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  1. #1
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Default Nerve Block and Abcess-update...nasty abcess

    Ok, so my horse has a new mistery lameness, five days standing. Maybe has gotten a little worse, but I only trotted him out 3 of the 5 days so I can't really decide. Ran him up to the vet today, who did a nerve block above heels. No results, still lame. Nerve block at fetlock, no results, still lame. We are giving him a week of bute and sweating, then going from there if no progress with xrays. But, vet mentioned that it is possible to have an abcess that the block didn't penetrate. Is anyone familiar with this? Or is he trying to make me feel better? We can't find anything on exam thats tender/heat/swelling, so I am hoping for a deep bruise or abcess. Can a block "bypass" an abcess? Anyone have experience with this? Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Cheval Gris; Mar. 2, 2009 at 01:16 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2008
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    NY
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    979

    Default

    I'm not sure about that, but I once had a vet not use enough block to make the horse come sound, so he continued blocking up the leg, bypassing the problem in the foot...$400 later I had to go to another vet who used enough block and waited a longer period of time. He got a proper diagnosis.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
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    Comanche, TX
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    Painted Hill in gray

    Ran him up to the vet today, who did a nerve block above heels. No results, still lame. Nerve block at fetlock, no results, still lame.


    If you ever have any doubts, check the block. All it takes is a ballpoint with the pen retracted. Poke the "blocked" area. No response? It's blocked. Response? It ain't.

    We are giving him a week of bute and sweating, then going from there if no progress with xrays. But, vet mentioned that it is possible to have an abcess that the block didn't penetrate.

    Whoa! Say what?

    Is anyone familiar with this? Or is he trying to make me feel better?


    I dunno if he's trying to make you feel better or not - but from here, it sounds like he's doing the CYA Watusi.

    We can't find anything on exam thats tender/heat/swelling, so I am hoping for a deep bruise or abcess. Can a block "bypass" an abcess?

    In most cases, not if the block is correctly done.

    Anyone have experience with this? Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated.


    After he blocked the digital nerves, did the vet do a ring block below the fetlock before he blocked the palmar nerves?
    Tom Stovall, CJF
    No me preguntes cualquier preguntas, yo te diré no mentiras.



  4. #4
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    40,143

    Default

    Why not x-rays while already there?
    That is first here, before blocks, as it is less invasive.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Coastal SC
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    Ok, so all I know as this is new to me, is that they blocked the heal first. When they did hoof testers before block, he had a somewhat tender spot in one area, but vet didn't feel as though the horse gave enough of a reaction to indicate an abcess, but there definately was a reaction. When that block did nothing (they took a key and poked around coronary band/heels and he definately felt it) they reblocked the area, that didn't change, then moved up around the fetlock. Waited 15 min or so, trotted on lunge, and no change. The vet who did the block is just out of school and senior vet did not watch the block, so it is possible it was done incorrectly. However, he said we can continue up the leg with blocks, or treat with bute for 5 days and watch the progression. So, I said, lets try bute for a couple of days. But, he did say if it does not improve he would be checking for a high suspensory...this has my head spinning, as he is not on stall rest, and vet could not find any tenderness in this area. We just started trying to build more heal on this guy, but i am sketchy to put wedges on a horse without xrays to evaluate horses angles at this point. (wedges were recommended today at next shoeing.)
    Saturday he was out schooling xc sound for 3 hours, monday he was lame at trot.



  6. #6
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Thumbs up

    Possibly not done incorrectly but still didn't hit the appropriate nerve. I know from experience with my own jaw.

    It would have helped if the Sr. had come out. Sometimes green practitioners get to looking for zebras, when they hear hooves in the night, when it's just a little old stray pony.

    A wedgie on the wedges! Sounds too much like you're getting a shotgun approach.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Coastal SC
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    Default

    I think I have provided most of the info here. Horse has never been lame/injured. sort of why I prefered taking a conservative approach to start with,(on top of the fact there is no acute incident here unless he did something in the pasture) not wanting to spend 500$ on xray/us only to find in three days an abcess come out. Senior vet did all examining and possible diagnosing. He said possible high suspensory, possible soft tissue bruise, possibly because he has low heals, etc etc. I did leave one thing out. Had him chiro'd for the first time last week, five days before schooling. Could he have a lameness from this? She spent more time on hips and head. I just wonder if its not something really high. Or again, something brewing in the foot. I didn't want to become a member of the mystery lameness club.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Coastal SC
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    Default Nerve block and abcess

    Posted over in horse care too, but figured I would share with my fellow eventers for more input.


    Saturday, schooled xc a couple hours, horse sound, no problems. went home sound, had sunday off...went to ride monday, lame. Now five days standing. Maybe has gotten a little worse, but I only trotted him out 3 of the 5 days so I can't really decide. Ran him up to the vet today, who did a nerve block above heels. No results, still lame. Nerve block at fetlock, no results, still lame. We are giving him a week of bute and sweating, then going from there if no progress with xrays. But, vet mentioned that it is possible to have an abcess that the block didn't penetrate. Is anyone familiar with this? Or is he trying to make me feel better? We can't find anything on exam thats tender/heat/swelling, so I am hoping for a deep bruise or abcess. Can a block "bypass" an abcess? Anyone have experience with this?
    I think I have provided most of the info here. Horse has never been lame/injured. sort of why I prefered taking a conservative approach to start with,(on top of the fact there is no acute incident here unless he did something in the pasture) not wanting to spend 500$ on xray/us only to find in three days an abcess come out. Vet said possible high suspensory, possible soft tissue bruise, possibly because he has low heals, etc etc. I did leave one thing out. Had him chiro'd for the first time last week, five days before schooling. Could he have a lameness from this? She spent more time on hips and head. I just wonder if its not something really high. Or again, something brewing in the foot. I didn't want to become a member of the mystery lameness club.
    Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2002
    Location
    Georgia
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    2,666

    Default

    I think I am experiencing the exact same thing right now.

    Yearling - had an abscess that came out the sole and we kept him wrapped/booted for about a month. The wrap came off and I didn't realize that there was still a slight opening in the sole. 48hr later - he's three legged lame. Vet comes out and blocks the foot and he's still lame. He presents EXACTLY like he has heel pain. He reacts to palpation on the heel. However, vet is worried that he's unsound after a foot block. I 100% think that he's brewing another abscess out the heel and the block was incomplete. My trainer agrees.

    Yearling doesn't flex lame on any joint, doesn't palpate sore (except for the heel) and totally presents an ouchy foot.

    Bute doesn't touch it - so I am soaking and applying ichthamol.

    Does that help?



  10. #10
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Coastal SC
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    Very inexperienced here with abcesses, been lucky over last 10 years. Would bute help an abcess? He passed all flexion tests. I guess now I am just worried it could be a high suspensory. But again, no tenderness in that area. I am highly suspicious of deep abcess or bruise, but again, not experience much with these. Like I said, he did have one point that was pretty tender with testers before block, but vet didn't think it was enough. Go figure, his first recognized is in three weeks.



  11. #11
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    May. 23, 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Painted Hill View Post
    Saturday he was out schooling xc sound for 3 hours, monday he was lame at trot.
    Is he fit enough for this? 3 hours is a lot and fatigue definitely increases risk of soft tissue injuries. No I wouldn't be blaming the chiro who worked on him if a week later he was sound schooling xcountry for 3 hours.

    My 2cents but I'd be guessing soft tissue if 2 days after a hard school my horse came up lame.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 1, 2007
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    Fingers crossed for you. My horse was lame for 13 days (and counting...though tonight he looked REALLY good!) with a big severe bad bruise that took awhile to realize. He was obviously lame but not three legged and you could sorta find a spot with hoof-testers initially, but later you could definitely feel the spot!

    Good luck for your pony!! Hope he feels better soon.



  13. #13
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    Aug. 10, 1999
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    Sounds more like a bruise or something than an abcess, per se. I agree with x-rays before blocking. However, usually, an abcess flairs up very quickly (overnight) and makes your horse look like he is going to die - three legged lame.

    And bute is the last thing you want to do with an abcess - according to my vets. Since it decreased the inflammation, it hinders the abcess from breaking through, and can hide the fact that the abcess may be deeper than thought. (I learned this from experience and missed a summer of showing because of it...)

    A bruise, on the other hand, may not be as painful as an abcess...

    Good luck!



  14. #14
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    May. 14, 2003
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    Fifth Grade Land!!! USA
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    Painted Hill: we need to start the clique of "My horse is lame and I don't know why" See my post about the 3 week plus possible abscess ordeal!
    Member-Arab Dressage Riders Clique
    RIP Barichello



  15. #15
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painted Hill View Post
    Would bute help an abcess?
    No, in fact, its contra-indicated.

    He passed all flexion tests. I guess now I am just worried it could be a high suspensory. But again, no tenderness in that area. I am highly suspicious of deep abcess or bruise, but again, not experience much with these. Like I said, he did have one point that was pretty tender with testers before block, but vet didn't think it was enough. Go figure, his first recognized is in three weeks.
    You might want to consider a second opinion from an equine lameness specialist veterinarian.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    This JUST happened to us. A client's horse came up lame, wasn't really reactive to hoof testers. We take him to the vet. He doesn't block to anything. Ended up doing a front end bonescan...to find the abscess!!! A very expensive way to locate them, but we rather it be that then something horrible, as we were fearing. He did actually block to his foot a couple of days later.



  17. #17
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    Jun. 1, 2007
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    yellowbritches..that sounds like my mare! She was 24 or 25 at the time, and had a long history of founder and recurring issues due to that. She became lame and I thought...oh, abscess but then... it seemed to take FOREVER and got to the point where she was three-legged lame and almost groaning. She was down more than up.... (it sounds awful and it was but this was only one morning) so I called the vet in tears thinking....this is it, time to say good bye.... and then after I walked out to spend some time with her just in case.... and she was up and grazing... and I noticed this huge wad of gnats around her foot.... Get out there and it finally bust through the coronary band and was NASTY!!!! But she felt instantly better Called back and cancelled YAY!!!!

    Fleckers is still pretty sore today, but he had his bruise dug out by my vet. She said about 7-10 days before he gets enough granulation tissue to reshoe and ride. We're on day 4 and... he is getting better but still sore. But atleast now I know what it is!! So much better

    Hope your pony is better!



  18. #18
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Coastal SC
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    Yes, horse is fit enough-been gearing up for first recognized for a year and half. Likely the fittest BN there, if we make it . Schooling with several horses takes a couple hours to complete, you aren't actually working 3 hours! Bruise sounds like my best hope. High suspensory my worst. Not knowing really sucks. I would feel really dumb to do a bunch of xrays and ultrasound a couple days in just to find a bruise. I hope its not irresponisble giving a few more days to see what occurs. He is only off a little at the trot, not 3 legged. Errr.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 6, 2009
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    220

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    I had a client spen a few hundred for a vet to block her horse. The vet could not even decie what leg the mare was head bobbing lame on.

    I spent a total of 15 minutes with the mare. Had her on hard ground and flexed an trotted her. Became clear as a bell to owner and the 5 people waching she was sore in the knee.

    I do not understand spending a fortune for blocks before not even trying to pinpoint the problem area by flexing and trotting off. But I guess vets need to make a good living.



  20. #20
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2enduraceriders View Post
    I spent a total of 15 minutes with the mare. Had her on hard ground and flexed an trotted her. Became clear as a bell to owner and the 5 people waching she was sore in the knee.
    It is interesting that you performed a diagnostic test(s} on this horse and then based on that, issued an evaluation. Are you perhaps, a veterinarian? Are you a trained, accredited diagnostician?

    Just wonderin' is all.............



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