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Favorite method for getting an abscess resolved?

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    Favorite method for getting an abscess resolved?

    My boy has an abscess lurking in his hind left's there on xray in the toe, a little bubble of gassy goo but it just will NOT erupt! I've been wrapping nightly with an epsom salt slurry packed in there on advice of vet and farrier for the last 6 days. It is bone dry here this fall, and his hoof is like a rock and nothing is changing. I need a new method! Given my work schedule, I can soak him in water in the evenings most nights, but haven't yet.

    So..give me your best remedies for softening up that stone hard hoofy so his bubble 'o fun will make tracks for the outside!
    ** he's not lame anymore on it...not sure if I should do it anymore. Call to vet is planned for today, but thought I'd have some choices in my back pocket if I'm told to continue.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

    CleanTrax, as recommended by my vet.


      I usually have the best luck with movement. Even when their feet are super hard, I'm just not that into soaking. But if you know it's in there, keep him turned out as much as possible and maybe even ride him if he's not three-legged.

      Hind feet can be really tricky and I've had them travel and take weeks to come out. Good luck!


        Animalintex wet with hot water, wrap with vet wrap, then duct tape boot over, then hoof boot on and turn out.

        The warm Animalintex will draw out the goop, and the movement will help. If he comes in at night, handwalk or tack walk too to make sure he moves more.

        I've been told Epsom salt makes the foot harder which you don't want.
        I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


          Poultice, diaper, plastic wrap, vet wrap, duct tape. Poultice draws and soaks the foot. Plastic keeps the poultice from drying.


            I have a mare that’s very prone to abscesses in her hind feet, and anytime she gets one I soak in bath-temperature water and epsom salt for about 15-20 minutes daily, then wrap with ichthammol (some places call it drawing salve), lunge or hand walk for a bit if she’s not too lame, and then leave it until the next day and repeat. He’ll likely get more lame as it gets closer to busting.


              I do what you're doing. I pack with epsom salt paste and keep the wrap/diaper/paste/heat pad on for as long as it takes. But honestly, once the horse is sound I let it go. And because I don't normally x-ray an abscess, and not all abscesses seem to come out, I'm sure many have lurked for longer than I've known.
              Flying F Sport Horses
              Horses in the NW


                My farrier doesn't like the Epsom salt slurry poultice to draw out an abscess. He feels that it doesn't soften the hoof enough to allow the abscess to blow.

                I have had great results with Animalintex used as recommended above.

                I also agree movement is another way to get the abscess to blow.


                  Have your farrier find the pocket with hoof testers and then thin the sole below it; I had my vet do it once and he made a huge crater that I had to flush daily and rewrap until it filled in....most farriers will thin the sole and not dig too aggressively.


                    I've always been skeptical of the effectiveness of soaking and wrapping. I wonder if anyone has ever studied whether it shortens the duration of lameness, or if it just gives us something to do while the horse is lame.


                      I give banamine so they're comfortable enough to move and turn them out. Movement gets the abscess to burst. Very rarely need more than one dose.

                      The only time I wrap is after they pop and I'm worried about contamination in the tract. Or if weather is so gawd awful I just can't turn out.