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Chronic abcesses

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  • Chronic abcesses

    I have a boarder whose two horses have had chronic abcesses for 4 months. She had the horses on her own property and has had vets out multiple times to look at them. They cannot determine why her horses are getting abcesses. One is a 17 year old Rheinlander, the other is a 8 year old TB/Appaloosa. Both have been x-rayed, have had blood pulled, no one can figure out why they are getting the abcesses.

    They thought maybe it could be diet related so the owner had put them simply on coastal hay and just some alfalfa pellets and still they abcessed.

    She has had two vets consulting and they just can't figure it out. One suggested that perhaps it is something in her soil, hence she brought them to my barn to board. They have been here a week now.

    The horses were looking good and she rode them for a couple of days in a row and the horses seemed fine, but the next day they have abcesses again as she sees more abcess holes.

    I don't get it, the horses were not "3 legged lame" when she rode them, how could they have opened up more holes overnight and not even been lame?

    She has kept the horses' feet wrapped up continually for 4 months, she is using something that looks like magnapaste but it is green with epsom salt in it. She is covering the hooves with diapers and duct tape.

    I finally suggested to her that perhaps she is keeping the feet too soft and not ventilated and maybe that is why this keeps happening?

    Suggestions anyone? Could this have been the culprit? ...a little too much of a good thing (wrapping hooves) making it worse? The few times I have dealt with an abcess, once it opens and drains, I don't really keep it covered for more than a day or two afterwards.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch

  • #2
    I agree w/ you about the constant wrapping, I bet the hooves are soft. They probably haven't had a chance to "dry out" and harden. I would also think being so soft, that they are porous, and anything can get in. Having gotten over a 2 week abscess nightmare, the last thing I would do is keep it wrapped. I feel her pain, abscesses are the pits. Good luck


    • #3
      The abscesses she is seeing at your place, after a week, are leftovers from before the move IMHO. It could be something in her soil, I've heard that theory more than once.

      Those hooves need to harden and dry up. Once the abscess opens up, I use icthammol for a few days and then switch to Biozide. Minus the wrapping; I just slather it on. It seems to shorten the healing time for my guy at least versus the wrapping, booting, etc...
      JB-Infinity Farm


      • Original Poster

        She is going to have her soil sampled. She has a property that used to be a pig farm nearby and in heavy rains she says she worries about runoff from that property.

        She also cleared the property when she bought it; it was overgrown. I don't think black walnut grows in FL though and that was a first thought of mine - that perhaps there could be black walnut roots or decayed matter somewhere, but haven't heard of it growing here.
        Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
        Bernard M. Baruch


        • #5
          Agree with the others, she needs to stop wrapping and let their feet dry and harden. keeping them soft and then riding, all that footing gets stuck in the pourous surface creating new abcesses. She's never going to break the cycle if she keeps their feet wrapped up. Time to let them breathe.
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            How often is she trimming? I've seen more than a few folks with recurrent abscesses who were letting the horses get WAY too long. They flare, crap gets up there, they abscess.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...