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Warm Hoof = Abcess??

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  • Warm Hoof = Abcess??

    Anyone want to try and play vet?

    I was on vacation last week, so a lot of this is not first hand.

    I received a call on Saturday the 23rd saying that my mare was off on right front. She was poulticed and wrapped and cold hosed, her ankle is swollen but it is permanently swollen due to a previous puncture wound.

    Sunday, she was worse (very lame but not quite 3 legged), and there was heat in the right hoof (Mare is due for shoes today). BO poulticed leg and used some Thrush Buster on that hoof. Mare looked better on Monday and was turned out. I get home on Tuesday, and its too wet to lunge but trotting on concrete the mare is sound. Legs are cold and tight (well as tight as that ankle ever gets) and hooves are cool. I see no evidence that there was an abcess which was my first assumption.

    I rode Wednesday and Thursday and the mare is sound and happy to work. Farrier comes out today for new shoes, and 2 hours later I get a call that the mare is standing "funny" and the right hoof warm again. Farrier will be out again today to take a look. I may have him pull the shoe so we can start soaking. I'm assuming that this is an abcess, but I've never heard of an abcess clearing up, and then returning like this without draining. Maybe I missed the drain site? But surely the farrier wouldn't have. Its also possible that this is a hot nail and is entirely unrelated to the mysterious lameness over the weekend.

    Scratching my head right now. Any ideas? I'm going to start soaking in Epsom Salts tonight, and I'll apply a warm animalintex/thermacare pad/vetwrap/duct-tape. It will be interesting to see what the farrier says.

    As a side note, this mare is super sensitive. I've seen her come hopping out of her stall after wearing wraps and there was ZERO evidence of a bandage bow. She was sound by the time she walked to her pasture. Any cut or scratch causes excessive swelling and lameness where it wouldn't even affect another horse.

    I'd appreciate any ideas!

  • #2
    A warm hoof can also mean laminitis. The only advice I can give you is to call a vet I hope it's nothing serious.


    • Original Poster

      Let's hope its not that. If it were laminitis, I don't know what the trigger would be. We have no spring grass, feed hasn't changed, no meds or illnesses.

      And of course the vet was at the barn this morning. I didn't have my girl thoroughly examined (maybe I should have?), but he did take a peek and also mentioned pulling the shoe and soaking. I'm anxiously waiting for an update from the farrier....he's usually pretty good with this stuff.


      • #4
        My horse did have an abcess where he was lame, then sound, then lame again. This was in the hind. He also had a hairline fracture to his coffin bone which had a lot of heat initially and during stall rest. I would have the vet out to take a look.


        • #5
          Abscesses can move around in the foot. I had a terrible time with my gelding last fall when a new trimmer didn't trim his bars enough. He had, as I recall, three abscesses before I got a new farrier.

          At least one of those times my horse was lame, then came sound, then came up lame again before the abscess finally blew. In his case they came out the heel bulb each time (that's what finally tipped me to the bars).

          Good luck!
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


          • #6
            Maybe an abscess. Those thing can be tricky. Just a little info on the laminitis though. there can be other triggers besides what they eat. My guys coffin bone rotated about 5 degrees just in one hoof. He was off and then was great and then off and then great and then on some days we would ride and he'd be off and ok in the same ride. He also would in some rides be sound but his knee would buckle just a bit on the one leg. This went on a few weeks. Was in touch with vet and farrier. Sent them video of horse under saddle. No one saw a la ness that day. Anyways. Vet came out xrayed hoof and there it was. He is doing great now and it has almost completely been corrected thank goodness. What we figured out caused it in just one foot was that when he pulled his shoe sideways about 2 months before the nails went into his hoof. We pulled the shoes did everything to avoid an abscess, and did avoid that. But in the process of that one healing he weighted his other hoof so much that it caused the coffin bone to rotate. Very strange case but just don't rule out laminitis because there's no spring grass etc. Good luck and I hope it's only an abscess that goes away quickly.
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


            • #7
              please call a vet. I thought a mare had an absess; my repro vet thought it was an absess; my farrier thought it was an absess. It was laminitis.

              By the time we soaked with no relief for a week, she had rotated.