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Bulge in hoof wall?

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  • Bulge in hoof wall?

    A little background--

    My farrier and I both got busy, and mare was about 10 days past her 'due date' for shoes (on a 6-week schedule) by the time he got out last Thursday. Her feet still looked great up until Tuesday, when I noticed on her right hind a slight bulge in the hoof wall (midway up, on the outer side) that had a tiny horizontal crack in the middle. I figured maybe an abscess had come through, but thought it odd that mare had never seemed lame. She's had one abscess before, several years ago, in the same foot. It was very typical and came through the sole after being slightly off for a few days.

    Farrier came Thursday for shoes, and when he looked it over he couldn't say for sure, but it seemed pretty superficial, mare was happy, and farrier felt that mare's feet were better-balanced than ever. (He's a great farrier, if not quite the easiest to schedule with.) We shrugged it off and moved on. By the next day, the bulge seemed to have flattened out.

    Saturday morning, mare was wanting to lay down and picking at her food a bit. I figured a little colic was coming on, gave her some banamine, and after a few hours she seemed happy.

    I brought her up to lunge her last night (Sunday), and she was pretty hesistant on the lead line. On the lunge, she was a little pokier than normal, but zero sign of lameness. I figured maye she still just wasn't feeling 100%.

    Today she's seemed happy all day, grazing with her pony and happily eating. Brought her in for a light ride and she was once again pokey on the lead. I checked all her feet and there's another bulge on her right hind. It's midway up the foot again, but on the front of the hoof. No crack this time (yet). There's no heat, nothing seems sensitive to my touch. I got on her for about five minutes just walking around the pasture, and she did feel a bit off in that foot this time. No visual signs of lameness, just enough to barely feel it.

    So... do you suppose I'm just dealing with abscesses? Two in the same foot a week apart, both coming through the wall? Something bigger? Mare's feet have been crappy in the distant past, before I bought her 6 years ago, but farrier and I have both been especially happy with how they've been looking lately. We both took some time off for babies, and we're just really starting to hit a groove again. I hate to have crap start popping up now.

  • #2
    Hoof testers?


    • #3
      As above poster asked, did your farrier try hoof testers? Just soak the foot 2 times per day in pretty warm water and epsom salts. It will help bring out the abscess if there is one. If an abscess comes out continue soaking but add betadine to help with the infection.


      • Original Poster

        No, he didn't try the hoof testers... at the time he was here, the first little spot on her hoof was a few days old, and she hadn't shown even the slightest signs of discomfort... we didn't stress over it too much, though I wish I'd had him check since the next bulge popped up a few days later. I've been soaking since I discovere dit, and while nothing has come through yet, she's starting to act a lot more comfortable on it. I'll keep soaking. If she starts seeming gimpy again and no obvious abscess breaks out int he next few days, we'll head tot he vet. Thanks for the help.


        • #5
          My gelding had vertical bulges on his lateralnhoof wall of both front feet. They were fine for years then he developed a vertical crack that went all the way through the coronet band. Although I knew he was slightly pidgin toed, I never put the two together. Fast forward 1 year and a lot of corrective shoeing, they are almost grown out. When I first posted the pictures many thought it was a blown out abbess. It was strain on the lateral hoof wall from being pidgin toed. Just a thought.
          "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope