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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
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    10,984

    Default Chronic Abscesses

    The mare I lease has a longterm problem with chronic abscesses in her feet. Mostly the front feet but the hinds as well.

    Seems to happen november - march for the past 3 years that I have been riding her. She'll get one and be dead lame for a week. Farrier comes out opens abscess, we do the standard soaking, wrapping, stall rest, horse goes sound. Sometimes the farrier can't get out right away and it goes away on its own and she goes sound.

    Farrier thinks it's due to the pasture being on an old cinder track? But although some of the other horses get them especially when it's muddy she gets them much more often.

    She has good strong hoofwalls and I event her barefoot.

    10 hour dry lot turnout, grass alfafa mix hay, Strategy grain. Was feeding her corn but switched to the strategy to see if that helped her feet and her over all hotness. Tried farrier's formula as well as MSM. Gets fit and stays fit easily, doesn't get tired, not creaky anywhere.

    I put her in shoes in October to see if shoes would help but it did not so I pulled them.

    I lose most of the winter and she's a hot horse by nature so then I spend the next couple weeks back riding it out, then she goes lame again. I have not been able to show in March or over the winter because I can't predict her soundness.

    Usually she goes April - November almost 100% sound.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,704

    Default

    do the locations of the abscesses vary in the same hoof? like does she have one near her toe, then one near her heel, or are they always in a similar spot?
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    Default

    Usually near the heel.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
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    Default

    It could be fructans in the grass after the frost.... Mosey on over to http://www.safergrass.org and do some reading.... You might contact Katy to see how you might change your routine to keep this from happening to your horse.

    The fact that it happens every year about the same time is a big, red flag to me. Have you checked your horse for insulin resistance??? And his thyroid level when this happens???

    What is your horse eating??? Is it high in NSC (non-structural carbohydrates)???
    "One person can change the world, and everyone should try." ~John F. Kennedy~



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    Give these a good read:

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ic#post4429564

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ic#post4429564

    I don't know if you've had a vet to look at what's going wrong or not? But you should. Have you had the feet x rayed to check what's going wrong in there??? If not, you should.

    You also need to know that a farrier shouldn't be "opening up" the foot.

    IF the farrier thinks it's because of the surface she's on then why isn't the protocol changing to more properly protect the foot. I'm not getting that the horse has fabulous feet and is evented barefoot but can't manage a winter without abscessing. Doesn't stack up at all. Do you have photos of feet?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2009
    Location
    KY
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    154

    Default

    Jelly Bean suffered from abcesses often Esp during the winter and changing of the seasons like now. But she has flat feet and thinner soles which predisposes her to this problem. Since she is medium risk (luckily right now not high risk) for possible IR issues I watch her diet pretty closely. I dont feed any corn to keep down the NSC in both of my horses. Danner is not that affected with a bit higher NSC and I used to feed it during the winter months. I have found that a RB with mixed grasses that include legumes has greatly improved and sustained both of my horses very well. I use Enrich 12 RB and it has no corn products. I fed Strategy for a while soon after I got my two "brats" but found they realy didnt need the grain and decided to switch to the RB. Before Strategy I fed a local mixed textured sweet feed and well Jelly Bean turns into a tub with it rather quickly even with regular exercise and she tends to be a little more tender footed with it.....now this might be strictly coincidental but with the Strategy she didnt seem to be as tender footed but the abcessing rates never seemed to change either way.. Danner actually seems to be better all the way around with the RB than the mixed grains and Pelleted feeds and his feet are great but then again I havent had any problems with them even when being fed a Textured sweet feed.

    IR issues as well as full blown Cushings (IR or pituitary tumor) can cause alot of changes in the feet from chronic laminitis to other problems. For IR risked horses one thing you can try is a low Carb feed for lowering your NSC even lower than Strategy. Triple Crown makes a Low Carb feed that is of good quality. Also using Ration Balancers: they are designed to be fed with medium quality hay or single cereal grains. There are 2 types of RB that Purina makes and Those are Enrich 32 designed to be fed with medium quality grass hays or single grains like with plain oats and such and then there is Enrich 12 meant to be fed with medium quality legume hays or grass hays that contain about 30% legumes. My hay conatins legumes (both alfalfa and Clover with a much higher concentration of mixed grasses. There is more alfalfa than Clover) Most RB contains little to no corn products. Now RBs are more expensive to purchase but the feeding rate is very low and end up being cheaper in the long run esp when feeding only a couple of horses. I feed 2 lbs of RB a day per horse.

    So Far.........Jelly has gone about 9 months with out abcessing issues......I had to put pads back on her feet and keep her shod but so far so good and I rather pay a little more for pads than for constant abcess care equpiment and material and lost riding time.

    Soft feet also tend to abcess more as well as shallow soled feet. Soft feet can be environmental (wet ground areas), genetic and over use of conditioners/moisturizers. Shallow soled feet is pretty well genetic and can affect certain breeds as a whole than others.......for example TBs. This does not mean that ALL TBs are shallow, thin footed but they tend to have higher cases of such. Jelly has feet like a Draft and they are flat also. This is probaly a genetic thing. I dont know her parents so I am not sure. She also has thin soles. Flat feet with thin soles can create various problems. I use a balancing type hoof application twice a week called Sole Pack (liquid). There are others out there of course but Sole Pack is rather economical and does a pretty good job. I use it on both horses

    Horses with thin soft whitelines tend to get gravels (realy just abcesses between the sensitive and insensitve lamini from a breach in the white line are of the hoof. It was once thought to be caused by a peice of gravel or sand but observation and science has proven otherwise.) These can be just as painful as sole abcesses, they follow a route of least resistance and usualy move upwards and come out at the top of the coronet band. They can be located any where on the hoof where the white line is present even towards the heel reagion. Jelly Bean would get sole abcesses more than likely caused by bruising from a stone or other hard peice of ground material be if frozen ground or gravel or tree root.

    Talk to your Vet, Farrier and what have you to help determine the best route for the ease of your horse's foot conditions. It may be mechanical, genetic, or diet or all 3 together.
    Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

    Don't poke the Bear!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    Default

    Cherry, there isn't any grass in the pasture so I have not really considered running any tests having to do with that.

    Thomas, I can't do anything about the turnout situation because I can't move the horse to a different facilty. Usually it dries up in April.

    I have honestly limited the amount of money I spend on the horse because I lease her and she has not been the most reliable horse at shows so I didn't want to invest all my money in something that I can't do well with if that makes any sense.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
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    1,779

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    I find that most cases of chronic heel abscesses are due to the heels and bars not being trimmed adequately.
    Many farriers and trimmers leave the bars overgrown, allowing a bit of flopped over bar to compact down on top of the sole. That little bit of overgrown material allows microscopic debris to be trapped between layers of hoof, setting up a perfect anaerobic environment to brew abscesses.
    Of course not all abscess can be prevented especially in environments that change moisture content rapidly, but many heel abscesses can be prevented by changing the trimming a bit.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
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    11,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post

    Thomas, I can't do anything about the turnout situation because I can't move the horse to a different facilty. Usually it dries up in April.


    I wasn't actually suggesting you move house!

    I meant that there needs to be consideration of such as the trim and particularly that the heels were properly trimmed and the foot was well balanced and exfoliated sole removed to limit the opportunity for bacteria and also whether shoeing would better protect the feet.

    Also diligent daily hoof picking and checking that there's no little bits of cinder trapped in the frog on a damp soft sole and which could eventually penetrate and let in bacteria.

    Trust me I'm mud, mud and more mud and then there's serious mud. Oh did I mention mud?

    We've had over 3 feet of snow and which had to go somewhere once it thawed and then persistent rain!!! Mud in some parts of fields is over wellington boot tops! Just ask my groom who found that out yesterday!

    However what I do to help my stock have better feet (horses, cattle AND sheep) is: bring them in so they do get dry - horses in from 8am to 5 pm each day now. Standing on sawdust bedding - helps dry the feet.

    Move troughs and feeders frequently. Put a mass of straw on top of the mud round hay ring feeders and water troughs. I use a whole round bale of barley straw unwrapped round troughs and added to about every 4 weeks once it's squashed in. (The whole lot is just dug out and reseeded or just top seeded come spring time)

    Vary which gate is used (all my fields have at least 3 gates)



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Posts
    620

    Default

    I believe I may be dealing with a chronic abscesser as well. I leased this horse out last summer and when the leasee called to say her farrier had found signs of two abscesses that were since grown out, I was honestly in disbelief. We had not seen the classic signs of an abscess. He was returned to my barn this fall, and I was starting to write it off as a fluke, until lo and behold my farrier found two more grown out abscesses when trimming him in Feb. This horse in not in work but is closely observed and is not showing any signs of discomfort; most DEFINITELY not what I've seen in my experience with abscesses! I'm awaiting any signs that he may be IR but none of the visual symptoms are there. He seems comfortable and healthy otherwise. He's nearly due for his dental and I plan to have some tests done at that time.



  11. #11
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    Default

    My farrier suggested putting front shoes back on with full pads this time.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 12, 2008
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    787

    Default

    One of my horses requires shoes, pads and filler to prevent bruising that leads to frequent abscesses. You might try it for 2 cycles and see how it goes. Some horses are higher maintenance to keep in work. If money is an issue, you may need to find an easier keeper to suit your budget. The flip side is paying for a horse you can't ride because of hoof issues.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2000
    Location
    NC
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    3,278

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Showbizz View Post
    I believe I may be dealing with a chronic abscesser as well. I leased this horse out last summer and when the leasee called to say her farrier had found signs of two abscesses that were since grown out, I was honestly in disbelief. We had not seen the classic signs of an abscess. He was returned to my barn this fall, and I was starting to write it off as a fluke, until lo and behold my farrier found two more grown out abscesses when trimming him in Feb. This horse in not in work but is closely observed and is not showing any signs of discomfort; most DEFINITELY not what I've seen in my experience with abscesses! I'm awaiting any signs that he may be IR but none of the visual symptoms are there. He seems comfortable and healthy otherwise. He's nearly due for his dental and I plan to have some tests done at that time.
    It is not uncommon for a horse to have an abscess and blow it out and you not know about it until the farrier trims and you see the results. It just depends on the location in the foot.

    Nutrition can be a factor, as well as metabolism. I had this problem in my "IR" mare, who turns out was actually not dealing with the soybean meal in her RB too well. Changed the diet, kept her on the Mg, no more chronic abscesses. She actually had a secret one that she blew out before her last trim--trimmer said I probably never noticed any discomfort in the horse and that was correct.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2006
    Location
    Nor Cal
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    However what I do to help my stock have better feet (horses, cattle AND sheep) is: bring them in so they do get dry - horses in from 8am to 5 pm each day now. Standing on sawdust bedding - helps dry the feet.
    This is what we do--either provide shelter where they can let their feet completely dry or bring them in when the ground becomes supersaturated. For us bringing them in does two things--saves our grass and allows the foot to dry.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    400

    Default

    I might be a member of the chronic abcess club too....had a nasty abcess last July...burst out of coronary band after 3 weeks. Horse is now reluctant to pick up right front hoof...yesterday when I picked up RF he almost fell down on the cross ties. Doesnt want to put weight on LF. He appears and feels sound..hmmmm.....



  16. #16
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    They are outisde 10 - 12 hours a day and come into stalls at night. She tends to Abscess october - April and then goes sound the other months barefoot.

    My farrier wants to put shoes and pads on her to keep the ground from causing the abscesses.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
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    2,627

    Default Hay

    I don't mean to stick my nose in here and this is OT but...

    OP said: "...Strategy grain. Was feeding her corn but switched to the strategy to see if that helped her feet and her over all hotness."

    My horses were incredibly hot on Strategy. Not sure about others here. I have TBs and TB crosses. This feed made them way too hot for the amount they needed to keep the weight up. And I think someone mentioned it previously but I think Strategy has 30 something or another nsc whereas other feeds are lower.

    I currently feed TC Senior to everyone, low nsc and lots of fiber and 10% fat.

    One thing I have done also is I pick their feet out at night before stalling them. While bringing them in at night to keep their feet dry is great but if you leave all that mud from the paddock in overnight, they might as well be out 24/7. I did notice a huge difference in their feet when I did pick that wet mud out every night and then stalled them...

    Good luck with your girl.
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