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abcess--is it possible it reabsorbed without "blowing"?

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  • abcess--is it possible it reabsorbed without "blowing"?

    History--about 2 weeks ago, my mare went "not quite right". Two days later- definitely lame. Two days after that, farrier was out to shoe, hoof tested, and found a very sore, boggy spot- he did draw blood by barely scraping the sole, but did not dig it out. I soaked/wrapped/povidone iodine and sugared it for about a week. She did the typical abscess thing of being dead lame one day, not too bad the next, and then back to hobbling. I gave her Bute when it got so sore she didn't want to move, but tried to keep from overusing it. The past two days, she's been looking way better, and is almost sound today. Is it possible that we are in the clear, or is it still brewing in there? As close as it was to the surface (I could push on her sole with my thumb, feel the "boggy-ness", and get a flinch), I really was expecting it to surface. Any thought as to whether I should keep soaking/wrapping now that she's better? She has thin soles, so I don't want to keep them wet anymore than I have to.

  • #2
    It may have moved upwards. Be prepared for it to blow out the coronary band in about two weeks or so. I use Animalintex (?) to help it blow out when I suspect it's coming out the top.

    You could keep soaking in Epsom salts.
    Laurie Higgins
    "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


    • #3
      "Sugaring" is a new one to me. I've always soaked in Epsom salts to draw out an abscess.

      I would have the vet (or shoer, whomever you're more comfortable using) try to release the abscess if it's close enough to the surface you can palpate it.

      I had a mare absorb an abscess many years ago due to poor management (the barn was taking care of her while I was away and the groom "forgot" to treat her for days).
      X-rays showed where the abscess had made pin holes into a bone in her foot. (Sorry, long time ago, I was young and details are fuzzy but anger still lingers!)

      You really want to try and draw the infection out.
      Last edited by baysngreys; Jul. 26, 2010, 02:58 PM. Reason: sprelling
      You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


      • #4
        Those types often do move upward and then come out the coronary. I'm dealing with one of those at the moments. Rode the horse on Friday and he was fine. On Saturday, he is laying down in the stall looking like is dying. Leg double the size, coronary swollen, major pulse and just plain ouch.

        I also use the animalintex pads soaked in hot water right after I soak the horse in epsom salts. I try to turn them out for a bit to get them to walk of they feel up to it to force the infection to move out.


        • #5
          Abscesses CAN slowly drain out the frog/heel without a major "blow out". Slow process though.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • #6
            Originally posted by CHT View Post
            Abscesses CAN slowly drain out the frog/heel without a major "blow out". Slow process though.
            I agree, drainage may not be noticable.


            • Original Poster

              Interesting thoughts, guys, thanks! I'm keeping my fingers (and toes!) crossed that this is a "seepage" case, and not a case where it is wanting to blow elsewhere. As close to the surface as it was, I think it's a bit odd for it to travel upward? But abscesses are weird....
              As close as it was, maybe it even oozed out the sole--I was able to draw blood with a hoofpick, not trying to, just scraping the dirt away, so I'd sure think it would go out there instead of back through the hoof.

              Darn horses, always keep us guessing.


              • #8
                I second the unnoticed drain. My gelding had the same thing. Once he went sound, I spent WEEKS searching for the hole. It didn't appear until much later, when the abscess "cave" finally collapsed after a trim. We were like "oh. there it is."


                • #9
                  Bute can also slow the process of an abscess blowing out.
                  I know it's tough to see them so obviously ouchy, but I personally avoid Bute for an abscess so it blows faster instead of moving.
                  Bute is an anti inflamatory and you need the inflamation of the abscess for it to burst.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!


                  • #10
                    Yes, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Subsolar Abscess can be your worst nightmare. I've known two horses (one of which was mine) that we spent six weeks chasing that thing around the bottom of the foot. Then it just .. went away (absorbed, unseen drainage, who the hell knows). Very interesting looking sole on the next 2 trims though!
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                      Bute can also slow the process of an abscess blowing out.
                      Right, she was limited to 1g per day for 3 days, and hasn't had anything for the past 3 days. I really wanted to stay off Bute, but the day she didn't want to come up from the bottom of her paddock, I decided that a little Bute was worth the risk. Thankfully, she has a sandy paddock (not something I normally love!), sure has been nice for tender toes!
                      I would assume that now she's been off Bute for a couple days she would be dead lame again, unless something had changed?


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by DMK View Post
                        Yes, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Subsolar Abscess can be your worst nightmare.
                        Snort! Thanks for the smile


                        • #13
                          I wanted to bump this up, as we also have a mysterious abscess case that appears to be improving without blowing. We did the soaking/wrapping, but I was thinking about trying Animalintex next. This is probably a stupid question, but if you don't know if it will blow out the sole or the coronary band, do you just wrap the entire hoof in the Animalintex pad?


                          • #14
                            I'll quote one of my mentors, "Abscesses are like cats. They do as the damned well please." - Matt Taimuty, CJF


                            • #15
                              When I use the animalintex pads I do the sole and the heel. I don't want to encourage it to blow out the coronet. I also use a sugardine mix with the pad to double the effectiveness.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!