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Abscess or Otherwise?

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  • Abscess or Otherwise?

    Ok, last Wednesday after being shod, Reese came in lame on the RF... the farrier and I thought it could be a close nail and he came out that same evening (because he rules); but upon removal of shoe and examination, we eliminated that possibility.

    Extensive heat in foot and RF leg, Reese reactive around entire perimiter of frog with hoof testers, decided that he was working on an abscess and since then I have been implementing the typical protocols of soaking, packing and wrapping; all to no avail.

    He steps out of his stall very, very lame in the RF. After a few steps, he will look *almost* normal, but is still noticeably sore. When turned out (in the indoor or small paddock), lameness gets worse with increased movement.

    Yesterday there was still heat in the RF as well as a digital pulse (slow, but still very noticeable); and of course- lame. He did, however, have what looked like an insult to the soft tissue above the coronet band on the lateral side of the RF and was very reactive to palpation. Incidentally, there is no pus or anything else associated with it, even after an epsom salt soak, Novalson scrub and Animalintex poultice. So whether or not this lesion is actually related to the foot pain, I don't know.

    Although I don't want to jump to conclusions, my concern at this point is whether or not it this is actually an abscess; or if it's something more sinister (DDFT problem, coffin bone issue, etc.).

    I have left a message for my vet and am waiting for him to call so we can schedule an exam and x-rays.

    This is the first time I've ever treated Reese for an abscess (despite all the other things we've been through!), so am unfamiliar with his tendencies in this arena.

    For those of you who are experienced with abscesses, please let me know if this sounds normal for the condition. And conversely, for those of you with experience regarding DDFT/coffin bone issues and the like, can you tell me how they presented (i.e.: heat, swelling, lameness, etc.)

    Any and all info is greatly appreciated
    Originally posted by Martha Drum
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

  • #2
    Abcesses can be pretty painful. Some horses you'd swear had a broken leg instead of an abcess. And it does sound like an abcess to me too.

    Keep Brian updated so he can best help you. There may come a point when you'll need a hardener to harden everything back up, but since Brian knows Reese's feet better than I do I'll let him be the judge on the need for hardeners and such.
    RIP Bo, the real Appassionato
    5/5/84-7/12/08

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes, Brian has been out 4 times already to monitor everything, so he is on top of it

      We were just kind of concerned since there has been no relief whatsoever this entire time. Of course, it could just be one of those horrible, stubborn ones that take like 2 weeks to surface; but since everything wrong with Reese is either near-fatal, rare or expensive (hell, all 3 at the same time, even) we tend to stay pretty open to possibilities.
      Originally posted by Martha Drum
      ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ReeseTheBeast View Post
        Yes, Brian has been out 4 times already to monitor everything, so he is on top of it

        We were just kind of concerned since there has been no relief whatsoever this entire time. Of course, it could just be one of those horrible, stubborn ones that take like 2 weeks to surface; but since everything wrong with Reese is either near-fatal, rare or expensive (hell, all 3 at the same time, even) we tend to stay pretty open to possibilities.
        Who you telling about having near-fatal, rare, and expensive problems with a horse??? Just messin!

        It of course doesn't hurt to try to figure out why he ended up with an abcess in the first place...could it be he stepped on a rock? Or mild IR tendencies (dry weather here where I'm at will set one off)?

        Nah, sometimes abcesses can be stubborn and won't just come on out when we want them to. Sometimes there is something else going on and it should be investigated, but it truly doesn't sound like y'all are at that point yet. And yeah, that opening at the coronet band could be where the abcess is trying to come out.
        RIP Bo, the real Appassionato
        5/5/84-7/12/08

        Comment


        • #5
          It can take a while for an abscess to resolve. It can be really scarey when a horse goes that lame that fast. The first time it happened to one of my horses, I was sure he'd broken his coffin bone. Nope.

          My husband's horse abscessed twice this summer (suspect the onset of IR), and both times it took a couple of weeks before the thing would blow. It seemed like forever. One was huge, and he's still a bit sore from the damage it did. I suspect the second abscess got started in the support foot when he was still lame from the first one.

          Sometimes they get more sore just before the abscess blows.
          "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh wow, it must be contagious! Look on the secret santa thread for abscess issues.

            Let's see if I can help. Cloudy has an abscess now, he had one 2 1/2 yrs ago.

            Callie had one 4 yrs ago.

            Callie being a stoic ottb mare, didn't gradually get lame, she just got dead lame one day and I called the vet, since she'd never had one before and I'd never experienced one. Vet came out, I had apparently opened it up myself, it was on the plantar (sp) region and we had to soak every other day for a month in epsom salts, then put the ichthammol on it, then the diaper, then the duct tape (that 3 pack at sam's is sticker than the other brands). As soon as she got the diaper on, she could walk. The indigities of old age.

            2 1/2 yrs ago, Cloudy starts going lame, he is wussie so it was gradual. Vet said thrush, farrier said abscess and to soak, abscess came out the coronary band after soaking. We didn't have to diaper him, thank God, as Cloudy is not easy to work with.

            A week ago he started limping, I soaked, buted, and then Sat. when he was dead lame I saw fluid coming from his heel, he has pour in pads and our farrier is at Disneyworld. I soaked and buted and he is better and farrier is coming Thursday.

            All 3 times I've used Bute and isox and SMZs and naproxen.

            If you soak and he feels better, or if you put on ichthammol and a diaper and duct tape and he feels better, then do so.

            But I'm skeptical of an abscess right after shoeing if he wasn't lame BEFORE the shoeing.

            I suspect he got a hot nail. The way to help that is by resetting the shoe, then soaking in epsom salts and if an abscess develops, then go with the ichthammol treatment.

            Anytime a horse is lame right after shoeing, suspect the shoeing. One time just before a show Cloudy got a new set of shoes, and then he was lame when I got to the barn. I said it was a hot nail, BO disagreed but called farrier, he came back the next day, reset the shoe, and Cloudy was sound for the show.

            Altho if the hot nail insulted the hoof, causing damage to the soft tissue, you might have to soak for a week.

            Sorry for Reese.

            Comment


            • #7
              Generally, if it is a close or hot nail, hoof testers will show sensitivity at the site of the nail.
              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

              Comment


              • #8
                I just saw this Megan. How is he? Any change yet? The same? I'm pretty sure that Brian gave you the abscess poultice recipe that I use too.... Are you leaving it on 24/7? Are you poulticing the coronary band as well? A Davis boot over your diaper/bandaging is a good way to keep the wrap on if he gets turned out...

                Curious, did you deworm lately with a double dose?
                Whole Horse Hoof Care
                Horseshoeing...Deceptively Simple
                Endlessly Complex

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whoops.... did he give you the DMSO recipe?
                  Whole Horse Hoof Care
                  Horseshoeing...Deceptively Simple
                  Endlessly Complex

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds rather like the abscess I'm currently treating. Mare slightly off 10 days ago. 3-legged lame 8 days ago, with slight swelling above fetlock, warm foot, and bounding digital pulse. Vet out 7 days ago, horse reacted to testers at one spot with no visual indication of abscess, while no response to a visual bruise. Started soaking, wrapping with betadine/epsom salt poultice, bute 2x day, and stalling. Horse continued to be very lame until 2 days ago (Monday). Found a horizontal narrow 3/4 inch split on heel bulb at coronary band, but no pus that I could see. Horse noticeably improved, weight-bearing on the foot but still favoring it. Will continue to soak and wrap, but have discontinued the bute. Vet out tomorrow for follow up.

                    I too had visions of worse-case scenarios and needing radiographs. The vet also recommended having a farrier pare out the sole, but I really did not want digging around when the abscess couldn't actually be seen. I'm glad I waited.

                    Listen to your vet of course, but time and patience may do the trick. Good luck.
                    Last edited by KSAQHA; Oct. 8, 2008, 07:49 AM. Reason: grammar
                    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
                    <><

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Yeah, we used the DMSO recipe and all the other ones known to man ;-)

                      I didn't DD him with any wormer, although I had been seriously considering it/on the verge of doing it.

                      At any rate, he is still lame as of yesterday and was started on Bute Monday evening to at least get the inflammation down, since he's got some swelling and fill in his RF leg as well as heat in the RF hoof. We hadn't had him on it before because we wanted the abscess (if there was one) to blow, and felt that the Bute would have dissipated it and done him no good.

                      He's gimpy despite the Bute and small turnout, but still in good spirits. He actually bit my sweatshirt and nearly pulled it off over my head last night, so I'd say he's feeling like himself.

                      He's had some non-descript RF suspensory issues in the past, hence our concern with it being something other than an abscess since nothing has ruptured in a week, him still being lame with swelling in the leg and the worsening of the lameness with movement.



                      The vet will be out tomorrow to pull some rads and to perform a lameness evaluation so we can find out for sure what's going on. I think there could very well be more than one issue concurrently; so I'm interested to see how it all turns out.

                      Of course, this particular incident could not have come at a worse financial time for me, but such is life.
                      Originally posted by Martha Drum
                      ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ah, Ok good. Sounds just like an abscess, but fill us in on what the vet says

                        Reese... his name should be, "Life of the Party!" As nutty as he is, he sure is cute

                        Sorry 'bout your wallet It never fails, does it.... Here's to hoping he pops before the vet arrives
                        Whole Horse Hoof Care
                        Horseshoeing...Deceptively Simple
                        Endlessly Complex

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Patty Lynch View Post
                          Ah, Ok good. Sounds just like an abscess, but fill us in on what the vet says

                          Reese... his name should be, "Life of the Party!" As nutty as he is, he sure is cute

                          Sorry 'bout your wallet It never fails, does it.... Here's to hoping he pops before the vet arrives
                          Well thank you, he certainly has grown into a very handsome young man, and certainly is the life of the party!

                          That's a great idea of a show name, btw, if I ever get to actually ride him.

                          I don't know when the last time you saw him was, but he looks like a COMPLETELY different horse these days (in a good way, though!)

                          Brian and I think that he looks like a QH
                          Originally posted by Martha Drum
                          ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

                          Comment

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