Chronic abscesses - need winter/turnout suggestions
Posted in horse care as well:
For those of you who have gone through chronic abscess issues, I would greatly appreciate your suggestions for how to get through winter abscess-free and whether or not you turnout when it's muddy outside.
Will try to keep this short. Had chronic abscess issues with my new OTTB last winter from Nov 2011 to June 2012. Front hooves grow very forward with thin soles. Apart from poor hoof conformation, vets don't believe there are other health or diet concerns. I have gone through 3 farriers. My current farrier is doing an amazing job. Until now, zero issues since he's being shoeing my horse. I have used hoof hardener Durasole 2x per week since June.
Horse kept in a very clean stall with turnout 2 half-days during week. I can also turnout on weekends. My stable's turnouts are a muddy mess right now since we've had a lot of rain & some snow. Winter & muddy conditions in turnout seem to be the common factor for bringing on abscesses for my guy.
Any tips for getting through winter abscess-free? Do you stop turning out when it is muddy or do you find it doesn't make a difference one way or the other? Thanks in advance for your help.
I was really hoping to make it through 2012 without any more issues. So close!
I think the mud is a major issue for TB feet so we built sacrifice paddocks that are stonedust where our hay feeders are so that they spend most of their time on the dry footing. They come in at night during the winter just to stay out of the wet. Does your guy come in at night? I would keep up with the durasole and just make sure you pick the feet out and do the best you can to keep them dry.
I had a horse who would blow an abscess once a month every fall/winter, he was usually much better in the summer though. We just turned him out as much as possible but kept his feet clean. When he started to abscess we would simply soak his foot in epson salt and warm water for a few days and it would come out the top and he would be sound again. The first time it happened we made a big deal out of it but after that we just gave him a few days off. Mud, snow, rain, whatever, he went out as long as the other horses were going out. He was also put on an immune support supplement (Accel Lifetime) which kept him going far longer than he probably would have given his overall health when we got him.
A stall with gravel paddock attacked has been the best solution for my TB with touchy feet here in the rain country. His thin sole issues were aggravated by a club foot - a farrier with a better feel for how to trim and use wedge pad so there was less flare/dish at the toe (torn laminae are a great environment for abscesses to form) has helped too. Hoof form can be as important as living conditions or anything you put on the outside.