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Can I just complain? It's an ABSCESS. Post 11

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  • Can I just complain? It's an ABSCESS. Post 11

    Why oh why do I always have issues with my horses?

    Gus was doing really well at his new (old) barn. He's out 24/7, now has nearly free-choice hay, and has generally been in good spirits.

    Today he seemed a bit lazy when I got on and almost immediately I figured something was off with him. You guessed it. He's lame, again.

    I thought he'd work out of it, so we worked in the field, where the ground is a bit more uneven but softer. But that was a no-go. He was off in the softer arena footing too. And off in the rock-hard jump field.

    Great. Now what the heck do I do. I know I need to (eventually) call the vet. Gus being lame is nothing new. Every spring since I've had him he's come up lame, with the exception of one year. 2007... I think. But then that fall he was REALLY lame (reinjured his stifle that time).

    So, he got a double dose of Previcox to jump start bringing that pain/inflammation down and he'll be getting 20mg of MSM for the next two weeks too (although I was already planning on upping the MSM since he's been working harder lately and I figured it couldn't hurt). He's also getting another dose of Previcox for the next two mornings.

    He was just injected with Legend at the beginning of the month (April 8th). He didn't really need it... but I figured it's been a year since he had any Legend so it wouldn't hurt. He's not had either stifle injected since Jan. '09, before that it was 5/08 for the right stifle and before that it was 3/08 for both.

    Typically the joint injections are our "cure all" and everything goes back to normal within a couple weeks. I'm just (a) broke - but who isn't (b) getting married soon (c) house shopping. Lovely combination, right?

    I will be calling the vet Monday or Tuesday, after I've got my BO/Trainer to take a look at Gus in hand to see what she thinks is up. The "BM" thought it looked like left hind but then it switched to right hind. When I was riding, it felt like the exact opposite.

    So, can I just complain to all you CoTHers? Life stinks. He was doing so good. I thought, for once - wrongly too, that perhaps he was really doing well and we wouldn't need to worry about anything. Heck, he was injection-free at the last barn but we had lots of issues there that justified moving him back to the previous barn.

    Needless to say, I just want to complain to those who understand. So thanks for listening.

    FYI - I'm 99.9% sure it's a stifle again. It always is. I just don't know if I can swing doing both stifles (to the tune of $300 plus and that's only injection one joint space per stifle) this time around.
    Last edited by appychik; Apr. 26, 2010, 07:54 PM.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog

  • #2
    Jingles for you! Horses have a way of keeping us on our toes, and draining our wallets with vet visits..
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


    • #3
      Sorry for your frustrations.... and jingles to your guy.


      • #4
        So sorry
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • #5
          I am so sorry you have these recuring troubles! I know how frustrating it can be. For me two years of rest a rehab we were almost 100% then ringbone inflammation back to a 2/5 with positive flexions. Since all therapy had failed we go to surgery which is up down up down lame at the walk, I just have to think be patient and think positive! (me the obsessive worrying every time my horse limps at the walk).

          I have followed your story and I really admire your devotion to your horses, I wish you some better luck!
          Last edited by Fharoah; Apr. 19, 2010, 01:05 PM.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone. It just bites as he's finally starting to look good again. He's probably put on a good 50+ lbs and, while shedding like crazy, he's getting some luster back to his coat. And, best yet, he's so much happier (although Gringo still isn't himself... I think he misses Gus).

            Uggh. Gotta make some lemonade now, outta all these lemons that life keeps throwing my way.
            Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
            See G2's blog


            • #7
              Ah that's frustrating! I totally hear you on that as I feel like my TB is slowly going into that mode where there is always something wrong, arg.

              I haven't had the vet look at him yet because I am moving in 3 weeks and I am probably just going to give him time off for the summer b/c I'm busy. But the hind leg thing, same. I don't know where it is, hock, stifle etc. Sometimes I just give him bute and ride! I figured he will live if we do gentle hacking until I can do everything properly

              But if the injections really help your horse, it might be worth it to cut out all the xtra stuff and just do that once? but it's hard to spend that all at once!


              • Original Poster


                So I was out at the barn yesterday to give Gus a good once over and see if I could get my trainer/BO to take a look to see what she thinks.

                Needless to say, I think we found the culprit. See the following blog post and please let me know what you think.


                We aren't sure if it's (A) an abscess bursting or (B) a puncture wound. Like I wrote in the blog, it's not sore to the touch nor is his leg warm at all. Also, there was no swelling noted. It is oozing blood, but when I did a warm compress nothing came out. He really could care less if you messed with it or not (heck, he was FALLING asleep on the cross-ties while all this was going on).

                The ground is exceptionally hard here in MN due to lack of rain and he has been getting ridden more frequently since the move a month ago. I primarily work him outside (versus our indoor arena) cause the weather has been wonderful. Footing, though, is brutual... so we've mostly been working in the field, which seems a lot softer then the surrounding arenas (grass stadium course and two sand dressage arenas).

                Any suggestions? I sent another email off to the BO/Trainer to see if she recommends calling the vet right away or waiting it out. He's only lame at the trot/canter. He's a bit "off" at the walk (you can hear it in the foot falls) but not hobbling and definitely not favoring it.

                He's on Previcox for the week too, just to be on the safe side, but I have a feeling I need to place a call into the vet for at least an exam and possible x-rays (to rule out puncture versus abscess) but any other suggestions?

                We aren't entirely sure that this is the cause for the lameness... but it explains a lot. And he is lame on the LF... NOT the hind. Thank GOD. Still stinks but I'm hoping it's just an abscess (although he's never had one before but this have been a horrible spring with NO rain).

                Oh, and can an abscess "bleed"? Meaning the fluid coming out is blood versus the nasty stuff all you crazy CoTHers love. Thanks!
                Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                See G2's blog


                • #9
                  Good luck, glad you found it was an injury. It looks like 2 punctures, could it be a snake bite? I imagine he will feel better after his next hoof trim too, those are some seriously long toes and underrun heels, which is likely to make a horse sore even if nothing else is wrong, IMO. Edited to add, I just scrolled down in your blog and saw the March 15 picture, in which he looked overdue for a trim then too. You may want to discuss with your farrier getting onto a more frequent schedule?
                  Last edited by sdlbredfan; Apr. 20, 2010, 08:40 PM. Reason: add content
                  RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by sdlbredfan View Post
                    Good luck, glad you found it was an injury. It looks like 2 punctures, could it be a snake bite? I imagine he will feel better after his next hoof trim too, those are some seriously long toes and underrun heels, which is likely to make a horse sore even if nothing else is wrong, IMO. Edited to add, I just scrolled down in your blog and saw the March 15 picture, in which he looked overdue for a trim then too. You may want to discuss with your farrier getting onto a more frequent schedule?
                    It could very well be a snake bite... never thought about that.

                    As far as hoof trims go, that's always a matter of opinion it seems. Hooves were just done at the beginning of the month. Old farrier wanted to go 10 weeks out. I prefer 6-8 MAX. New farrier has done Gus for years and has never made him foot sore except once. When she listened to the vet and chopped his toes off. Anyways, the trim works for him and while it may not be "correct", it certainly hasn't hindered him at all in the past. And, the photos I took certainly skew things a bit too.

                    Hmmm... would a snake bite cause lameness? Can that cause necrosis? or necrotic tissue? I'm definitely assuming it can cause a major infection.

                    Uggh. I suppose I should be putting a call into the vet.
                    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                    See G2's blog


                    • Original Poster

                      It's an ABSCESS!

                      Uggh. So after having the vet out today (she was out to look at another horse anyways) I found out that Gus was brewing an abscess. I guess she dug it out , but my BO soaked and wrapped it for me. I guess it was blowing out both at the sole AND the coronet band (which is what I saw a week ago).

                      Poor Gus. I'm waiting to hear back from the BO about what the vet recommends (as far as wrapping/soaking... and for how long).

                      Any recommendations though? Poor guy. The ground has just been horribly hard lately, so I suppose it no wonder why he ended up lame to begin with. But I still feel bad for him. Least I know what's wrong and it's NOT HIS STIFLE. That in itself is enough to rejoice about.

                      ETA: It also makes sense that he went from being sound to being dead lame. Literally overnight. Still. This will be my first "real" abscess... really not happy that I've had my first colic and first abscess in the same month (thank GOD it's two different horses).
                      Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                      See G2's blog