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Why would my farrier say this?

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  • Why would my farrier say this?

    I've taken care of a lot of horses over the years and dealt with my share of abscesses. The farriers I have had in the past have dealt with them by locating them and then draining them, and that usually takes care of the problem. Over the weekend my horse came in with what I suspected was an abscess. I soaked in epsom salts and wrapped his foot and then called my farrier to see if he could come out. He told me there wasn't much he could do, that it just had to run its course. Huh?? After another 2 calls I have convinced him to come out tomorrow but he is still saying he won't be able to do anything. I don't see the point in letting this horse stand around until it resolves itself...why on earth would an experienced farrier think an abscess should run its course?

  • #2
    I think I'd find myself a new farrier! That's unbelievable!
    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

    Comment


    • #3
      sometimes you can't find it. Better to not dig around then.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        LMH- But why not at least SEE if it can be located? The farrier I used when I lived up north was able to get them probably 99% of the time. He always told me never to call a vet out for an abscess because they would start digging around and make matters worse.

        This guy has done good work for me so far; he has found abscesses in the past other farriers couldn't see. This just really seems out of character for him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Before calling my farrier out, I'd probably give it several days, assuming the horse wasn't uncomfortable to the point of really being in trouble. IME 99% of them DO eventually work their way up and out (or down and out) and cutting away to "get at" them can leave a big hole and make a mess of the foot.

          It is also entirely possible he's quite busy and has a tight schedule, and has had an abscess "blow" on more than one occasion before he's gotten there, making the trip unnecessary.

          If a shoe MUST come off, and I can't do it myself, or if a shoe MUST go on (no way do I do that) then I'll call my farrier and ask him to make an emergency trip. Beyond that, I try really hard not to. He lives 40 miles away, has a full time job in addition to his farriery work, and a family and a farm.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            My filly had a a nasty abscess a couple years ago and the vet had me just soak it out. She didn't want to go digging in the hoof. It blew out the coronary band and the sole, but had apparently gone sub solar and she lost the outside heel part of her sole, which really freaked me out, when I found that the sole was coming off, leaving this nasty cavern under it. A phone call to my farrier calmed me down (on a Sunday, no less). It took a long time to heal and she still has a "scar" on her sole where she lost the sole. Fortunately, she has a lot of heel (and good feet), so the heel itself never collapsed.

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            • #7
              I have ALWAYS been told to drain an abscess. I lived in abscess country (the PNW) for about 18 years and we always drained them, soaked them in epsom salt water and used a syringe to flush them with iodine daily or sometimes even twice a day. My farrier was super good with finding them. A pair of hoof testers, a hoof knife and about 30 seconds with the foot in question and he had them drained and ready for treatment, with no damage to the hoof.

              My understanding is that if you don't relieve the pressure it will get worse and pop out around the coronary band which can be a problem I was told.
              "Be the change you want to see in the world."
              ~Mahatma Gandhi

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              • #8
                Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                why on earth would an experienced farrier think an abscess should run its course?
                Because unless there is a DVM after his name, he doesn't want to practice veterinary medicine without a license. And I commend him for that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  abcesses

                  I never call my farrier to dig out an abcess. I call him and give him a heads up as to which horse had one and we may want to think about putting shoes on but thats it. If one of mine gets an abcess I soak them in epsom salts and warm water twice a day and pack them with either Icthamol (my first choice) or a sugar-dine mix. That has always dragged it back down and out in no longer than a day and a half, and they can go right back to work.
                  Windy Meadows Farm
                  http://www.windymeadowsfarmcny.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                    LMH- But why not at least SEE if it can be located? The farrier I used when I lived up north was able to get them probably 99% of the time. He always told me never to call a vet out for an abscess because they would start digging around and make matters worse.
                    IMNTBCHO, Really bad advice
                    This guy has done good work for me so far; he has found abscesses in the past other farriers couldn't see. This just really seems out of character for him.
                    If, during the course of normal hoof prep, an abscess starts to leak, then the farrier can make sure it is open enough to drain properly. Going on a digging expedition to find the holy grail(abscess) is outside the purview of the farrier.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by besttwtbever View Post
                      My understanding is that if you don't relieve the pressure it will get worse and pop out around the coronary band which can be a problem I was told.
                      You were told wrong. I would much prefer to have an abscess vent at the coronary level than through the sole. The healing is much better and you don't have to deal with the problems attendant to an abscess venting or being vented through the sole.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                        Because unless there is a DVM after his name, he doesn't want to practice veterinary medicine without a license. And I commend him for that.
                        I can't accept that answer because this same farrier has found them and drained them in the past. This is the first time he has ever said something like this.

                        And just for the record, I have never called him before for anything other than a scheduled appointment. There is a reason I need this fixed now if at all possible or I wouldn't have bothered him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For a weird abcess story, I had a young horse who injured his coronet band. He came up for feeding one day and looked like he had a crusty lump of mud there. Horse was in no pain so the following week went his feet were getting done, my farrier told me it was an injury and that hoof growth there was going to be compromised.

                          And lo and behold that thing was growing out ugly, but then he got an abcess which popped out where this injury had been about 6 months later. It was actually really nasty which resulted in him having to stay in and be handgrazed for about 2 weeks. But I'll never forget my farrier saying, don't worry it's a good thing, that foot will grow out normal now. And lo and behold it sure did. It took a good 7-8months to get all the way down, but there you go. Very strange indeed.

                          And for the record we soak an abcess and if the farrier is coming for other horses, he will have a look at it but usually it will have popped by then. I wouldn't ask him to come for one horse with an abcess as he doesn't charge for call outs and the soaking does the job. And for the record he doesn't like rooting around and digging to dig. Most of the the one's we've had have been very minor and very near the surface when he arrives anyway.

                          Terri
                          COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                          "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                            I can't accept that answer because this same farrier has found them and drained them in the past. This is the first time he has ever said something like this.

                            And just for the record, I have never called him before for anything other than a scheduled appointment. There is a reason I need this fixed now if at all possible or I wouldn't have bothered him.
                            I am confused. Have you called this farrier to hunt for an abscess before or haven't you?
                            Like someone already said, if he happens to find one while doing normal hoof trimming/prep then that is different than him going on a hunt for one.

                            I have dealt with far more abscesses than I ever care to deal with and 98% of the time they do resolve without any digging and making huge holes in the sole by simply soaking and packing.

                            On the rare occasion one does not express on its own after a couple of days I will call the vet.


                            BTW - what is the reason you must have this resolved right now?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LMH View Post
                              sometimes you can't find it. Better to not dig around then.
                              Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                              Because unless there is a DVM after his name, he doesn't want to practice veterinary medicine without a license. And I commend him for that.
                              Originally posted by Martha Drum
                              ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                                IMNTBCHO
                                Translation, please??:
                                april
                                Equine Retirement at
                                www.StonyRidgeFarm.webs.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                                  I can't accept that answer because this same farrier has found them and drained them in the past. This is the first time he has ever said something like this.
                                  Perhaps he finally figured out that practicing veterinary medicine without a license could be really bad for his personal and financial health.
                                  And just for the record, I have never called him before for anything other than a scheduled appointment.
                                  So? What does that have to do with the question/situation at hand?
                                  There is a reason I need this fixed now if at all possible or I wouldn't have bothered him.
                                  And what might that reason be? Horse show? Trail ride? Potential buyer? Regardless, if you need it done, call your vet. At least s/he can legally perform the procedure. Of course, if s/he picks the wrong spot to dig, you'll probably have bigger/worse problems than you have now.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Why have you had so many farriers? Do you move a lot? Find a good one and stick with him.

                                    My farriers (plural only because of barn moves and old farrier cutting back, so 2 farriers, not including the one I had for many years who is dead now)
                                    and my vets (plural because vet hospital has multiple vets) say soak,, ichthammol and wrap, etc. Usually one good soaking or two causes the abscess to drain.

                                    I do know the "old" farrier has had to dig out a few really complicated abscesses elsewhere, but he is the expert and works with the vets.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by equusus View Post
                                      Translation, please??:
                                      In My Never To Be Called Humble Opinion

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There is really only one valid reason to have an abscess resolved right now...if the horse is obviously hurting and lame. If that's the case, get your vet and farrier out at the same time.

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