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Treating an abscess: after it has blownout

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  • Treating an abscess: after it has blownout

    How to you treat an abscess after it has blownout?
    I was planning on soaking it for the next few days with Epson salts and flushing the cavity.
    Do you boot your horse's hoof after an abscess has blown? My horse's abscess occurred on the bulb of the heal and extends into the heel (all near the coronet). It sort of looks like the 1st image from this post (http://forums.horsecity.com/index.ph...topic=47067004), but not as long.

    Things to consider:
    My horse lives outdoors in Canada, in the snow at the moment, which means that his hooves are always moist.
    He has good feet overall, but has low heels (TB). I am concerned that an infection will set in where his abscess has blown out.
    Tetanus is UTD.

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    I would soak the first day after the blowout. I'd put antibiotic ointment on it and keep it wrapped for the first few days.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
      I would soak the first day after the blowout. I'd put antibiotic ointment on it and keep it wrapped for the first few days.
      Thanks for replying! How would you wrap it?


      • #4
        Put a few gauze pads over the opening and the antiobitic cream. Then put a toddler-size diaper over the whole foot. The butt part goes on the heels, so the leg openings are to the sides. Pull it snug around the fetlock and close the tape fasteners. Then, take a roll of vetwrap and wrap over it- being careful not to wrap tightly over skin- only over hoof. Finally, cover the whole thing in strips of duct tape- especially thick at the toe. I've had these last up to 48 hours- although you should expect to change it daily.


        • Original Poster

          Thank you so much for all the info you provided!
          Did you turn your horse out with his hoof wrapped? If so, in what kind of conditions?


          • #6
            Yes, I've turned out in a wrap. I'd avoid ice (because you are removing some traction) and deep mud (which will suck the wrap off), but as long as you get it on well it should stay on in most normal conditions.


            • #7
              If you can get some Animalintex, it would be even better as it already has everything in it so no need to put ointments of any sort into the hoof (which sometimes can be difficult specially because you can never get it all the way into the abscess).


              • #8
                I had to deal with the abscesses from hell this winter. And to top it off it was horribly muddy. I couldn't keep a wrap on no matter how hard I tried; so I ended up using a boot for turnout and that worked fine. You might be ok with a strong wrap if you've got snow. dunno.

                I used an Animalintex pad with some magnapaste. I used that on the sole of the hoof; then vet wrapped around that, using a figure 8 to get the entire sole and hoof. Then I did the same figure 8 with duct tape; keeping just under the coronet band.

                Usually that will work just fine but not this time because of the mud and slippery conditions. It was just too wet. So after he lost the wraps I put an Animalintex pad in the bottom of a Davis boot, poured a bit of iodine on the pad, then slapped that sucker on the hoof. I vet wrapped over that to help keep water out and since the vet wrap was neon orange or pink I could see if he still had it on when I looked out my kitchen window.

                That worked best - the foot stayed clean and pretty dry and the horse trotted on it soundly. Some people have problems with heel rubs on those boots but I didn't.

                You'll figure out what works best for your conditions. Basically you'll want to keep it clean, dry, and disinfected. You might want something that will keep drawing the abscess. (magnapaste is awesome). Animallintex is also great for this sort of thing.

                I've used a bit of old carpet as a base for a vetwrap/duct tape pad - using an Animalintex pad with the carpet over that. But if it's really wet out that wouldn't have worked. But in dry conditions an old piece of carpet works pretty well.

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


                • #9
                  Old carpet bits...genius!

                  I do the diaper/vetwrap/duct tape wraps when I need to, and the toe of the wrap ALWAYS wears out after 8 hours (or less, but I know when I get home the toe is aleady worn through so...)

                  I'm going to try the carpet piece next time to see if that will keep it tougher longer!
                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                  • #10
                    You can just get cheap carpet remnants. I once bought carpet samples at the dollar store of all places. Put the burlap side down towards the ground and the pile should go towards the sole.

                    The diapers and whatnot works too - it's only that the thick burlap backing seems to take wear better, especially on hard ground. It doesn't seem to hold as much water as a diaper - though diapers are very convenient too.

                    You can still use a poultice or pad and medication if you need to keep drawing or medicate the sole. Duct tape/vetwrap as usual.
                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                    -Rudyard Kipling


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you all so much for coming to the rescue!
                      I think I will definitely go out to the tack shop to buy a hoof boot in order to give the wrap a chance in my climate.

                      Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                      I couldn't keep a wrap on no matter how hard I tried; so I ended up using a boot for turnout and that worked fine.
                      Was your boot a bit bigger in order to acomodate the wrap? I was looking at this boot and was wondering if I should size up...


                      • #12
                        The horse is a size 4; and the boot was a size 4. It was a snug fit. This was a Davis boot - the one with the blue top and black bottom (sorry I can't remember the exact name because I borrowed it from a friend.)

                        Initially I was concerned about heel rubs, but I did have room for the animalintex pad on the bottom, and a bit of cotton in the back. To get it on, I warmed it a little so the rubber was more pliable. The cotton worked itself out so I stopped using it and he didn't develop rubs at all.

                        Using just a low boot was an abject failure. It looked perfect but there was no way to get it tight enough that the horse didn't walk out of it. The Davis boot comes up higher and was easier to secure.

                        Good luck.

                        ETA - I looked at your link. I think that might work. The boot I started out with looked like the bottom part of the boot pictured. It needed something higher up to secure it. that might work.

                        The only caution I have is that I have seen people riding in similar boots and when they came off at the hoof - but the velcro was still secure - the horse panicked at the flapping and bolted with the rider. So you might still want to ducttape/vet wrap around the hoof itself (staying away from the coronet band)

                        That's just a thought - I have no direct experience with that boot.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          If you decide to go with duct tape for any reason for the "space boot", use Gorilla Tape instead. Much stronger than Duct tape. My mare could keep her for a few days and I still had a hard time removing it!!
                          Good luck. I'd prefer he is in the snow than in the mud, so in a way, you are lucky right now.


                          • #14
                            I agaree with the Animalintex pad, and wrapping, but once everything has drained you will need to start to toughen things back up. We had a few horses at the track with abcesses, on the bulb of the heel and another on the sole. I had very good luck with dabbing just a touch of Reducine on the bulb (after trying various other things). Toughened it right up to where you could press hard and not get a reaction in a matter of days.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks JSwan, I turned my horse out with a davis boot and everything seems to be holding up.

                              After the abscess has drained, what kind of care to the affected area do you recommend? I'm worried about an infection setting in since it should take quite a bit of time before everything closes up.


                              • #16
                                My horse blew an abscess out her heel bulb, this was in the summer though
                                I soaked a couple times to make sure it was completely drained then just focused on keeping the hole clean so it could heal. I tried wrapping it, used vet wrap, duct tape, boots, but nothing stayed on for any length of time (she was turned out as normal)
                                After a couple days I gave up on wrapping and just cleaned the hole twice a day with listerine.
                                And when the peeling off part of the heel started to grow out I had the farrier trim it off and clean things up, it looked just like that picture


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by envoke View Post
                                  Thanks JSwan, I turned my horse out with a davis boot and everything seems to be holding up.

                                  After the abscess has drained, what kind of care to the affected area do you recommend? I'm worried about an infection setting in since it should take quite a bit of time before everything closes up.
                                  I've dealt with a couple of abscesses with my horse, one of them huge, on the sole of his foot. We cut a diaper to fit his foot, vet wrapped it on, and then put a snug-fitting boot on over that. A boot will protect the foot if it's still tender. The more the horse moves around the faster the foot will heal. We didn't use any other medications or treatments. To keep the foot dry in the boot, use something like Bond's Medicated Powder. Desitin on the heel bulbs will help with any rubbing.