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Hoof abscess: stall rest or turnout?

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  • Hoof abscess: stall rest or turnout?

    Generally speaking, for an abscess-- leave them in on stall rest, or turn them out? What if turnout is a frozen tundra of solidified mud divots?
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  • #2
    Out, out, out!!! The more they move, the faster it will "blow.," However, if the horse is so crippled, that I am afraid they will get picked on, or unable to reach their water, I do leave them up in a paddock by themselves, or in a stall, with plenty of handwalking. Do you have a boot he could wear? If so, I would AnimaLintex, then vetwrap, then use the boot, and turn him out.
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    • #3
      Vet told me the pony had to be on stall rest for five days when she had an abscess rf. this was in good weather and I still had to do Epsom salts soak. Pony was NOT happy. :-)


      • #4
        I always put them out unless they'll get picked on or are so sore they can't get to food/water. If that's the case though, I'll put them alone in a smaller area with food and water. Movement solves and prevents a lot of problems.


        • #5
          Out, but with a "boot", i.e., betadyne/sugar on the opening(enlarged for draining) then wrapped with gauze and vet wrap and duct tape. hand walked initially, then out (but with walking really encouraged). Wound redone 2x day, then 1x day and so forth. The soaking was actually really, really appreciated!


          • Original Poster

            Not my horse, but my friend's horse... our horses are stall neighbors and also pasture-mates. Her poor guy is barely weight-bearing on the hoof in question, but in the pasture (which is frozen solid and is quite difficult to walk on at the moment), he's really not moving around anyway.

            Vet has been called; vet wants the hoof soaked/wrapped and have him on stall rest, and if no improvement by Tuesday, she'll come out. Friend can only get out 1x/day but plans to hand-walk him in our (tiny) indoor. Unfortunately this particular horse gets squirrely when left in, so that is not going to help things any (although perhaps he'll stall-walk enough to pop the abscess?? lol...)

            I wish we had a turnout option that wasn't frozen mud-divots, but we don't.
            *friend of bar.ka

            "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


            • #7
              I've always turned out.
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              • #8
                Since she has a vet opinion she should do what her vet says.

                I am of the school to leave them as they normally are and keep the hoof as clean as possible. IMHO I have found soaking, wrapping and keeping in the box doesn't make the abscess blow any faster. For a few days I have to see them gimping around but within days they are fine. Also I have found having the farrier out can often help a bit too.
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                • #9
                  I always turn out, so long as they can gimp around enough to get to water and aren't going to be beat up by pasture-mates. In my experience (which is unfortunately A LOT in the abscess department), they drain MUCH faster with movement.
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                  • #10
                    Out! It blows faster with movement. If you're worried about being picked on/access to food and water, I just put them in a small separate turnout. Movement is good!!
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                    • #11
                      OUT - so they can move around. If you've ever seen one 'blow' you probably know that movement is good for that. Depending on the turnout situation it's nice to get them into a smaller turnout area if you can, so you don't have to go catch them a quarter mile from the barn and limp them back in during a driving rain. Also so they don't get too far from the water and resist coming back for a drink, and get theselves dehydrated.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                        Generally speaking, for an abscess-- leave them in on stall rest, or turn them out? What if turnout is a frozen tundra of solidified mud divots?
                        Personally, I would never advocate stall rest for any hoof-related illness. Very generally speaking, of course. Horses are meant to have a lot of movement during the course of the day, and if they don't get that, so many functions of their bodies and hooves deteriorate! Had a youngster with a recurring abscess a few years ago and he went about his business as usual, just with his foot wrapped in vet wrap and duct tape (with lots of antibacterial goodness inside).
                        Then there's also the consideration of mental health. I had my horse on box rest for a tendon injury back in 2009, and he was so miserable. He turned into a sad, grumpy horse with no will to live (got so bad we almost put him down). Horses need outside time
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                        • #13
                          Out!! I actually dealt with my first-ever abscess in a hoof about 5 months ago, and I've been riding and in the horse business for over 16 years!! I think I should get an award, that's gotta be some kind of record!! I had never even seen one...sad, eh?

                          Anyway, my mare Prissy started limping and acting tender-footed on back foot....checked it, not hot, didn't know what to do...called farrier, he said abscess possibility...give it a few days. Kept her turned out, pulled her out of lessons except the little kids' walk-only lessons since she wasn't lame except at a faster trot - she even still wanted to canter. Wasn't sure it was an abscess or not since she seemed to work out of it the more she moved. Who knows.

                          Anyway, after about a week (constant turnout, our horses are turned out two to a paddock with a good buddy), the back/top of her right hind heel blew out - it was DISGUSTING. and she still was barely lame at all!!! Love that horse, she's the best. Put a poultice on it, wrapped with a gauze and duct tape, turned her out. changed dressing twice a day for two days and it was pretty much completely gone. she would have hated being in a stall all that time.
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                          • #14
                            If the horse has a place it can go out and not have further issue (being bullied when it can not move easily, etc) I say out.

                            Since her vet says stall rest with hand walking and the footing is horrible outside I think she should listen to her vet. The vet might be taking into account the poor footing and not want to cause further harm to horse by the horse hobbling out there.


                            • #15
                              I'd usually say chuck them out, but if the ground is that bad, I'd worry about an injury from compensating for the bad foot and would keep them in.
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