The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1

    Default Abcess.. Laminits.. Founder? Help!

    I need some educated opinions on this, as I am way out of my league and have no idea what is going on. One of the school horses at the barn I ride at, while not technically mine, is very very special to me and I do whatever I can to keep him comfortable in his old age. At the beginning on January he went lame in his left front- a very respectable farrier came out and took a look at him, as Willie is prone to abscesses and I thought it might be one. He said it was deep thrush in a crack between the heel bulbs and that I needed to rinse it with hydrogen peroxide, pack it with cotton, and soak the cotton in iodine every other day to get rid of the thrush. I did this and his lameness got better, but never went away entirely. The day after the farrier looked at him a vet saw him (this is a VERY rare occurrence, the BO NEVER calls the vet for school horses unless they need to be euthanized. the vet was looking at a boarder's horse and she asked him to take a look at Willie) and said that he looked off in the right front, but couldn't find anything. I wasn't here during the visit so I don't know everything that went down.

    Fast forward to last Friday- Willie had been slightly lame but comfortable enough to play in the TO with his friend. He suddenly went three legged lame on Friday in his right front, which indicated abscess to me, as he had the same exact reaction last year from an abscess. I was sick that weekend but was able to come out on Sunday, and from Sunday on I soaked the hoof in epsom salts then slathered ichthammol on the sole, covered it in cotton, and made a duct tape boot. Last night I found pus draining out of the coronet band by his heel, so I continued to soak and wrapped it with cotton and vet wrap to keep the area sterile. Same thing this morning, except he had swelling in his lower leg so after I left the head groom apparently made a furazone sweat for his leg. I should note that since the abscess popped he still has a lot of difficulty walking.

    I came back to the barn tonight to check on him and resoak the foot. I was leading him into the barn aisle when the barn owner comes up to me and tells me that I need to take him off ALL the supplements he is currently on, because he can't have any rich food (he had a colic surgery a very long time ago that removed a lot of intestine and he is only supposed to eat alfalfa pellets, but he gets random shit like horse chow all the time when they run out) and that he has laminitis and is probably going to founder because I wrapped the hoof so tight and that I could have killed him. First off.. I took a Sports Medicine class last year so I know how to wrap injuries, just to get that out of the way.

    So obviously I'm upset. I have no experience with laminitis or founder but I am having trouble believing that the two supplements I have him on (Probios and Farrier's Formula) could have made him founder. Can somebody explain to me if he is exhibiting the symptoms for laminitis, what it is exactly, and if anything I've done so far could have contributed to this?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2005
    Location
    mid-Michigan
    Posts
    1,450

    Default

    In a brief nutshell...

    Most often laminitis is from diet or lifestyle. Either a metabolic disorder, or simply too rich diet, too few feedings, fresh spring grass, etc. can cause laminitis. Even if a diet doesn't seem too rich, if a horse is insulin resistant, you can cause a laminitis attack with standard sweet feed. You also have a physical cause, most common when a horse is lame on one foot - they over compensate on the other and then founder in that foot. Or if they repeatedly wall kick, they can cause damage, or lots of pounding on a hard surface. Also, if there is inflammation elsewhere, or something else affecting blood flow, you can end up with secondary laminitis (ie, a horse with Potomac often ends up with laminits). Most often though, it's diet. Laminitis truly is inflammation of the laminae, which attaches the coffin bone to the hoof wall. If the inflammation persists, the coffin bone can separate from the wall, rotate, and ultimately sink down within the hoof (known as sinking founder).

    Now for symptoms...

    Unless you're looking at a physical cause, usually both front feet, or all four feet, will be affected. If it's the front feet affected, you'll usually see the horse stand with his weight shifted behind and the back legs tucked under, with the front leg/legs out in front of him. Usually the horse will refuse to walk forward, or even stand. Gait is usually short and quick, like "walking on eggshells." The feet are usually warm to the touch, and you can feel a strong digital pulse. Does that sound like your guy?

    So sorry....mystery lameness is no good at all.

    Fwiw, if he is laminitic, I can't see your furazone wrap having a thing to do with it.

    Edited to add: Here is a horse sore on all four feet. And note how far in front of him he put his front feet when he finally DOES start to walk off:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LauBR6DPKTE



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default

    He doesn't stand unusually, just is very resistant to moving forward. When he walks he takes short steps with his right front, then loves his left front up to be right next to his right. So it's a little short, but definitely not quick. His hoof itself is not abnormally warm- I checked when I thought it was an abscess- but there is localized heat where the abscess came through, as well as swelling and heat in the lower leg right above the fetlock.

    The only possible cause I can see from your description is his overcompensation from the LF thrush.. Diet seems to not be the answer, because neither of his supplements are sweet feeds and he's only fed alfalfa pellets/cubes. He hasn't been ill recently, and since he's been laid up he's just been on daily TOs with his buddy, nothing strenuous on a hard surface.

    I guess I'm worried right now because the BO is insisting that nothing be wrapped and that he is limited to stall rest, which means I can't soak the popped abscess or keep the hole sterile and clean. And I'm not entirely convinced that it's not just an abscess..



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,383

    Default


    The barn owner is talking out her, well, you know, about the hoof wrapping part. But he isn't your horse, so you shouldn't give him anything more, no matter how much you want to.
    It's either an abcess that blew out at the heel, or a laminitic episode. I would lean towards abcess. The thrush may have exacerbated it.

    Laminitic episodes that I have witnessed have been slower onset of lameness, reluctance to put the heel down and a flat footed walk when they do. Abcesses have manifested with sudden, severe lameness, reluctance to touch the toe down.
    Like I said, this is from my experience only. I am sure others may have witnessed different presentations.

    If he were mine, I would be soaking him in a hoofboot daily (warm water, epsom salts) packing the foot and heel with Icthmmol salve, and wrapping it with a vetwrap. I might also back it up with antibiotics, especially if he has a little age on him. I have found older horses take longer to clear these out.

    And let them feed him what they want to. You don't want to accidentally get in the middle of anything if he should go bad and you get blamed for it.

    Good luck and good on you for caring about him enough to try to take care of him too.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,186

    Default

    I think if it was an abscess, he'd have had instant relief or at least very noticeable....... Is there any chance there's something up in there that's infected and trying to work it's way out his coronet band?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY
    Posts
    309

    Default

    Disclaimer..I am not a vet and I don't play one on tv.

    I agree with those that say your boot probably didn't cause any more problems than he already had. The furazone sweat, however, that YOU did not apply, could have. Bandage bows are common if a horse is not wrapped properly and that can cause lameness in an otherwise sound horse. That said, I'm not saying that's what happened, just suggesting that despite what the BO is telling you, it's not likely that the suplements you've listed would cause the horse to founder. One thing is that, especially in a horse that is prone to abcesses, they CAN have more than one at a time. Also, a severe abcess CAN cause lower leg swelling. I would almost have a tendency to think that could be what's going on here, but again, I am not a vet and
    even more important, I am not there. In the meantime, as hard as it is, he is not your horse and you do have to respect the BO's wishes. I wish you and Willie luck and am sending jingles for quick healing.
    IF YOU THINK YOUR BRAIN IS NOT WORTH PROTECTING WITH A HELMET, YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT!

    Damrock Farm



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2005
    Posts
    1,959

    Default

    No expert here--but if she really thought it was founder why has she not had it x-rayed? I do know old founder can cause chronic abscessing (something about the rotation causing inflamation etc??) that would likely pop out at the front coronet band.

    Swelling in leg would seem more consistent with abscess-bad ones can cause swelling up the leg--(whether from previous founder or not)-that might not be resolved immediately upon popping out.

    She needs to have it x-rayed unless she knows the horse already had founder (like from the colic surgery?) I agree it would seem unlikely he reacted to your supplements (or wrapping???) and if he is that sensitive he would be insulin resistent/cushings which she missed and has not been treating.

    P,S--I think the vets can often also tell how old the case of founder is based on the amount of bone "remodeling"'
    Last edited by omare; Feb. 2, 2012 at 02:56 PM.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kasjordan View Post
    I think if it was an abscess, he'd have had instant relief or at least very noticeable....... Is there any chance there's something up in there that's infected and trying to work it's way out his coronet band?
    Yes, I really think so. It could be gravel...I had one last winter that was very sore even after he abcessed out the coronary band (it was a 2" sized line where it blew) . He was quite stocked up as well in that one leg... My blacksmith, whom I have had for 16 yrs and really trust, was convinced it was gravel that had to work it's way out...

    That may be why the horse is still unsound. There could be more than the first blow out to come.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2005
    Posts
    706

    Default

    Abscess. Sometimes it takes a while for the animal to get relief, even when there is drainage. I would keep soaking and wrapping the foot with a wet poultice. The animal lintex (the 3M product) works really well and can be left on several days.
    If the vet could localize the area of the abscess and cut a relief hole that would help resolving this a lot faster.
    Could he have had a laminitic episode before all this ? Typically that would make him more prone to abscesses.
    Your wrapping has nothing to do with this, it most likely relieved some of the pain.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2004
    Posts
    2,821

    Default

    My vote is abcess. I (we..me and my horse) had a traumatic experience last fall. Long story short, had lingering abcess on LF, a bit better, bit worse, bit better...soaking & wrapping, but it just wouldn't come out. Then he got really lame and it finally did. The next day he was DEAD lame on RF, vet was convinced it was founder due to the stress of abcess in the other leg, even xrayed & found small degree of rotation. Horse is a 10 year old TB, barefoot, minimal grain, on dry lot, so we figured just stress related, certainly not metabolic. For a few days I did the icing, foam supports and everything. I was giving him IV banamine to manage the pain, & he was still in so much pain that I thought I was going to have to put him down, it was just awful. Just at the moment that I thought neither one of us could take anymore, he popped an abcess at his coronet, it had started at his toe & traveled upwards. According the vet, those are the most painful. That is the story of my $800 abcess.
    I hope the horse is feeling better soon, it's so hard knowing they're suffering and you can't make it better.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,424

    Exclamation Clueless BO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Damrock Farm View Post
    Disclaimer..I am not a vet and I don't play one on tv.

    I agree with those that say your boot probably didn't cause any more problems than he already had. The furazone sweat, however, that YOU did not apply, could have. Bandage bows are common if a horse is not wrapped properly and that can cause lameness in an otherwise sound horse. That said, I'm not saying that's what happened, just suggesting that despite what the BO is telling you, it's not likely that the suplements you've listed would cause the horse to founder. One thing is that, especially in a horse that is prone to abcesses, they CAN have more than one at a time. Also, a severe abcess CAN cause lower leg swelling. I would almost have a tendency to think that could be what's going on here, but again, I am not a vet and
    even more important, I am not there. In the meantime, as hard as it is, he is not your horse and you do have to respect the BO's wishes. I wish you and Willie luck and am sending jingles for quick healing.
    I think in addition to what Damrock says above, that your barn owner is a clueless twit!!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Not wanting to completely reinvent the wheel, I'm hoping to add on to this post.

    I was picking my mares hooves tonight and instantly felt heat in the front right. Upon further inspection, it's in the coronary band area (ahhhh!). Immediately I am thinking laminitis/founder. She's a 14.3 Appendix. Been on grass her whole life and never had an issue. 7 years old. Gets a handful of pellets once a day so she can get her vitamins. In foal, due in 8 weeks.

    Vet is closed until Wednesday. I recently brought her back home with me, and she now has free access to a round bale, I'm wondering if there is a lot of clover in it. What should I do between now and Weds? And should I request X-rays right off the bat? Should I take the hay away?

    TIA.... totally freaking out.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    7,989

    Default

    Don't know if it is relevant at all, but we had a beautiful 6 yo TB at the barn. He presented like an abscess and his young owner did all the regular care for that. Her know it all aunt kept telling her it was nothing to worry about... she wanted to call a vet and finally did, at the BO's insistence... xrays were taken.. it was NOT an abscess, it was a bone infection which had started like an abscess... 3 weeks had passed by then and the infection was very close to the joint. The horse was still 3 legged lame and not getting better. Vet ordered strong IV and oral abx, came back a week later and suggested sending xrays to clinic and surgery... but it was too late and that beautiful boy had to be euthanized on the operating table... I know it is not your horse and it is awful to just stand by and watch a horse suffer. We were all grateful to our BO who takes a stand in these situations. Call the vet and get the proper treatment or leave! I had posted about the situation in the one thread "People are not what they say they are!" The aunt kept saying she was a vet!!

    RIP Herc!! You deserved so much better!
    I hope this horse gets the treatment he deserves!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FalseImpression View Post
    I know it is not your horse and it is awful to just stand by and watch a horse suffer. We were all grateful to our BO who takes a stand in these situations.
    Hi FI - this is my personal horse, I have owned her since she was a foal but leased her out to a therapeutic riding program so that I could focus on my OTTB's training. I recently brought her back to live on my farm. She is not suffering, today she had heat in her hoof that was not their yesterday. She is not even lame.

    Quote Originally Posted by FalseImpression View Post
    Call the vet and get the proper treatment or leave!
    ?????????

    Quote Originally Posted by FalseImpression View Post
    I hope this horse gets the treatment he deserves!
    She of course will get the treatment she deserves. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of your reply was??

    My vet is coming out tomorrow. Per their advice she got 1g of bute and is tucked in for the night. I was just hoping some COTH'ers would have advice as to what to do until the vet could come out.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2002
    Posts
    1,628

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OTTBcooper View Post
    Not wanting to completely reinvent the wheel, I'm hoping to add on to this post.

    I was picking my mares hooves tonight and instantly felt heat in the front right. Upon further inspection, it's in the coronary band area (ahhhh!). Immediately I am thinking laminitis/founder. She's a 14.3 Appendix. Been on grass her whole life and never had an issue. 7 years old. Gets a handful of pellets once a day so she can get her vitamins. In foal, due in 8 weeks.

    Vet is closed until Wednesday. I recently brought her back home with me, and she now has free access to a round bale, I'm wondering if there is a lot of clover in it. What should I do between now and Weds? And should I request X-rays right off the bat? Should I take the hay away?

    TIA.... totally freaking out.
    False Impression's comments were directed at the OP, not your situation. In your case, I would first check for a strong digital pulse in the right front. I would also watch the horse move on the lunge. I have seen three different horses present with laminitis, having only one front show a problem. However, when the bad front is blocked, then the other front shows lameness. Don't go by photos in books about how laminitis presents itself because those are worst cases. Ottbcooper, I don't think I'd immediately think about laminitis just because one foot is warm. See how it is on Wednesday, and then decide if you need to see a vet or get xrays.

    The OP's situation is just plain sad. A BO that only calls a vet for euthansia? Horses with chronic laminitis can abscess severly and even get the coffin bone infected. This school horse could be working all along with low grade laminitis that went into an acute stage again. I don't think anything the OP did brought this on or made it worse. If you truly love the horse, buy it and get it the heck out of there. Otherwise, you have no choice but to accept what the BO says and does.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    False Impression's comments were directed at the OP, not your situation.
    Gah! That makes sense now. I was so confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    In your case, I would first check for a strong digital pulse in the right front. I would also watch the horse move on the lunge.
    No pulse, but slight heat in both hind hooves now. Moving beautifully at the trot and canter, not even slightly off.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    Ottbcooper, I don't think I'd immediately think about laminitis just because one foot is warm. See how it is on Wednesday, and then decide if you need to see a vet or get xrays.
    Thank you I'm starting to realize how unlikely it would be for a horse that has never foundered to suddenly have laminitis at this time of year. The heat is just so odd. I really appreciate the advice!
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    7,989

    Default

    I am sorry it was confusing. The "get the proper treatment or leave" is the stand my BO takes when someone will not get proper treatment for their horse. She will not just stand by and watch a horse suffer in her barn. It has worked every time (only two situations).

    Jingling for all the horses mentioned in this thread!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2002
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ToN Farm View Post
    The OP's situation is just plain sad. A BO that only calls a vet for euthansia? Horses with chronic laminitis can abscess severely and even get the coffin bone infected. This school horse could be working all along with low grade laminitis that went into an acute stage again.
    Following along on this train of thought. If I am not sure if a horse is for sure abscessing(bruising and laminitis can be similar in early stages) I will recommend against soaking. Animalintex is MUCH safer as it will still draw with only a small amount of moisture so will not overly saturate and consequently soften the hoof. If the hoof is bruised or the lamina is inflamed the very last thing you want to do is soften the hoof and make things worse.
    x-rays are great as often they will show a gas pocket if an abscess is present.
    Last edited by BumbleBee; Dec. 31, 2012 at 08:06 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Abcess?
    By danskbreeder in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jul. 6, 2011, 01:05 PM
  2. Can you see an abcess on an x-ray?
    By TBXCFan in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Aug. 30, 2009, 05:57 PM
  3. Breeding a mare can cause laminits? an open discussion
    By RheinlandPfalzSaar in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Mar. 26, 2009, 05:46 AM
  4. Nerve Block and Abcess-update...nasty abcess
    By Cheval Gris in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: Mar. 7, 2009, 02:11 PM
  5. Nerve Block and Abcess-update...nasty abcess
    By Cheval Gris in forum Eventing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Feb. 27, 2009, 10:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •