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KatieD
Dec. 18, 2008, 06:12 PM
My 2 year old gelding came up very lame 5 days ago on his front left foot. There was swelling and heat in his fetlock and pastern, and his hoof was hot. I could not see any punctures on his sole. After leaving him for a day (vainly hoping it might get better) I took him into the vet. She put hoof testers on him, but couldn't figure out where the pain was...he seemed to hurt all over. We did find out that the pain is in his hoof though.

She put him on bute and told me to soak his hoof once a day in epsom salts, which I have been doing. Yesterday a crack suddenly appeared, starting at the edge of the bars of his frog, and going out about 2 inches towards his hoof edge. He is very sore if I touch it there. I was hoping that it was an abscess that would drain out of that crack, but he is still very lame, and I don't see any pus.

Why might his sole suddenly crack? I can't get him into see the vet for another 3 days...What might be the problem?:(

Tree
Dec. 18, 2008, 06:15 PM
It would be helpful to see the foot and crack you're talking about. Pics????

Tree

BornToRide
Dec. 18, 2008, 06:17 PM
I hope he's not possibly foundering?? I'd call the vet ASAP to consult, just in case.

KatieD
Dec. 18, 2008, 06:42 PM
Well he was extremely lame very suddenly, only in one foot, and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis...

Unfortunately it is too dark now to take pics - I'll try tomorrow. My vet is so hard to get a hold of!!

Rick Burten
Dec. 18, 2008, 10:50 PM
I hope he's not possibly foundering?? I'd call the vet ASAP to consult, just in case.

Why would anything the OP described lead you to an assumption that the horse might be foundering?

Rick Burten
Dec. 18, 2008, 10:52 PM
and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis...


Please check out www.safergrass.org. The site is chock full of great information and will help you out quite a lot.

Woodland
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:30 AM
It sounds like an abscess. It is just manifesting it's exit from the hoof via the "crack". I like to have my farrier pare it out then I soak it and pack it in iodine soaked gauze and use duct tape sheets twice a day. He probably stepped a long sharp rock in turn out the abscess formed under the bruise. He'll be right as rain in a short while.:yes:

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 02:29 PM
Please check out www.safergrass.org. The site is chock full of great information and will help you out quite a lot.


That is an interesting website....but why direct it to me? I have personal experience with laminitis, and I'm quite confident this is NOT what I'm dealing with. Besides being sore on his front, he has no laminitis symptoms.

I'm hoping that that is all that crack is...until I get him into the vet again, I think all that I can do is keep soaking it once a day and hope I see pus.:lol:

jaimebaker
Dec. 19, 2008, 02:34 PM
I agree that the crack is probably the abscess trying to bust out. I'd continue to soak in epsom salts and then I would take Ichthammol salve and pack the whole sole with it, wrap a diaper or cloth on the bottom and duct tape it. Keep it on until he's ready to soak again. That's one of the best ways I've found to draw an abscess out (in my own experiences of course!). I would soak only once a day, and then keep that ichthammol on and unwrap the next next day to soak(can be found at almost any feedstore and is a drawing salve). Good luck to you!

jaimebaker
Dec. 19, 2008, 02:35 PM
That is an interesting website....but why direct it to me? I have personal experience with laminitis, and I'm quite confident this is NOT what I'm dealing with. Besides being sore on his front, he has no laminitis symptoms.

I'm hoping that that is all that crack is...until I get him into the vet again, I think all that I can do is keep soaking it once a day and hope I see pus.:lol:

Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.

pines4equines
Dec. 19, 2008, 02:41 PM
Lots of experience here with abcesses and I've always used the vet in this situation. He advised us to keep the foot wrapped with heavy cottons, vet wrap and duct tape to make a boot really to keep mud and debris from entering after you've soaked the hoof.

It's up to the various vets to prescribe what they want you to put on the actual crack. Some betadine, some had us spraying on blue kote but whatever your vet tells you is best.

We've had probably a similar crack and we did have the vet in and much soaking, wrapping and rewrapping until the vet deemed safe to go bootless.

Again, this is the time when you need a vet, at least we did. If you're having trouble getting your vet, maybe he has a suggestion for an alternate vet.

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 02:52 PM
Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.

I guess that I'm just not very worried because taking into account the rest of his symptoms, the feed he was on before he went on this grass hay, his body condition score, and his lack of stiffness has led me to believe that laminitis is not the issue.

I know that vets can definitely mess up in laminitis cases, but my vet didn't even suggest that that might be our problem. No pain in front of the frog or rings on his hooves either. He tends to keep weight on his toe, not his heel, which doesn't go with laminitis either.

I appreciate all the thoughts I can get anyway.

Anyone have an opinion on whether paring/dabbling with horse hooves is a job for a good farrier, or the vet?

Tree
Dec. 19, 2008, 04:51 PM
Anyone have an opinion on whether paring/dabbling with horse hooves is a job for a good farrier, or the vet?

In most cases, I would trust a GOOD Farrier or Trimmer. It seems as though a great many Vets have no hoof sense when they really should before digging any unnecessary holes in hooves.

I prefer to let abscesses run their course and the ones I've actually opened were pure happenstance while trimming a lame horse's feet. Just taking away the excess horn was enough to hit the jackpot without searching blindly for them. Sometimes it can be obvious where the abscess is but when it's not, I don't see any sense in making holes in feet while guessing the location!

The other option would be to have an x-ray made and hope the abscess shows up so the exact location is revealed. Then whoever ends up draining it, knows right where to start cutting into the hoof.

Tree

Secretariat2
Dec. 19, 2008, 05:48 PM
This is weird because I just went through something very similar with my horse. He was sore and we couldn't find the cause. Soaked and gave him bute. He got worse. Called the vet again and found a sort of crack going from near the apex of his frog towards the toe. My vet cleaned it out and we put him on antibiotics as it went right through the sole. Wrapped him to keep it clean. No improvement after 2 days so on my vet's advice I took him to the clinic. They xrayed and found a small pebble wedged up under the sole and putting pressure on the coffin bone. He had surgery and is now in a cast, but doing much better. I would definitely recommend an xray in your case as well.

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 06:16 PM
*siiiiiiiggghhhh* It is nuts how something goes wrong with your horse, and every possible (and impossible, but you think about it anyway) reason pops into your head and you lay awake thinking 'why can't this just hurry up and go away!!' Not knowing is the worst!!

I'm hoping it is not a stone..we've had good snow cover for 3 weeks at least, plus he was as lame before he got the crack as he is now.

You know what really blows? The clinic that I go to is small enough that it cannot do x-rays. Which means, if my vet says those horrible words 'I'm going to refer you...' I'm going to have to haul him a ways into a bigger city which at the moment can't happen because the only trailer I have doesn't have lights!!!(Yep, I'm a high-tech horsewoman! My horses are not shown..they are for working cattle where I work, so I haven't needed a city-worthy trailer) Things just keep getting better and better.

I guess I'm jumping the gun at the moment. I wish Monday would hurry up and get here.:cry:

Rick Burten
Dec. 19, 2008, 07:45 PM
Rick directed you to it because it sounded like you thought grass hay wouldn't hurt. When in actuality it can exacerbate issues depending on sugar content.

Thanks Jamie. That is precisely why I directed her to www.safergrass.org after she stated:

"and he has only been eating grass hay, so I don't think it is laminitis..."
Sometimes some can't see the forest through the trees(and I don't mean, Anne :) )

Rick Burten
Dec. 19, 2008, 07:47 PM
The clinic that I go to is small enough that it cannot do x-rays.
That must be some small clinic/practice! Several of the veterinarians in my area operate a 1 vet custom and they all have portable x-ray machines.

jaimebaker
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:03 PM
That must be some small clinic/practice! Several of the veterinarians in my area operate a 1 vet custom and they all have portable x-ray machines.

I'm actually not surprised. I'm not too far out in the country but I have 4 vets I use for most of my work. Only two have a portable x-ray machine and only one will bring it with them (the other wants you to trailor the horse in).

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:07 PM
Ya I know...I didn't think it was small enough for that either. I was very surprised when she said I would have to go somewhere else if I needed x-rays. I do live in the Canadian boonies though.;)

I might as well just smooth this laminitis thing over before I get nasty..I guess I chose my words poorly. All I meant was that horses are LESS LIKELY to get it on grass hay. Not that it never happens. No need to get all knowledgable on me.:)

Rick Burten
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:20 PM
All I meant was that horses are LESS LIKELY to get it on grass hay. Not that it never happens.

It is because of this level of knowledge/understanding, that I directed you to that web site.

Rather than getting all wadded up, you might consider just saying "thank you".


No need to get all knowledgable on me.:)

Demonstrably, someone needed to do so.....

PonyPile
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:33 PM
Interesting..I did not the sole could crack. Heres hoping for an abcess, or something not so serious .

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:42 PM
I've talked to a couple of different vets on this issue, and one of them suggested that the crack may be the result of brittle hooves, which is possible...I only bought Rooster a few months ago, and he has had thin cracks in them since then. The top 2 inches of new growth is much healthier though, so I think his previous owners had him on crummy feed.

The farrier said that he has basically good feet, it'll just take awhile for the old growth to grow out. I think it seems very fishy that that PARTICULAR hoof would crack though...must be connected to the lameness.


Rick, I'm really not trying to argue with you! Really! Anyone I talk to, including vets, would agree that the hay I'm feeding Rooster is very unlikely to give him laminitis! Plus..I did say that was an interesting site. It is not the first one I've seen talking about high sugar in grasses. However, refering to the other reasons I already listed in an earlier post...I just am not suspecting laminitis right now. None of the information you pointed me at has changed that observation.

jaimebaker
Dec. 19, 2008, 08:58 PM
Katie, Rick is not saying that your horse is suffering from laminitis. He's trying to educate you on grasses and hays since neither you or your vets would know 'just by looking' at hay what the sugar content is. That's what hay analysis is for and unless you've had it done, you wouldn't know. It sounds like a typical abscess to me. You've been soaking the foot, therefore the sole is soft. It is cracking because that's probably the area of least resistance for the abscess to push out. If it is an abscess, more soaking and a drawing salve should pull it on out within the next 2-3 days. Keep it wrapped and clean. Either a vet or a farrier could par it out. Again, I don't think Rick is saying your horse is laminitic. But based on your statements it sounds like you aren't up to date information wise on hay types, sugar content, and things that can bring on laminitis. He's probably just trying to educate you for future purposes, not with what you are dealing with right now.

I may be totally wrong, but that's how I'm reading his posts.

BornToRide
Dec. 19, 2008, 09:17 PM
Let's just hope it is "just" and abscess that blew and nothing more serious. You will know for sure soon enough!

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 09:33 PM
Jamie..I guess the reason I'm annoyed is because I dislike being talked at by someone who hasn't asked whether my hay has been tested. No, this year my hay was not tested. However, I would not necessarily suspect a first cut (which in my area, is long after lush spring growth and before regrowth) grass hay as being a bad food source UNLESS the horse was predisposed to have laminitis or had other high risk factors.

So, although it is fine to point out/remind that grass hay can have a high sugar content, to be informed that MY information is 'out of date' is offensive. Laminitis, as I'm sure you are aware, is a very complex condition that cannot be summed up by 'don't find your horse high-sugar hays' because unfortunately, all that GROWS up here are the generally high-sugar hays.

That is what we have to deal with - feeding our horses proper amounts of the best hay we can find spread out throughout the day. And please don't tell me about how 'the best hay' can be bad for horses. I'm informed.

Rick Burten
Dec. 19, 2008, 09:34 PM
I may be totally wrong, but that's how I'm reading his posts.

Unlike some others, it is clear and obvious that you were present and paying attention every day that reading for content in context with comprehension was taught at your school(s).

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 09:56 PM
Born to Ride- I agree! Putting 'Just' with the words 'an abscess' feels funny..but I'd rather that than a fractured coffin bone or any of the other horrible things I've obsessed over. It is one thing to deal with someone elses horse having an abscess..that I can handle. But I always go a little bonkers when it is one of my own.:)

BornToRide
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:08 PM
Once you go through a couple you get more used to it.

I must ay though that laminitis isn't generally that complicated. It is usally caused by some sort of sugar overload in which case low NSC diet management is usually a must. In rarer cases other stresses can cause the condition, like vaccinations, Cuhings, road founder etc., but the ed result is generally the same - damage to the laminae.

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:22 PM
Laminitis is complicated (IMO)because not all horses show exactly the same symptoms, nor do they have the same body condition score, etc. I mean the old stand-by that they are overweight, have fat deposits/cresty is certainly not always true. It can be complicated because treatment is not the same for every horse, some recovering for the most part, some not. Plus I see it as complicated because there are many more factors causing it than high sugar content. Of course it involves damage to the laminae...that is what laminitis is!

Mind if we pull this thread back on topic? Anything else on laminitis can go in another thread. On laminitis. Have I said laminitis enough times?;)

As far as the abscess goes...that is the funny part - I have dealt with abscesses in other peoples horses...but never my own! I don't know if I can get used to seeing my horse all crippled up...:cry:

jaimebaker
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:27 PM
Katie, you're taking the posts too personally. Folks are trying to help and you are being defensive. That's a quick way to not get help around here. You may very well be informed. But your statements say otherwise. When you say something like 'the vet said he didn't think the grass hay would cause it' that doesn't tell anyone here anything., That says both you and your vet at least looked at the grass hay, and that was the end of it. Why would the vet even bring it up if it's just an abscess? I don't know:confused: We can only go off the information you give us. So if all you have is high sugar hays, are you soaking it to remove the sugars? Do you have horses prone to laminitis? Do you think every horse going through laminitis must be fat or have a certain 'body condition score'?? Or have the founder stance? You say he doesn't have rings on the front of his hooves. He wouldn't have them until AFTER the laminitic episode when the hooves begin to grow out. When a horse has the onset of laminitis, rings don't just suddenly appear. By the time you see the rings, the episode has happened long before then.

Having dealt with founder, I can tell you don't be so quick to make generalizations. AGAIN, based off the information you are giving it sounds like an abscess. Not laminitis. But this is the information you are giving. We don't have photos or anything else to go off of, just what you are saying. And as everyone else would be quick to add, if the horse is in pain there's nothing that an internet board can say or do that's going to change that. If it IS an abscess, a quick visit by the vet or farrier to par it out could offer the horse instant relief.

Don't take the posts personally. Folks are trying to help. They are taking their time to post to HELP. I haven't seen anyone belittle you, they have only tried to educate you IN CASE you might not know the information.


ETA: I see your post above. Good to know you understand not all horses show the same symptoms with laminitis. But if you read your prior posts you can see none of us would know that.


Folks have given you information on abscesses.

KatieD
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:49 PM
Why would the vet even bring it up if it's just an abscess? I don't know:confused: We can only go off the information you give us. So if all you have is high sugar hays, are you soaking it to remove the sugars? Do you have horses prone to laminitis?

No, none of my horses have ever had laminitis, nor do they seem sensitive to sugar levels. The vet dismissed the grass hay because I asked her the last time I talked to her and all she said was that is very unlikely to bring on an initial case of laminitis. And no, I'm definitely not soaking all my hay in the middle of a Canadian winter. I can't say I would ever do that unless I had a horse with laminitis already.


Having dealt with founder, I can tell you don't be so quick to make generalizations.

Me too. And I wasn't. I'm pretty sure the generalizations were something to do with laminitis MUST have to do with sugar levels.:rolleyes:

I know I do take things too personaly.:winkgrin: Probably because I'm not usually one to cruise forums...I'm more of a face-to-face kind of person. So I apologise if I over-reacted - looking at some of the 'helping' that goes on in other threads, the 'help' can really turn into personal attacks on peoples intelligence/ability to care for their animals.

I'm just not interested in discussing laminitis anymore. When I get to the vet, I'll let you guys know what happens with the ominous Crack. Good night.

Pippigirl
Dec. 19, 2008, 11:22 PM
Ya I know...I didn't think it was small enough for that either. I was very surprised when she said I would have to go somewhere else if I needed x-rays. I do live in the Canadian boonies though.;)

I might as well just smooth this laminitis thing over before I get nasty..I guess I chose my words poorly. All I meant was that horses are LESS LIKELY to get it on grass hay. Not that it never happens. No need to get all knowledgable on me.:)

Yeh, I hear you! It seems that unless you live near Toronto or Montreal (possibly Vancouver) every where else in Canada is the boonies :D

BornToRide
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:45 AM
No, none of my horses have ever had laminitis, nor do they seem sensitive to sugar levels. The vet dismissed the grass hay because I asked her the last time I talked to her and all she said was that is very unlikely to bring on an initial case of laminitis. And no, I'm definitely not soaking all my hay in the middle of a Canadian winter. I can't say I would ever do that unless I had a horse with laminitis already.

Well and there's potentially more "mis" information here. Grass hay that is high in NSC can most certainly bring on an initial case of laminitis in sugar sensitive horses.

Also often horses are OK as long as they are in the growing stages. Once they are mature and still get an inappropriate high NSC diet, boom, they get laminitis and the owner does not understand it because they were fine with it before. All vets should be aware of those issues.

Rick Burten
Dec. 20, 2008, 08:33 AM
Well and there's potentially more "mis" information here. Grass hay that is high in NSC can most certainly bring on an initial case of laminitis in sugar sensitive horses.

Also often horses are OK as long as they are in the growing stages. Once they are mature and still get an inappropriate high NSC diet, boom, they get laminitis and the owner does not understand it because they were fine with it before. All vets should be aware of those issues.

Stop the Presses!!! Call a news conference! Call Ripley's! Get BTR some smelling salts.

I agree with her :)

PonyPile
Dec. 20, 2008, 11:38 AM
Unlike some others, it is clear and obvious that you were present and paying attention every day that reading for content in context with comprehension was taught at your school(s).

whats up with the love fest between you two(RB and JB), and tag-teaming on this particular poster?

imissvixen
Dec. 21, 2008, 08:50 AM
Well, I was at the local large animal hospital the other day. Someone brought in a very pregnant mare convinced that it had laminitis. It was definitely a horse that with chronic but manageable laminitis but it was in a lot of pain. The resident farrier was working on her feet getting her in the usual wedgy things to make sure she didn't rotate. Well what do you know, as he was doing something -- I wasn't looking that closely -- he hit abcess paydirt. Lots of puss. They opened up the abcess and the mare was much happier.

There is no point to that story other than that it is all very confusing. Here's to thinking that you are dealing with an abcess. I went through one with my old gelding last winter and was horrified he could be in so much pain. It came out through his coronet band and seemed to me like it barely oozed but he was fine after that. I did spend $600 on vet/x-rays and to be honest I don't think you ever could really see it was an abcess. Actually my vet was convinced at first he was sore because he had central sulcus thrush. But the pain got worse. Once the abcess cleared and he put full weight back on his foot the thrush cleared.

Here are the x-rays for when we were looking for Boozer's abcess. I don't see anything.

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Feet/DigX_02082008_162459.jpg

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Feet/DigX_02082008_163005.jpg

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Feet/DigX_02082008_162150.jpg

Here is the horse:

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Feet/Boozer20005.jpg

Rick Burten
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:12 AM
whats up with the love fest between you two(RB and JB), and tag-teaming on this particular poster?

If ya' gotta' ask, then there's probably no way of explaining it to you........

Rick Burten
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:26 AM
Lots of puss.

That would be "pus" or, in the plural, "purulence" . :)


Here are the x-rays for when we were looking for Boozer's abcess. I don't see anything.
http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Fee/DigX_02082008_163005.jpg

Did the vet happen to comment on the pastern alignment, the apparent sclerosis at the proximal end of the DIPJ or the unequal joint spacing?

http://i406.photobucket.com/albums/pp149/Horse_Feet/DigX_02082008_162150.jpg

Did the vet say anything about the right side of the coffin bone?

KatieD
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:27 AM
imissvixin - Yes the vet mentioned that if it is an abscess there is a good chance that it would not show up on x-rays. I phoned her yesterday and she said she will try to get the abscess to burst through the crack in his sole...which makes me a little nervous - I don't want her to bore a hole in my horses sole!!!:eek: But I'm assuming she will try not to widen the crack. If it is deep (through the sole) it'll be more or a deal of course.

Rooster does not seem to be getting more lame, he isn't exactly 'three legged lame'...we put some round straw bales into the round pen yesterday for shelter from the wind and he still trotted away quite capably. When I soak it, he does put equal weight on both his front feet, and he is still as perky and piggish as always. The vet said we might have to sedate him to check for the abscess though - he was not very cooperative the last time we were in.:rolleyes: One more day until possible resolution!!:D

BTW - cute horse...Rooster tries to eat the camera if I try to take a head shot! ;)

Rick Burten
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:42 AM
imissvixin I phoned her yesterday and she said she will try to get the abscess to burst through the crack in his sole...which makes me a little nervous

And well it should.


I don't want her to bore a hole in my horses sole!!!

You got that right. Going on an archeological dig in the bottom of a horse's foot and excavating sole just because you "think" (errr, guess) you know where the alleged abscess is located is a really bad idea.


But I'm assuming she will try not to widen the crack.

Do Not assume anything!


If it is deep (through the sole) it'll be more or a deal of course.

By "sole", do you mean exfoliating sole or live sole? If its the former, then its no problem and the horse shouldn't be sore in the first place. If its the latter, then the excavation is going to involve live/functional sole and is indeed "more of a deal of course".


Rooster does not seem to be getting more lame, he isn't exactly 'three legged lame'...

So if he's doing better, why not continue what you are doing and give 'Tincture of Time' a chance to resolve the problem ? Its better than guessing where the problem might be and then opening the sole to find out you guessed incorrectly.


When I soak it, he does put equal weight on both his front feet, and he is still as perky and piggish as always.

Like I said, "Tincture of Time"......


The vet said we might have to sedate him to check for the abscess though -

I'm getting a really queasy feeling about your vet.

KatieD
Dec. 21, 2008, 10:52 AM
Rick - well that is the problem...he isn't getting better at all; he just isn't getting worse. I guess I kind of figured that the appearance of a crack in his sole meant worse..but he was never three-legged lame..just points when he is eating, and limps heavily when he walks.

As for the vet - I know.:sigh: I'm not 100% on her...not even 75%! I'm not going to let her 'dig'..the farrier said it would be OK to pare away a small amount, but that if nothing comes out it is either wait it out, or take him for x-rays to make sure it isn't something other than an abscess. If I was SURE it was an abscess, but I be alright waiting...but I'm worried that if I'm wrong, waiting is going to make it worse. Thoughts? If he is not getting worse (but isn't getting better) should I wait it out for a few more days, or try to get a hold of a different trailer and get x-rays? I just want to do the right thing for him.

The crack is not exfoliating...it is just like a thin crack on the hoof wall, but on his sole instead. If I push on it, he'll try to yank his hoof away, but he doesn't seem particularly sore anywhere else on his sole.

I took him off bute for 1 day, and none of the swelling in his leg came back - is that long enough to see results? It only is supposed to act for about 12 hours, right?

EDIT - BTW, I don't think he is lame because of the crack...he was equally lame before he got it. But he is sore at that point...more so than anywhere else. My thoughts are, even if he doesn't have an abscess, he could sure get one now with a crack for bacteria to get in! On the plus side, the round pen is totally snow covered [except where I put bedding down] and I'm keeping all the manure cleaned out as much as possible.

matryoshka
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:01 AM
I vote for giving it more time to come through the existing crack. If it was caused by the abscess, then it has already forced an opening. If your vet goes digging around in there, she might find just a cavity where the abcess was. No point in enlarging an area where a new source of infection could enter.

It's possible that all the pressure that caused the crack has been relieved and that more junk is working its way up the hoof wall to pop out the coronet. I've had this happen--the soreness continued despite an exit hole in the sole. Later it would also burst from the coronet.'

Keep soaking, wrap the foot as another poster suggested.

I know you don't want to talk laminitis, but sometimes major abscesses follow a bout of laminitis. This happened to a mare of mine 20 years ago. She blew a hole in her coronet the size of my thumb, and the hoof peeled off from the abscess point to the heel. It took six months of daily wrapping while the hoof grew out. She did not present like classic laminitis, and I mistakenly thought it was an abscess. I got a well deserved lecture from the vet that I can still remember as though it were yesterday. She foundered on grass the first time, then on hay a couple of weeks later, and then a week or so after that, she foundered from eating her straw bedding. Take nothing for granted where laminitis is concerned. The vets saved my mare, but she never returned to her pre-founder level of soundness.

Rick Burten
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:22 AM
Rick - well that is the problem...he isn't getting better at all; he just isn't getting worse. I guess I kind of figured that the appearance of a crack in his sole meant worse..but he was never three-legged lame..just points when he is eating, and limps heavily when he walks.

Still doesn't mean its an abscess. It could well be a very deep bruise. Can you post a photo of the bottom of the foot(if you already did, my apologies for missing it).


As for the vet - I know.:sigh: I'm not 100% on her...not even 75%! I'm not going to let her 'dig'..the farrier said it would be OK to pare away a small amount, but that if nothing comes out it is either wait it out, or take him for x-rays to make sure it isn't something other than an abscess.

I'm inclined to go along with your farrier's advise for the most part. However, don't you think it might be prudent to have the vet and the farrier there at the same time and then let the farrier do the work under the direction of the vet? After all, which one do you think had more experience and better knife control?


If I was SURE it was an abscess, but I be alright waiting...but I'm worried that if I'm wrong, waiting is going to make it worse. Thoughts?

Then take him in for some radiographs. Or, at the very least, get a second veterinary opinion.


If he is not getting worse (but isn't getting better) should I wait it out for a few more days, or try to get a hold of a different trailer and get x-rays? I just want to do the right thing for him.

I know you are trying to do the right thing. Personally, I'd probably continue the soaking, discontinue the bute(its contra-indicated for abscesses), Keep the foot well bandaged/padded(except in the area of the alleged abscess) and give it a couple of more days. At that point, if there has been no change, then get rads.



My thoughts are, even if he doesn't have an abscess, he could sure get one now with a crack for bacteria to get in!

Not if you've bandaged it correctly.

Rick

KatieD
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:34 AM
Still doesn't mean its an abscess. It could well be a very deep bruise. Can you post a photo of the bottom of the foot(if you already did, my apologies for missing it).

Sorry...my scanner/printer is on the fritz, so I can only give you information. His sole looks the same as it has since I got him - no darker spots, no areas of discoloration.


However, don't you think it might be prudent to have the vet and the farrier there at the same time and then let the farrier do the work under the direction of the vet?

If the stars would align.;) I'm pretty much at the mercy of both of them, for when they can be there. I want the vets medical opinion on the crack/possible ramifications/what is best to poultice it with, THEN I'm getting the farrier out again to make sure his hooves are properly balanced and his opinion, THEN if nothing has happened...it is tracking down a trailer and into the city. Sounds like fun. Ha.



discontinue the bute(its contra-indicated for abscesses), Keep the foot well bandaged/padded(except in the area of the alleged abscess) and give it a couple of more days. Yes, today was his last day on bute anyway. I don't want ulcers to deal with too! What do you mean by 'except the area of the alleged abscess'? If I poultice it, won't everything (including the crack) be covered?

BornToRide
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:40 AM
I don't know - if it was an abscess that popped through the sole, he should be better by now, not worse. I still have the feeling he may be laminitic, considering his body condition and the other symptoms.

imissvixen
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:50 AM
Did the vet happen to comment on the pastern alignment, the apparent sclerosis at the proximal end of the DIPJ or the unequal joint spacing?

Did the vet say anything about the right side of the coffin bone?

I can't remember who asked these questions but here are the answers in short.

No comment on the pastern alignment from vet.

The horse had an abcess 20 years ago which never entirely resolved itself. As he was a very expensive horse at the time after months of trying to figure out what was the problem, the owner had a bone scan performed on his foot which revealed the abcess had eroded his coffin bone. They made a hole about the size of a 50 cent piece through the sole of his foot, a couple of inches up into the foot, to the bone, and cleaned and scraped the bone. After 6 months of treatment, sterile packing daily, etc., the hole filled in but as you can see it had a long term impact on the horse who at the time was a high level competitor. After that he became a pleasure horse and 15 years later ended up with me.

Rick Burten
Dec. 21, 2008, 02:39 PM
Did the vet say anything about the right side of the coffin bone?

That woulduv' been me. :) Thanks for the information.

KatieD
Dec. 22, 2008, 06:25 PM
So the vet says it is too cold out to knock Rooster out [which was what she figured she would have to do to pare some off his sole...he got very excited last time] because she does not have somewhere warm for him to recover from being out. SO she said she could either refer me to Saskatoon (the nearest 'big':lol: city) or else I could try poulticing it for awhile and see what happens. For now, I'm going to poultice it, get the farrier out and see what he thinks. The vet seemed disappointingly clueless.:(

So...my question is...I'm going to use animalintex for now, probably with duck tape, but I was thinking of picking up one of those rubber poultice boots, because when I'm working I don't have a ton of time to diddle with duck tape. There is one that I can get nearby called a 'Davis boot'...what do you guys think of these? Do they usually rub, or are they pretty good?

pines4equines
Dec. 22, 2008, 07:07 PM
Lot of experience with the Davis boot here. It is super for turn out but you don't want to leave it on too long. I would wrap my horses foot with your animalintex, cottons, duct tape, vet wrap and then put it in the Davis boot for turn out whether that's 6 hours or 10, that's okay.

Make sure you wrap with heavy cottons and vet wrap up around the ankle as those Davis boots do rub the ankle if your horse has shortish pasterns. ALso, that velcro/nylon tie. I do duct tape that closed on turn out. DOn't touch the leg with the duct tape, just swing a band of duct tape around the nylon tie to hold it shut on turn out. Tab the end so you can easily pull it open at the end of the day.

But if you're using vet wrap, make sure you use thick enough cotton under it and I try not to let the vet wrap touch the actual leg, coronet band, etc. It's nature is to be way too tight to go against skin/coronet band. The heavy cottons will protect. (You know the cottons that have blue paper and you unroll them? Available at tack stores or I think pharmacies?)

Then at night, I would bring the horse in, take the Davis boot off and leave the wrap if it's intact. Then the next morning, take the entire wrap off, inspect, put more gook of choice on and rewrap then put on the Davis boot for turn out.

My experience with this boot is it can get mushy and hot in there and that's not good. If your horse is out 24/7, then maybe you have no option. If you leave the Davis boot off in the stall to air out, all the better. Just leave the cottons/duct tape/vet wrap etc on in the stall to keep the dirt, manure, shavings out of your crack.

Anyway, this is what I've done. Good luck. Buy lots of cottons, duct tape and vet wrap, you'll be surprised at how much you use.

Anyone else?

BornToRide
Dec. 22, 2008, 09:55 PM
What about Ichatmol - thats seems to be a good option for drawing thing out as well.

onetempies
Dec. 23, 2008, 01:16 PM
My own gelding has been going through this. But for me, I know it's an abscess. The bruise showed up a few days after he stepped on a cavaletti during a schooling session. When the bruise showed up, he was lame. This was mid October. About 2 weeks later, an abscess blew out his heel but he was still lame. When the farrier was out I had him pull the shoes & pads then I brought him home for the winter. Wrapped the foot up with animalintex (the hoofpads), a roll of vetwrap, and loads of duct tape. 2 days later, the last of the abscess blew out his frog (splitting the entire groove open to the heel). Kept him wrapped for the next week with animalintex to keep it clean and promote continued drainage. Since we have over a foot of snow on the ground now, he is NOT wrapped, trots & canters sound but shows a bit of tenderness when walking on frozen uneven ground. Hoof has been nice and cool for several weeks.

Even though the crack is there on the sole or frog.... keep the hoof wrapped to promote continued draining. As long as there is pressure inside the hoof from the abscess/infection, the horse will remain lame. Also, bute doesn't do a thing for abscesses or the soreness. I've always used that as my test for horses.

Good luck! Abscesses can be a major PITA!

onetempies
Dec. 23, 2008, 01:24 PM
What about Ichatmol - thats seems to be a good option for drawing thing out as well.

It is a very good drawing salve. However, it the OP has temps anything like what Michigan has right now.... it just makes for a very difficult time keeping the area clean. The animalintex works much better when we reach the subzero mark. ;)