Abscess not popping, 9 days in, 3 legged lame - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 09-15-2014, 08:08 AM
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The vet told me not to out anything on it because he wanted the foot to be able to sweat.
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post #12 of 19 Old 09-15-2014, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delay in responding, my weekend was a crazy mess, and sorry for the spastic first post, I'm usually more well-written ( I was mobile posting in a hurry ).

So what I missed in the first post is that she was soaking in epsom salts and water then wrapping ( whole packing, diaper, vet wrap and duct tape route ). The horse has badly flared hooves, my friend's most recent farrier ( of about a year ) has not address any of the issues and then put front shoes on her. The horse came up lame, her husband pulled the shoes as one was ever so slightly loose at the very back but still solid at the toe. She asked me to trim her up, I basically just collected the foot, put a roll on and rockered the toe. She seemed slightly more comfortable, but still lame.

We felt heat in one spot specifically. My husband has a infrared thermometer that we brought out and seemed to locate an aread 1/3 of the way down from the coronary band that was 3-4 degrees Celsius warmer then elsewhere, though the heat seems to have disappeared now.

She was told by the vet in town that it is illegal in Alberta to haul a 3 legged lame horse. But that vet wouldn't come out to see her, saying that they can't bring the xray machine out to her. Also, though the vet will see horses on the farm, they are not set up for them at the clinic. She was very upset at the thought of hauling and the horse falling on the way ( it's very hilly and bumpy ).

She found a vet with horse care facilities an hour away, ended up hauling out, the guy she dealt with was apparently a jerk. They x-ray'd to look for proof of an abscess but found nothing. No fractures found. They just blamed it on laminitis and told her to bute and go home. She was able to get Animalintex ( or something like that ) pads from the vet to pack with because they still want to treat for an abscess apparently. I had called every clinic/horse supply/pharmacy/health store in a two hour radius but no one carries Ichthammol. Closest place is G&E Pharmacy in Edmonton.

I don't have pictues, but prior to my trim ( 4 weeks after the farrier was last out ) the hoof was very flared, though obviously still is to an extent, with underrun heels and laid over barns. The nails were quite low set to the point where my roll basically removed all traces of them. The xrays show side to side is in balance but P3 has rotated. I don't know the degrees, but based on this pic, I'd say it was a little worse then "moderate", but the toe is much more stretched forward. The tip is not pointing down as extremely as severe though.

The horse is currently in a mostly level-ground hot wire "paddock" to keep her out of the mud and on soft ground. She is laying down quite a bit though, but the vet didn't comment on that at all.

The vet didn't try to drain as they couldn't find "it", but my friend had already asked my opinion and I am against the idea of cutting into the sole to look for it.

Basically, my friend doesn't know where to go from here. The vet said that if there is not at least 80% improvement by tomorrow ( which so far there is not ) that they want to do a lameness exam on her, including blocking. I'm hesitant to agree, only because it seems that any and all vets up here slap the "navicular" label on any hoof pain ( even if it's clear that the hooves themselves are just in desperate need of a proper trim ). The first vet already scared the heck out of my friend saying that she's going to founder in the good front leg and have to be put down.

Last edited by Lunavi; 09-16-2014 at 12:09 AM.
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post #13 of 19 Old 09-16-2014, 12:43 PM
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Bottom line sounds like you need good equine vet.
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-16-2014, 01:26 PM
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She could well founder on the other leg - but that doesn't essentially mean she'll have to be put down
Sometimes an abscess can get really well stuck inside the hoof and take what seems like an age to come out which is why keeping on with the soaking and keeping the foot wrapped (changed regularly) is the best thing to do - and its also providing a 'cushion' for the foot to help make standing on it a little easier
Sand is the best thing for a horse with hoof pain to be on and the horse might feel more inclined to move around on it. The harder the ground the less they want to walk or even stand and if they get to that point stabling on deep shavings might be better
Movement helps force the abscess upwards so I would be inclined to give some Bute to encourage her to be more mobile
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-16-2014, 05:40 PM
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My horse had an abscess that took almost two months to resolve once. I would do the lameness exam for sure.
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-16-2014, 11:28 PM
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What a ****** of a story! What a lot of idiots it sounds like your poor friend has had to deal with! What you describe is mechanical 'founder'. It is a VERY good sense you have, not to dig in the very thin sole!

I don't know what experience & knowledge you have(sounds like maybe more than the local pro's... not that that sounds like it means a lot... ), but it will take some intensive care & management, and I urge you(her) to keep searching for a good professional, experienced in successful founder rehab, but if you're seriously devoid of any other help, there are a few of us here who are experienced & knowledgeable.

Assuming the internet is your best resource ATM, I suggest you & your friend study barehoofcare.com (& buy his 'The Pony That Did Not Die' book, if you can) and e-hoofcare.com to get some more understanding of what's going on inside, and what you can do for the outside. Sounds like you know a thing or 2 about diet, but ecirhorse.com, safergrass.org and gravelproofhoof.org are all valuable studying. And you can post more info, pics, and get your friend to get the xrays from the vet too, to get some more insight here.

**NB I missed the last paragraph of your reply! I'd get them to do IR tests & bloods for nutrient levels.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-17-2014, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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I do understand the process of mechanical founder, and I agree it is a possibility. As mentioned, her hooves are already in bad shape, so I'm sure it wouldn't take much. I did try to assure my friend it wasn't a "death sentence" but at that point the vet had already freaked her out.

At the clinic they unfortunately didn't think there was any reason to xray the "good" hoof/leg so my friend only has xrays of the "bad" hoof/leg. I will see if I can get those along with some pictures of the hooves and post them here.

I saw her today, she seemed noticeably more comfortable so that's an improvement. She was definitely moving around more, though still obviously lame, even going so far as to "escaping" (my friend was just closing the paddock) and cantering alongside the fence with the herd. Not something we would have wanted her to do, but last week she would have just stood there, so I would count it as a good sign.

When it comes to hooves I would like to think I'm fairly knowledgeable, if only for the reason that I dove in, researched everything I could and took it upon myself to trim my own horses. I have also trimmed for another friend for well over a year, specifically taking one of her horses with extreme flaring, quarter cracking ( up to the coronary bands on 3 ), abscessing and flat soles to well kept and healthy looking feet. I understand the "work" and "theory" but have never had to trim for founder. My friend has asked that I continue to trim this horse's feet and rest assured I will definitely be looking for help if I need it.

I have read the hoof sites ( over and over again ) that you listed Loosie, they are marked in my favourites though I will look at the IR/Cushings site. This horse is a TWH, which I've come across prior readings saying that there is a high prevalence of IR in that breed. She is definitely the "air fern" of the herd, and my friend has had most issue keeping her at a healthy weight. She does not have the wiry coat at all, but does have a cresty neck. I will definitely suggest bloodwork and IR reading.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-22-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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So, great news! The abscess popped yesterday! She is feeling and moving a million times better, which is a huge relief to my friend. It came out the coronary band above her outer quarter. My friend is still soaking and making sure the hole doesn't close before it's healed inside out.

The only thing curious is that above her heel bulb on that side there seems to now be bruising and the coronary band in between the two points is pinkish. Is this something that can happen with an abscess or is it possibly unrelated ( like she clipped herself )?
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-22-2014, 02:57 AM
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Great that the horse is feeling better! Can't say anything about the 'bruising' specifically, without even having a pic to go on. From the look of the other foot in the one pic, and what you said about the rads & that diagram, there's a bit going on in those feet, so if your friend would like any specific opinions, perhaps she could post some critique pics here?
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