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Need some COTHer "abscess wisdom"!

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by JSwan View Post
    I did not intend to take anything out on you. I know your posts and your horsemanship from way back. My only concern was having a lame horse with a snowstorm on the way - and the possibility that this got worse, fast, and no vet available.

    But I am sure we are watching the same forecasts so I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

    Around here it seems this has been a bad winter for abscesses ; judging by how busy my vet and farrier have been. None of the horses have died from lingering, horrible, devastating bone destroying infections. I'm sure horses do die of such things. I doubt your horse will. None of mine have.

    But generally an abscess is found, treated, and the horse manages to survive in order to think of new and interesting ways to commit suicide.

    In the end, you're the one with the lame horse. Not me - my advice was only intended to be helpful and supportive, not to be used a substitute for veterinary advice, and I know you took it in the spirit intended. I was trying to be polite - because I am often accused of being mean. Perhaps that is a fair assessment though I never intend to be mean - only forthright. To me, attempting to draw an abscess seems reasonable. Waiting when a storm is coming - well - I'd err on having the vet out now. But I live in a rural area where roads can remain unplowed for days.

    If Tom wants to freak out at someone he should be taking you to task (arguably)- not me. I already dealt with the abscesses from hell this winter; which included ankle deep mud, two vet visits, a Davis boot that was so tight I almost burst a blood vessel from taking it on and off, a horse that had to poop, narrowly missing my head, when I was trying to wrap his foot, and my hands were stained by iodine.

    I paid my dues.
    Sounds like a horrid winter for both horses and human(s)

    The "abscess Gremlin" has been working overtime, apparently...

    I understand your concern, and I appreciate your response; I felt like there was some blaming going on (understandably), which made me feel defensive. I am nothing if not UBER conscientious, to a fault, so having my horse management skills called into question makes the "former UL Pony Clubber" who still resides within me rise up in high dudgeon. (My family regularly tells me that compared to my horses, they rate so low that they may as well be out in the street, filthy and lice-ridden, living in a cardboard box and eating out of a dumpster--not that I would notice, )

    So "no harm no foul", okay?

    Tom needs to take a giant pill (and I have a suggestion as to the "delivery system" )
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
      (My family regularly tells me that compared to my horses, they rate so low that they may as well be out in the street, filthy and lice-ridden, living in a cardboard box and eating out of a dumpster--not that I would notice, )
      My family complains to me about the same thing.

      Well, it was supposed to be snowing by now but nothing is happening. So maybe we will be spared and spring will come.

      Onward and upward.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        Yes indeed!

        (And one can only hope. I am personally hoping for SLUSH, though I doubt we'll get that lucky. )
        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

        Comment


        • #24
          Whatever you do NEVER NEVER use Bute or any type of deinflamatory . Take a look at our web site and see what Bute can do to a horses foot.
          Bute will slow down the bodies own autoimmune response.It can turn into a real disaster.
          Midatlanticequinerehabcenter.com

          Comment


          • #25
            Bumping for an update on your mare ~ DR. ~ as well as weather report ~

            Bumping for an update on your lovely mare Dr. D ~ as well as a weather report ~

            She is 'blessed' to have you as her owner !
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by JSwan View Post
              Good God, Tom. Get over yourself.

              I told her to get the fricking vet out because she doesn't seem inclined to - and that's a bad idea. An abscess is usually NOT a life threatening emergency and you damn well know that.
              So now you modify your assertion to include "usually NOT." But still haven't answered the question how do YOU KNOW?

              Odd, to be wishy washy and arrogant at the same time.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
                Tom Bloomer - What is your normal protocol for abcesses?
                I contact the attending vet and review all the symptoms and describe the suspected location of the abscess based on examination with hoof testers and a digital temperature sensor.

                The vets I work with will authorize me to drain an abscess when I discuss it with them on the phone. Occasionally I may request radiographs if I cannot find an external tract to the abscess that clearly indicates the cause of the abscess is due to entry of foreign matter to the sensitive solar integument. This is unusual, but not uncommon.

                Once I have determined the location of the abscess I establish drainage at the wall/sole junction using as small an opening as possible. I do not pare the sole - quite the opposite, all it take is a pin prick sized hole to establish a drain.

                After drainage is established I protect the foot with a bar shoe and removable hospital plate or a partial plate extending inward from the web of the shoe over the drain hole to facilitate replacing the poultice on a daily basis.

                Usually relief is instantaneous once the abscess is draining. However, I often treat abscesses that are in the very early stage before a pocket of puss is formed.

                In this situation all that drains is a very small amount of serum - maybe only one drop of moisture as not enough time has elapsed for a pocket of pus to form. Once the poultice is applied and the horse is weight bearing for a few minutes relief tends to be more gradual as the poultice draws on the serum. But catching them this early results in faster recovery and return to work.

                I followup with a phone call in 24 hours. If the horse has not made dramatic improvement following the initial relief from drainage after 24 hours on poultice I schedule an appointment to see the horse with the attending vet and get radiographs - assuming they were not taken initially.

                Usually my clients call me immediately when they notice their horse is not moving normally. I respond to a suspected abscess or any sudden onset other lameness the same day I am called - usually within 4 hours.

                When I can catch an abscess early and get it draining and protected with a partial plate, often the horse can return to work within 72 hours.

                I take abscesses very seriously as they can cause a horse to endure excruciating pain and I don't let horses suffer on my watch.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Update: mare is now SOUND. As of Thursday night, which was when I last checked on her--and no changes since then.

                  ??? Scratching collective heads over this one...We are keeping an eye on her, BM is still keeping a wrap on the hoof, it hasn't been soaked (since there was nothing evident on the sole), no bute has been given, and she has been out in her pasture, walking around. Today, however, she was galloping, tail in the air. (This was the report from the BM, since I wasn't out there.)

                  It has been 10 days, so I'm not sure whether this "mystery abscess is simply working its way out"--and while doing so, is temporarily not causing her any pain??, or whether it isn't actually an abscess after all?? Though I was thinking of calling the vet at the beginning of next week (if nothing had resolved), I hesitate to call the vet out for a sound horse!
                  "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                  "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
                    . . .I'm not sure whether this "mystery abscess is simply working its way out". . .
                    It could be a slow leak or something else. Perhaps you should review your protocols to make sure they are up to date.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      It could have been a bruise that resolved without abscessing. It could be an abscess that popped, and you just haven't seen/found the spot. It could, of course, be something else entirely.

                      My mare is much improved, day six or seven. She blew a spot out the heel bulb and is not galloping around, but she obviously feels much better. In my (rather limited) experience, the heel bulbs stay sore longer than if one come out the coronary band. This is maybe my 6th abscess though, so it's a small sample size.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        ...or, it could be it self-drained (it could do so with a pin-prick size hole, that you might not even detect) and relieved the pressure. Just hope it's still draining. Or it was a small pocket and is done.

                        I had one situation where we followed all protocal after it was opened by the vet - packed, soaked, wrapped for 10 days, followed by a shoe and pad (typically I call the vet for an abcess). All seemed fine, except a few months later the horse NQR. Not overtly lame -- he was a TWH and it was very hard to tell. Not really lame enough to block.

                        Sent him to Morven Park EMC looking for soft tissue or some other problem. Scan showed one HOT foot, and zeroradiograph of the foot showed that abscess had walled off above the drainage route and had made its way to his infect the coffin bone.

                        Surgery was required to go in and debride the bone, packed with antibotic beads, hospital plate. After months of my daily removing the plate, flushing with sterile water, repacking with sterile gauze, etc. he recovered.

                        In fact I was riding him the indoor within a couple of weeks of the surgery.

                        That was my first experience, after dealing with dozens of abcesses over the years, to see one head the wrong direction.

                        Not that I've ever taken abscesses lightly, that case gave me a whole new respect for how serious they can become -- even with appropriate veterinary care. This case was clearly not the norm, but worth mentioning.

                        Hope your troubles are over.
                        Last edited by sid; Mar. 10, 2013, 02:41 PM. Reason: typos
                        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
                          Update: mare is now SOUND. As of Thursday night, which was when I last checked on her--and no changes since then.

                          Glad she's ok!

                          Too bad there's no cure for contemptuous asshatedness - but there is always the ignore list.
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                            Glad she's ok!

                            Too bad there's no cure for contemptuous asshatedness - but there is always the ignore list.


                            Will update this thread if there is anything to update; I am always open to suggestions from others, and looking to improve my knowledge base--about anything and everything horse-related. This is how one learns. (Unlike some, I am POSITIVE that I do not know everything. About anything!)

                            I can only hope that it's not a bizarre situation like the one that sid related. Oy, horses! Will see HRH tomorrow, and the farrier will be out on Wed., I can ask him to check her out with hoof testers. My BM is a bit (ahem) controlling, so I have to abide by her rules, suggest things with tact/assertiveness, and just generally trust that she is doing the right things by my horses (trust but verify ); she is not particularly open to suggestion. Luckily, she is *very* experienced and competent, and has probably treated (conservatively?) 500 abscesses over the course of 30 years--I am inclined to trust her judgement on this, though the vet will be called in if things go south.
                            "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                            "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              One never knows everything with horses and veterinary care. Medicine is an art and a science, as is farriery, etc.

                              Once in awhile you get the "zebra". Better to know about those, just to have that in your information arsenal.

                              You never know when you might be looking at the obscure. NOT the the first thing to look for, but just keep in the back of the mind.

                              No stone should go unturned when it's hard to figure out, if a problem persists is not textbook...

                              There may be time on one's side with things like abscesses.

                              Not so much with other acute problems that may be a disease process that crop up with horses, so I keep the oddball things in the back of my mind and always push for investigation asap. I'm not a a "wait and see" kind of person, unless I am fully aware of what I am dealing with.

                              JSwan was wise in urging you to get a vet out BEFORE the big storm that was predicted when you first posted. If all is well great. But had it gone south and you couldn't get a vet in, you'd be kicking yourself. Lucky stuff.
                              www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                              "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                              Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                Glad she's ok!

                                Too bad there's no cure for contemptuous asshatedness - but there is always the ignore list.
                                For the sake of the horse it is better to ignore a pretentious dilettante that would respond to a challenge of their authority with ad homonym rather than substantiate a claim.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I am slightly amazed that Tom's clients call him immediately when they notice their horse is not moving soundly...

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Yeah, you'd think the super-shoers wouldn't ever have a lame horse!

                                    Oh, I love how they (rick andd tom) dig out the thesaurus as soon as someone calls them out. LOL

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Like sid, I had a horse that seemingly abscessed, recovered, and then went NQR and re-abscessed several months later. He blew out at the coronet band, halfway down the hoof, and through the toe. We had x-rayed at the first abscess (June), then to check on the healing of the second series of abscesses (September) and when he was still NQR after several more vet visits, did another series of x-rays (February)...and last week he went in for surgery to remove a sequestrum (small dead bone chip) and debride the coffin bone that both previous x-ray series had missed.

                                      It's not clear whether the abscess caused the sequestrum, or whether the sequestrum caused the series of abscesses, but I can't stress enough that what seems like a simple abscess - especially if it is tracking up - can be a sign of something nasty, so it's good to keep that in mind!
                                      life + horses
                                      beljoeor.blogspot.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Acertainsmile View Post
                                        I am slightly amazed that Tom's clients call him immediately when they notice their horse is not moving soundly...
                                        Amazing indeed, when they could instead go to the Internet and defer to the expertise and authority of posturing dilettantes?

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by pal-o-mino View Post
                                          Yeah, you'd think the super-shoers wouldn't ever have a lame horse!
                                          By your logic, one becomes a supershoer by turning away lame horses and limiting their practice to sound horses.

                                          Oh, I love how they (rick andd tom) dig out the thesaurus as soon as someone calls them out. LOL
                                          I'm so sorry that you feel offended by education and literacy.

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