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sudden onset 3 legged lame: abscess?

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  • sudden onset 3 legged lame: abscess?

    Vet is coming tomorrow, but wanted to ask so my mind can be occupied until the vet gets out.

    Walked my horse out of his pen, walkd him up to the barn with my trainer and my visiting mother. We all watched him walk up, my trainer and I scraped the mud off of him. I went to clean his feet out, noticed he acted a bit weird. Went to clean his hind left and he did a weirs little goo and shuffle. I immediately knew something was off, so I untied him and walked him off and from the first step his was dead lame.

    Hind right. He was nearly 3 legged lame, but the ONLY thing that he reacted to was the outside of his right hind hoof being tapped with the hoof pick. He is pointing it and keeping it off the ground, no weight bearing, when he walks he puts the weight on the inside of that hoof.

    No heat at all, no punctures/exterior injury visible.

    What would cause this sudden onset of such severe lameness? He walked completely normally into the barn and has never taken a lame step in the year ive had him :/ trainer thinks abscess, vet is coming tomorrow. Any ideas??
    Team Ginger

  • #2
    Agree, abscess. They come on very quickly.
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    • #3
      In my experience there are only two things that cause sudden, severe, three legged lameness. Abscess and fracture. Generally fracture is accompanied by heat and swelling so absent of that you are most likely looking at abscess. Jingles!
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      • #4
        Sure sounds like it. My vet always says "treat fracture pain like a fracture, but hope for an abscess". I hope the vet's visit turns out to be an exercise in "free the pus" and nothing more!
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        • #5
          Good luck, I can imagine the knot in your stomach. given your description, I'm thinking abcess too; plus you did say mud. Contributes to abcesses.
          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Fingers crossed! There was no heat/swelling anywhere, and manipulation from head to tail didn't bother him at all. Arrgggghhhh make it tomorrow so the vet can check on him!
            Team Ginger

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            • #7
              Usually a good steady digital pulse will be at the fetlock too if it is an abcess. I just got my guy over one. Took a few days of icthamol wraps, but he is good now.

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              • #8
                Yes, that does indeed sound like an abscess.

                I just got my guy over one last month, with 20-minute hot water epsom salt soaks, Animalintex wrap with Thermacare pad on top, and epsom salt poultice at the coronet, all covered in Vetrap and then a Cavallo boot since my guy is barefoot.

                My boy was never 3-legged, but he was visibly lame at the walk and, like yours, had no heat or swelling until a few days later when he had just a tiny bit of fill in the lower leg. It took about 10 days for the abscess to come out the coronet band, and he was still a little sore for a few days afterwards, but he's fine now.

                Fingers crossed for an abscess!
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                • #9
                  Oh, and some people might frown on herbal/homeopathic stuff, but I gave my guy arnica montana for any possible bruising, plus Jiaogulan in order to increase circulation to the hooves and help the abscess resolve faster. I found out about it on Dr. Kellon's Equine Cushings/IR group on Yahoo--a lot of people on that board use it in place of bute for their foundered horses. It's an adaptogen and vasodilator.
                  Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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                  • #10
                    It sounds like an abscess to me, but I'll send some jingles your way. Hope your guy gets some relief tomorrow. I swear by soaking in Apple Cider Vinegar for those suckers.
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