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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

In late November my mare went head-bobbing lame when going through the corners of the arena to the left. Left front was hot, and she's touchy about her feet, so I had farrier out. He found a very profound subsolar abscess that went horizontal before it drained. Soaked in Epsom salt, applied draw and wrapped - took two weeks to drain, and it was not until about two weeks ago (late January) that she came completely sound.

NOW...she seems sore in the other hoof. Right front head bobbing around corners, however this time hoof is not hot so the farrier is not convinced it is a new abscess brewing. He will be out in two days due to a coming snowstorm tomorrow, but until then suggested our in-barn equine masseuse work on that shoulder and I try riding again afterwards to see if she's sore from compensating on to that leg for so long.

Vet will be out Monday, but at this point I'm sort of at my wits end. She doesn't seem particularly uncomfortable, but she didn't when she was brewing an enormous abscess either.

Does anyone have experience with a hefty abscess and it's aftercare, and potential lameness on the opposite limb from compensating? Is there anything in this equation I may not be thinking about? Thanks!
 

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Mine would develop an abcess in the other due to all the weight being placed on it.
 

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If things like weather and ground conditions are the same and/or the condition of the hooves are the same then the chances of further abscess occurrences is pretty high.

While heat is typically it isn’t always the case.

I would treat it as an abscess until you know it isn’t one as it isn’t going to hurt anything and could help.

If ground conditions are the problem then protecting the sole of the hoof is the most obvious way to reduce risks.
Hoof boots are probably the easiest way to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both replies so far! I too am leaning abscess, even without heat, though it definitely gave me pause for a second. In my time with her she's had two abscesses, and these symptoms match both of those episodes exactly barring the absence of hoof temp. Thanks for the reinforcement.

Mine would develop an abcess in the other due to all the weight being placed on it.
I was also wondering about this, so thanks for sharing your experience. It was a LONG process with this one in the front left, lots of time bearing the brunt of her weight in the front under crappy winter weather conditions.

Now to wait for the farrier. If anyone else has thoughts they're much appreciated!
 

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Abscesses can indeed be 'one off' type 'accidental' affairs, such as from running over a particularly sharp rock bruising the sole, or a bash to the coronary border or such. But very often & especially if they're recurrent or widespread, not small, localised, they are symptoms of the 'real' problem, that may be going unrecognised. Such as thin soles, laminitis, 'seedy' infection, distortion & imbalance... etc.

If you would like to post pics of your horse's hooves, and if you happen to have any xrays to include, see the link in my signature line for what angles of pics are needed, post them here & that might shed some more specific light on what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey all, just posting an update.

Vet came out and drum roll...abscess in the same hoof. So, looks like I'm back to my Epsom salt & poultices two times a day. And here's to less damp weather ahead.

Thanks for everyone's input!

@loosie This is something I intend on discussing with her farrier. In her time with me she hasn't been particularly abscess prone, but when she does it is ALWAYS this foot. He has done a huge amount of work with her, as when I acquired her she had very crumbly heels and a history of white line. She's much much better all around but her front leg limb is EVER so slightly shorter and so she's been in a wedge and then a pad to correct this. But after this abscess I'm wondering if that hoof isn't too stressed.
 

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^^ I assume 'leg limb' means left limb😆 Yes, if it's always that one foot, and it sounds like there is permanent imbalance there, from limb assymetry, sounds like that foot definitely has... some issues. If you'd like to post pics & more info - sounds like whole front-end, squarely front & side on pics would be appropriate too, I'll be happy to tell you what I see, for whatever that may be worth.
 
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