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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I posted about struggling with a recurring hoof abscess in my 13yr old fox trotter for over a year. Multiple vet visits, X-Rays, farrier visits and FINALLY another set of X-Rays revealed P3 Osteomyelitis. I am just reaching out to see how many of you have dealt with this and how successful was treatment/what was your treatment.

Upon the discovery the vet cleaned out the abscess area (there is a tract that goes from the sole/toe area directly to the infected bone) very well and did a little “debridement “ of the area as best she could while big guy was sedated.

The vet gave me 2 options:

Treat this with long term oral antibiotics (30 days) along with antibiotics injected directly into the abscess tract, along with daily flushing/soaking/bandaging of the area to keep it clean. This option doesn’t have a high success rate, but is much less invasive and lowers risks of re-infection.

Second option is to do an in hospital surgery (farm surgery not an option with any local vets) with a 5 day hospital stay to remove the area of infected bone. Horse would then follow up with a month of antibiotics, daily bandage changes, and at least 6 month recovery/stall rest. Although more successful, This procedure would require a large area of hoof removed making the area susceptible to re-infection, with no guarantee of soundness, success after surgery.

For now I have opted to do just antibiotics and praying for a miracle. I am not sure if surgery will be an option for us due to a variety of reasons, aside from this guy has been through so much and I don’t intend to put him through any more.

For now the horse is happy, sound and most importantly comfortable while going through the antibiotic therapy. We are about 2 weeks in and the site “looks” good, but will not know how successful this is until antibiotics are stopped, and horse is eventually turned out without a protective boot/bandage.

What is everyone’s experience with this? Do you think we stand a chance to beat this without surgery?
 

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For now the horse is happy, sound and most importantly comfortable while going through the antibiotic therapy. We are about 2 weeks in and the site “looks” good, but will not know how successful this is until antibiotics are stopped, and horse is eventually turned out without a protective boot/bandage.

What is everyone’s experience with this? Do you think we stand a chance to beat this without surgery?
If I were in your position, I would finish up the antibiotic treatment and see where that gets you. Did you get a quote for how much a surgery would run you? According to this article, multiple surgeries were done on the Canadian Horse of the Year, and yet they were unsuccessful in the end:
https://thehorse.com/126348/bad-to-the-bone/
This was from 2006, so there may have been medical advancements, but it sounds like treating this kind of things in the limbs in incredibly difficult because of the lack of blood flow compared to other parts of the body.

If I were in your position, I don't have the budget for surgeries on my horses, and I wouldn't have much of a choice but to hope that the antibiotics would work by themselves. Things like this are such hard decisions, especially where there is a huge financial toll that can build up. I'm sure others may have more experience with this, but I really hope that this cycle of antibiotics happens to be the miracle that you need.
 
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Thank you for your response. I’m glad I’m not the only one that is/would struggle with such a decision. This is very hard from all aspects... physically, mentally, emotionally and yes financially.
 
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