Shoe Boils/capped elbow - How do they heal once they're open? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wisconsin
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Exclamation Shoe Boils/capped elbow - How do they heal once they're open?

I discovered yesterday that my horse (TB mare) has an open shoe boil (capped elbow) on her front left elbow. I've never dealt with this kind of wound before and I'm wondering how it will heal? The boil came out of nowhere and opened up on it's own. The opening is about 2" long and seems pretty deep. It's a large flap that looks like it should require stitches, but since the area moves so much I don't think that's an option. There was a lot of drainage but NO blood. Which makes me think it's not as deep as it looks....

I currently have her on antibiotics and I am flushing it daily with 2 solutions. There is already a nice improvement in the last 24 hours (less swelling, less lameness) it is still draining, and she seems much more comfortable. I am keeping her in her stall for a few days to stay out of the mud and hand walking her every day.

I am wondering how this will heal back together or if anyone has had a similar experience? I can't find any information on the internet - I'm scared she will have an open flap on her elbow for the rest of her life! Will this heal back together once the infection is gone? Is it normal for shoe boils to open up on their own?

Thank you for any help!! :)
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 09:52 PM
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Are you talking about an abcess?? That has opened and is draining.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I would definitely label it as an abscess. Open, draining, swollen, lots of puss.

Last edited by ericao; 10-25-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 10:05 PM
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For the hoof I would soak it in warm water with epsom salt it will draw out the infection. Try to keep the hoof clean. For the leg, I like to apply vasaline below the wound to protect the hair and skin from the drainage, I would rinse the wound with water and not apply anything. keep it clean. It should heal from the inside out.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-25-2012, 10:24 PM
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We've treated a few of those at the clinic I worked at - we don't usually put the horse on antibiotics - but we do give a tetanus booster. Everything else you are doing is great - it will continue to heal from the inside out. At some point you need to leave it alone but you can just rinse it on occasion with betadine (which actually dries the wound out a bit and encourages slow granulation of the tissue) once you notice it is on the mend, and that will keep it bacteria free and heal it up fairly quickly. Try not to be TOO agressive with it - you can cause too much granulation and end up with proud flesh. The skin needs a break every now and then to do a bit of self-healing.
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capped elbow , drainage , healing , shoe boil , wound

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