her is either salt bath or scrub her feet and apply thrush buster once a week or fortnight depending how bad weather is. But she gets to be stalled dry for a few days... But as for packing how long @loosie and at what strength? Salt or saline is great for wound care. Rinsing, scrubbing etc. Maybe creating a paste to put on overnight or a few hours. But a several-day salt packing I think would compromise the foot more, no? It'd deal with the thrush sure but at the cost of healthy cells/bacteria and potentially create further discomfort? Encouraging salt-loving bacteria? I can't really comment as never salt packed a hoof before, these are just things that pop up in my brain when I see a picture of that hoof. Fortunately never been in that position!

Is there anyway to completely create a barrier to wrap the feet when in turnout. Once a day unwrapping, letting dry, salt rinsing and fresh wrapping? Sure sounds a lot of effort o.o Man stalls.. I used to be one of those people that thought horses have to be out 24/7. But since having stall as an option and a mare that loves the luxuries of a solo net and a soft warm bed... I'm glad for the opportunity to have somewhere dry just for her feet!

Let us know what you end up deciding OP and how it works out. Your'e certainly not the only one with thrushy woes ;<
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