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Depressed about my mare

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  • Depressed about my mare

    Can someone please lift me from my funk? I have a mare that's had a deep stubborn abcess for over five weeks now. I'm getting rather depressed.

    She has good days, and like today; some bad days. She's been vetted, X-rayed and diagnosed with a deep, stubborn abcess. Soak, icthamol and wrap. Lather, rinse and repeat. No signs of progress yet. I feel like a bad Mommy because she's now sore on her fronts from being so off-balance for over a month.

    When one of my ponies feel bad, I feel bad. It's just the nature of the game, keeping horses. I wish I could just kiss it and make it feel better, but that's not how it works. Her pain is my pain despite doing everything I can to make it better.

    Thank goodness for Bute. It makes her more comfortable. But I can't sleep at night for for the worry. I jump upright in bed at 2:00am thinking "She broke her coffin bone! Sub-lax!! Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!!!!! Bone chips!! Rotation!! "

    Mostly, I'm just depressed. All the effort I've put into this mare's recovery isn't extracting any results. Pity me, villify me, be glad you aren't me. But send jingles for my mare, cos she needs 'em.
    On hoofbeats and heartbeats, your love came to me. With carrots and kisses, I now set you free.
    RIP, my beloved RootBeer (4/1973-8/2007)

  • #2
    Has she been xrayed?
    My mega super abcess treatment is icthanol (sp), wrap the whole thing in plastic so it really heats up. Can work on stubborn ones.


    • Original Poster

      Oh yes! She's been X-rayed, and I'm plastering her medial with Icky-the-Mol on gauze, followed with a diaper, followed with vet-wrap and duct tape.

      I'm very frustrated, and Vera Thorough. Thank you very kindly for your response, I appreciate it.
      On hoofbeats and heartbeats, your love came to me. With carrots and kisses, I now set you free.
      RIP, my beloved RootBeer (4/1973-8/2007)


      • #4
        I am also one of those people who "feels the pain" when one of my animals is sick or injured. When my horse broke his coffin bone, I started having bad foot problems in the same foot! The good news for you is you know what the problem is! Personally, I hate it when you can't figure out what is wrong...then the imagination really gets going! You are treating it aggressively and, most likely, it will get better (with horses there is always a small chance for disaster). Just think of what a worse place you'd be in if she was lame and no one could figure out WHY! I won't bother to tell you not to worry, that would be a waste of time. But from someone who knows about broken coffin bones, the abscess will most likley keep her from wild kicking and stupid horse behavior, making a brokin coffin bone (and many other injuries) unlikely. Keep up the good work with the Ick-thamol and she should be better soon.


        • #5
          I'm the same way- when my horse is hurt, I feel just awful. I'd so much rather it be ME that is hurt!

          But, like JoanR said, having a diagnosis is an amazing thing! I'd sell my soul for a diagnosis on my mare right now. Good luck with the abscess, hope she starts healing up soon!
          Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
          If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


          • #6
            Sorry to hear about your mare. It can be frustrating when most of your time is spent wrapping and soaking and worrying. We have a mare that abscessed for most of September through the beginning of December. We did the same thing you're doing (x-rays, soaking, wrapping) we even had drainage twice but it kept coming back. Finally broke through at the coronary band. At five weeks I was starting to get depressed. I don't even want to mention what I was thinking after ten weeks. Hopefully yours resolves soon. I'm assuming the vet couldn't open it up, it was too deep?


            • #7
              Curious...what exactly did the xrays show? My mare had an MRI that showed lots of swelling in both her feet from bruising. She had thin soles and was already in pour in pads and that time. My point is she never had an abcess from her bruising. She did have an abcess in March and you could definitely see the air pocket that it left in the foot on her xrays.


              • #8
                Jingles for your mare and for YOU during this "downtime" or waiting for "soudness". Jingle Jingle jJingle ~ AO ~ AO ~ AO ~ Always Optimistic !
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • #9
                  I'd consider having it drained....
                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                  • #10
                    just more healing advice...from experience

                    I had one that was 3 legged bad for a good week almost. There are a few things that I would alternate.

                    dmso/furizone (sp?) mix, smear all over and on coronet band, wrap in PLASTIC, then diaper, etc...

                    poultice, also wrap in plastic (put the foot into a bag) diaper, tape, etc.. and leave on 2 days...use ALOT

                    I did soak a bit also and she lived out so she had to use it which can help. Bute is good as you know too because the more then walk on it the better to get it out

                    The 2 days got my mare sound instantly

                    good luck


                    • #11
                      Just a thought!

                      Hi, I hope your horse feels better soon but I wanted to give you a heads up.

                      My mare came down with severe lamness in the RF last Sept and I treated her for an abcsecss for four weeks. We did multiple rounds of x-rays, soaking, packing, etc. The vet said they saw the gas pocket from the abscess...had the farrier come to drain it and nothing, it never blew. I have my doubts that she ever had an abscess in the first place.

                      After four weeks I took her for an MRI which showed a hairline wing fracture of the coffin bone.

                      She was on stall rest for the winter and is just coming back under saddle now.

                      I am not trying to scare you...just want to share my experience. Good Luck.


                      • #12
                        Wishing you and your girl all the best!

                        I can totally relate. My girl was diagnosed with arthritis in coffin joints last June, rehabbed very conservatively and were cleared for full work in early November. A week later my placid, slothlike mare decided to self- motivate and teara** around her field, must've come down hard on a rock. Result -- bruised low pastern, 3-6 months off, no turnout, blah blah blah. We're rehabbing now, adn things are not looking good, unable to see what else might be wrong, have injected darn near everything in the horse, and am on my last leg. Just tapped out. I feel badly because it feels as though 90% of my waking (and sleeping) thoughts surround this mare and her care.
                        So, sorry I can't offer solutions, just support. Know that others out there feel your pain, and wish you the best. Jingling like a madwoman for you and your girl.
                        My Blog: A Work In Progress


                        • #13
                          I would be getting a 2nd opinion with new radiographs. Sometimes radiographs show artifacts that aren't really there. If they are reshot, the artifact is gone. How many views did you get?


                          • Original Poster

                            The vet is coming back out on Friday. I'm going to ask for new shots if there isn't any improvement. This has just been taking too long.

                            Went down to the barn early this morning, and the mare was standing next to the fence (non-climb.) I called and called her, and she just stood there looking at me. She then gave me a nicker and I walked down to lead her to the barn. I was thinking she just didn't want her pedicure this morning. Hah! The goof-ball had clipped herself to the fence with a legstrap on her rainsheet!!!!! It's always something with this girl.......now I can tell people that she self-ties.
                            On hoofbeats and heartbeats, your love came to me. With carrots and kisses, I now set you free.
                            RIP, my beloved RootBeer (4/1973-8/2007)


                            • #15
                              LOL! reminds me of one in a herd of 6. I heard what sounded like a train and all 6 came running up to the front of their field. It's quite big and has a hill. The lead mare had a piece of round bale twine hooked to her blanket hook and hanging off it was some hay about the size of a basketball. They were so spooked and although someone could have gotten hurt I could not stop laughing. Finally is came off her blanket hook. I have sine reminded the guy who drops the bails to PLEASE take the twine off

                              Originally posted by Root Beer View Post
                              The vet is coming back out on Friday. I'm going to ask for new shots if there isn't any improvement. This has just been taking too long.

                              Went down to the barn early this morning, and the mare was standing next to the fence (non-climb.) I called and called her, and she just stood there looking at me. She then gave me a nicker and I walked down to lead her to the barn. I was thinking she just didn't want her pedicure this morning. Hah! The goof-ball had clipped herself to the fence with a legstrap on her rainsheet!!!!! It's always something with this girl.......now I can tell people that she self-ties.


                              • #16
                                Root Beer--please let us know what you learn from the vet visit! By the way, am I the only person whose family thinks they are crazy for worrying about other people's animals (even though they never even met them) and worrying about the condition of injured riders (most who I never met)?


                                • #17
                                  I can definitely sympathize; it's been 6 weeks for me. The x-rays showed a spot they thought was an abscess, but after probing around for one and coming up empty, they put him on antibiotics and decided there was no abscess. But he still isn't 100%...so frustrating. Have you tried antibiotics? They definitely have helped.Jingles for your mare!


                                  • #18
                                    Went through hell with my mare last november with an abscess in the hind end. I think we are finally done with everything from that abscess finally! We are 99.9% sure she got lamanitic in her other hind foot and just abscessed from that one this past trim. Never non weight bearing like the last one but rather found when she was being trimmed and drained as it was right there on the surface. I think we are finally 100% after the whole ordeal.

                                    She had a really stubborn subsolar abscess that took forever! She was non weight bearing on her LH for 2 weeks. We x-rayed etc etc.

                                    Finally I think soaking it and icthomal got it to bust. We also did IV antibotics. Bute was not touching her pain, but rather banamine helped her instead. I was so worried she was going to get lamanitic in her front feet as well as she was trying to stand with all her weight on the front and her whole body and muscle were trembling. It was the worse thing I have ever seen one of my horses go through. I did opt to turn her out at night as she would not lay down in her stall, but pretty much spent all night laying down outside. She hobbled there and back but movement is always helpful in getting them to pop.

                                    My farrier came out and tried to find it to drain it but no luck and didn't want to dig. She created a pad though to help her stand on the foot finally.

                                    It finally burst out the coronary band and then out the sole after that. It was freaking huge abscess!

                                    Good Luck! I feel your pain!
                                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                                    And I love to run.


                                    • #19
                                      My daughter's mare had the abcess from hell that would not clear up, despite all the treatments. Working together, the vet and the farrier decided that the only way to clear this up once and for all was to have the farrier cut away the hoof wall from coronary band to the toe, about 1-1/2 inch wide, to allow it to drain. She then had front shoes put on to stabilize the foot, was kept wrapped for a time, still got antibiotics, and was given a biotin supplement to encourage growth.

                                      It took six months to grow back the hoof, but she had been lame on and off for almost a year, so the time wasn't important. Knock on wood, she has now been fine for over a year!
                                      What you allow is what will continue.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                        I'd consider having it drained....
                                        A great idea if you have a practitioner that can do it appropriately.

                                        Unfortunately what ought to be SOP isn't part of the "standard how-to packaged" that comes with "DVM."