• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Abcess causing fetlock/joint swelling?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Abcess causing fetlock/joint swelling?

    So my sound-as-a-dollar 19yo TB has been having soundness issues since the summer. It started with her getting loose while loading and running like a loonie around the property. She had a swollen left ankle that seemed to get better, but she's been unsound off and on for the past few months.

    The free leaser, D, is an experienced horsewoman and she's had the vet out a few times. Nothing has shown up on the ultrasounds done, so no tears or anything. They just recently moved to a new barn and the BO palpated the coronet band and said he felt a pulse, so he was thinking a possible abcess.

    Now she is on stall rest and they are soaking the foot, etc. to see if that draws it out. If it is an abcess, I would prefer that she be allowed to move out to help blow the abcess, and the property does have a very nice round pen, but she is not under my control at the moment.

    D is going to have Xrays of the foot done shortly, and that will likely be as far as she will go as she's already put in quite a bit of $ and effort. Mare is pasture sound and will happily run and buck in TO, but is not sound enough for riding as people can see a noticeably gimp. I'm fine with getting her back and retiring her if need be, but I thought I read on a thread somewhere that an abcess can cause the whole ankle/cannon to swell before it blows.
    Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

  • #2
    Yes, I have seen puffiness in the ankle with an abscess, but not big swelling.

    Personally I am not a fan of stall resting a horse for an abscess, but I think you need an answer first, which it sounds like may come shortly. Is the vet doing a block before the x-ray? Best just to make sure that's where it is first.

    When I dealt with this recently, I tried a new method instead of soaking, which is using an epsom salt poultice then adding cotton on top, then a diaper (wasn't in instructions I read, I just do that), then vetrap, then duct tape and a hoof wrap. You can leave it on for 48 to 72 hours at a time. Not sure if it was coincidence but my abscess popped during that period (after a month!). Plus it was just so much easier than soaking.

    I actually bought a kit online that was $5 more than the price of the hoof wrap and included everything I needed to wrap - epsom salt poultice, vetwrap, hoof wrap, cotton - everything except the diaper which probably isn't necessary and the duct tape.

    Actually even when I soak I just soak the diaper in epsom salt water and wrap it on for 24 hours, so much easier than making a horse stand in a bucket.
    http://www.stampyandthebrain.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I have seen abscesses do a lot of things, including causing a horse's leg to blow up like a balloon all the way up the leg. And if there is swelling, it's not uncommon to see it up past the fetlock. And unlike the above poster, I have seen pretty decent swelling....much more than "just puffiness."

      I also do a wrap like explained above. I slather on epsom salt paste, wrap a diaper around it, affix one of those 12-hour heat packs to the bottom of the diaper (or near wherever I think the abscess is), wrap all of that in vet wrap, and then a coat of duct tape and gorilla tape. I usually leave it in place for 48 hours.

      Hope that the x-rays show you something. I agree that blocking the foot/leg might be a good first step...especially since this has been going on for several months. But I do have a mare who was on-and-off for about 6 weeks with a bad abscess. We blocked her (which was inconclusive) and finally resorted to x-rays with my vet's warning that the odds of seeing an abscess on x-ray were not entirely in our favor. But it showed up nicely, and as soon as my farrier dug out the massive abscess in her toe she was back to sound again (though it required a hospital plate over the shoe to keep it all clean for quite some time).

      Good luck!
      __________________________________
      Flying F Sport Horses
      Horses in the NW

      Comment


      • #4
        I have seen it too. My 4 year old had a bad abcess and I thought he bowed his tendon, with antibotics the abcess cleared and his leg went down to normal.
        Boss Mare Eventing Blog
        https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks guys.

          I know it's unlikely, but I hope when they do Xrays they can spot an abscess, just to be definitive.

          Crossing my fingers I get a text from D saying "What a motherload of an abscess!"
          Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

          Comment


          • #6
            Could be an abscess, but could also be a chip in the fetlock - if they don't see an abscess in the hoof x-ray, will they x-ray the fetlock?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by KentuckyTBs View Post
              Could be an abscess, but could also be a chip in the fetlock - if they don't see an abscess in the hoof x-ray, will they x-ray the fetlock?
              That's what I thought when she first injured herself, because the swelling would go down but then she'd go lame again after enough work!

              I'll post an update once I hear from D, I hope it can be good news.
              Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

              Comment


              • #8
                I have posted before about a horse at our barn who became 3 legged lame and at first everyone thought it was an abscess. He was kept in an indoor pen (16 x 24 maybe), but he still would not move. After weeks of soaking, bandaging, etc., the young owner finally called the vet (her aunt liked to play vet and kept telling her it was just an abscess). Xrays were taken which showed infection in the fetlock, hence the swelling. To make a long story short... young owner and her mom finally told the aunt to go fly a kite and took the horse for surgery... too late. The horse was euthanized on the table.
                It did present like an abscess at first but after almost a month??? no improvement at all...
                We did not get all the details because nobody wanted to ask a very upset young girl, but the vets both said that prompt action would have avoided the drama..

                At least your mare got prompt attention and does not seem to be 3 legged lame. She is lucky you are willing and able to retire her, but I hope you find out what is bothering her.

                Comment


                • #9
                  IME, if an abcess has traveled up above the coronet and caused swelling? The horse will often be running a fever, be a little lethargic and show other signs of the infection. Has this mare had a fever at all? Any heat around the swelling? If it is an infection, like an abcess, there should be heat and tenderness around the soft tissue swellling. Usually if they get above the coronet, they burst pretty quick if it is an abcess looking for a place to drain.

                  Concerns me this swelling has come and gone and she has been sometimes lame and sometimes not...usually an abcess hurts like heck and they are lame and stay that way until it clears. It can reoccur after it breaks and drains but never had one come and go with no observable drainage to relive the pressure.

                  Keep us posted when the vet comes and take the x rays.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                    IME, if an abcess has traveled up above the coronet and caused swelling? The horse will often be running a fever, be a little lethargic and show other signs of the infection. Has this mare had a fever at all? Any heat around the swelling? If it is an infection, like an abcess, there should be heat and tenderness around the soft tissue swellling. Usually if they get above the coronet, they burst pretty quick if it is an abcess looking for a place to drain.

                    Concerns me this swelling has come and gone and she has been sometimes lame and sometimes not...usually an abcess hurts like heck and they are lame and stay that way until it clears. It can reoccur after it breaks and drains but never had one come and go with no observable drainage to relive the pressure.

                    Keep us posted when the vet comes and take the x rays.
                    Ditto. The times I have seen this, is when the horse was also acting lethargic, running a fever etc. In every case the horse has needed antibiotics, along with the usual Abcess treatment.

                    In this case, I wonder if its really the abscess causing the swelling, since the horse has been off for so long? I too, would wonder about a chip, or something else going on. It could even be an infection of the coffin bone, etc.
                    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!
                    https://www.facebook.com/groups/equinewellness/

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
                      Ditto. The times I have seen this, is when the horse was also acting lethargic, running a fever etc. In every case the horse has needed antibiotics, along with the usual Abcess treatment.

                      In this case, I wonder if its really the abscess causing the swelling, since the horse has been off for so long? I too, would wonder about a chip, or something else going on. It could even be an infection of the coffin bone, etc.
                      Update: The latest vet check showed nothing, and they Xrayed the foot/leg. I was hoping for something to show up, but unfortunately nothing has

                      D sent an email to the owner and copied me on it, and we are waiting to see what she says. I don't think she wants Lucy back as she couldn't use her for riding, lessons, or showing, but she could surprise me.
                      Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really hope you're able to figure out what's wrong and help her out! Poor girl.


                        Just on the discussion of swelling and abscesses:
                        My horse had an abscess this summer and it was my first time ever having a horse get one (I got my first horse 27 years ago - we're in a dry climate!). In his case it was from a close nail - which allowed infection in as the hoof grew and pressed on the nail, rather than the more common abscesses which aren't exactly an infection but the body trying to expel something. It was actually completely textbook when I read about it later, and I had known it was likely an abscess when I had the vet out but wanted to make sure since I had no experience. He was very swollen from the knee down, and extremely lame. The vet pulled his shoe and after the puddle drained from the nail hole the swelling went down a significant amount right away. He had antibiotic shots but when it started to swell again a few days later had to go on oral antibiotics to get rid of it.
                        Originally posted by Silverbridge
                        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                          Concerns me this swelling has come and gone and she has been sometimes lame and sometimes not...usually an abcess hurts like heck and they are lame and stay that way until it clears. It can reoccur after it breaks and drains but never had one come and go with no observable drainage to relive the pressure.
                          I think this depends greatly on the horse. The mare I mentioned above was back and forth for the whole 6 weeks of her abscess. She'd be 3-legged for a couple of days and the sound for a couple of days and then barely lame for a week and then sound again and then 3-legged again. She never had any swelling, heat, or pulse, and there was no observable drainage at any point of the abscess (it was in a deep spot in her toe).

                          My TB went through a period of time where he would get an abscess (stereotypically crappy TB feet in our wet environment) and would be 3-legged for a day or two (often with swelling and also with heat and a pulse) and then go sound for a few days, then back to abscess presentation, then back to sound. Then 4-6 weeks later the abscess would erupt above his fetlock (with LOTS of swelling and heat in the leg). Never lethargic or feverish.

                          My point being that I think an abscess can present just about any which way, which is why most vets and farriers (and everyone else?) tend to assume an abscess first.

                          But I do agree that an infection will usually result in heat and tenderness around the infection site. In all of the cases where I've had horses swell up like a balloon because of an abscess, they've been completely non-reactive in the leg.
                          __________________________________
                          Flying F Sport Horses
                          Horses in the NW

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A vet really needs to do a nerve block to see if the mare even has pain in the foot. Did this vet atleast use hoof testers to see if there is tenderness?

                            A pasture sound horse with a puffy ankle that gets sore with riding does not have an abscess (even though an radiograph doesn't rule one out). There is something else going on in the leg and a basic lameness exam with blocks should atleast tell you where she hurts.

                            Also, an ultrasound does not rule out soft tissue injury or tear! There are more structures that a vet can't see or can't see well then there are structures that are viewable on ultrasound.

                            Good luck with her to you and the owner.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks for the knowledge and replies, everyone!

                              I'm waiting to hear what her owner's decision is. If Lucy does come with me to SC, I will ask D to give me a concise list of everything done, diagnostic and treatment wise, so I can possibly try a few things of my own.

                              Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X