NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Abcess.  (Read 925 times)

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Abcess.
« on: November 22, 2018, 02:49:34 pm »
My old shetland mare is being treated for an abcess in her off fore. This has been going on for a few weeks now. She is on bute. Vet did try to dig it out but no luck and this week my blacksmith had a go. He thinks it must be deep rooted.  Vet did poltice the foot and I am soaking her hoof in a bucket with epson salts. Still no sign of anything. I have put on another poltice this afternoon. She is 23 and never been lame in her life. Anyone any experience of this problem. should I asked vet to x-ray her foot to see if its another problem. I feel its going on far too long but neither vet or blacksmith seem that concerned.

PhilW

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • North Lincolnshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 03:36:05 pm »
Hi Sabrina, Our Irish D x TB mare had an abscess near hind and that took 8 weeks to clear up. We soaked in Epsom salts and poulticed twice a day for the 8 weeks. We also had the farrier cut a hole in the hoof and we used peroxide (needs to be strong not the 3% or 6% normally at the chemist, ours was from a hairdresser) and iodine once it started to come out. It eventually came out of the coronet band and bottom of the hoof. Hope this helps.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 04:22:40 pm »
Thanks for getting back to me. I  will just keep doing the same then.

fsmnutter

  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 06:35:36 pm »
Also worth getting the vet to do bloods to check for Cushings, can commonly cause particularly bad or recurrent abscesses.
Hope you get her sorted out

PhilW

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • North Lincolnshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2018, 08:05:40 pm »
Yes forgot to mention our horse has cushings.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2018, 08:29:14 am »
One of the RDA ponies has spent the whole summer nursing her abcess.  First diagnosed, hole cut and poulticed for a week and she went sound.  Less than 3 weeks later and it was back, farrier cut and drained, poulticed and went sound.  At her last farrier trim there was a dark shadow which he tried to cut out and there was an abcess full of thick gunk.  Syringed out with salt water and he could not detect the bottom of the hole with a nail!  A week of poulticing and now it is cleaned out for sure, the farrier has put shoes on her fronts and packed the hole to keep dirt out.  She was not lame when the farrier started to trim.


bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 09:19:38 am »
How lame is she? Is she in on box rest or turned out?

An abcess will need time to build up enough pressure to burst out, the longest I've waited is around 3 weeks. If the horse is on box rest and not putting any weight on it it can draw the whole process out.

I would poultice give bute and leave turned out 24/7 and hope it pops. If she's been non weight bearing for some time or its not getting any better or worse, I think x-ray would be a good idea, just to make sure its not an infection somewhere else in the foot

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2018, 12:13:53 pm »
Many years ago I'd an old horse with recurrent abscesses (before I took all mine barefoot). 

In a case where the abscess is deep, you sometimes need to wait for it to come out at the coronary band rather than the sole.  It's awful to watch as they're horribly lame in the meantime.  Keep going with the Epsom salts and hot water as it will increase the blood flow to the area and improve the circulation which helps with getting the pus moving in the right direction and also softens the coronary band for the eventual eruption.  If the farrier hasn't found anything by digging about from the bottom of the foot then the chances are it's not coming out that way.  It can take 6-8 weeks to come through the coronary band and another 4-8 weeks to heal thereafter. 

If you find it's a recurrent problem, you need to look at dietary supplementation - specifically biotin, methionine and zinc.  There used to be a product BioMethZ which was good - I think it's been rebranded to something unpronounceable now.  You can also look at the new Cornucrescine feed supplement (I think it's part of a 4 step plan).  I've only used it once but was impressed with the results.  Cornucrescine paste on the coronary band after the abscess comes out also aids healing and I agree with the other advice on iodine and packing any holes with cotton wool etc once the abscess is fully drained to prevent reinfection.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2018, 12:47:36 pm »
Sunshine is turned out during the day wearing a boot on the infected foot. I will just keep up with the treatment for now and see how she does. Walking sound with the boot on. More than happy enough to stand for 10mins at a time in a bucket .

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2018, 05:47:30 pm »
Walking sound with the boot on.

In that case are you sure it's an abscess rather than a bruised sole or frog?  I've never seen a horse with an abscess lame without a boot and sound in it - and that's in 40 years of horsemanship.  If the horse is sound, my thought would be that the boot is protecting the sole and keeping it on for a couple of weeks should promote sufficient healing to then go without, but in that case softening the sole with soaking could do more harm than good as she's likely to bruise again once the boot comes off.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2018, 04:33:13 pm »
In that case are you sure it's an abscess rather than a bruised sole or frog?  I've never seen a horse with an abscess lame without a boot and sound in it - and that's in 40 years of horsemanship. 

I agree, if its been weeks and the horse is only slightly lame and sound in a boot it really doesn't sound like an abscess to me. My initial thoughts are a bruise, but wouldn't your farrier of seen that? Is your vet a specialist horse vet? It could be so many different things.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 12:24:32 pm »
In that case are you sure it's an abscess rather than a bruised sole or frog?  I've never seen a horse with an abscess lame without a boot and sound in it - and that's in 40 years of horsemanship. 

I agree, if its been weeks and the horse is only slightly lame and sound in a boot it really doesn't sound like an abscess to me. My initial thoughts are a bruise, but wouldn't your farrier of seen that? Is your vet a specialist horse vet? It could be so many different things.

It's possible the farrier caused the bruise digging about looking for an abscess - not condemning the farrier but sometimes it's difficult to tell if the sole is sensitive.  Softening the sole will not help in that case.  You need to ensure the frog is large and spongy not contracted and take it from there but after a couple of weeks the bruise should heal and the animal should be sound after a couple of days without the boot (they can always be a bit footy initially).  Another possibility, depending on "how" the horse is moving/what grade of lameness and when it's most pronounced is something like navicular syndrome.  That's going to be a longer term issue and unless things have moved on dramatically will need the vet to do an x-ray with a mobile unit and play-doh to show up.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 05:13:23 pm »
Vet was back again today, this is the 3rd vet and he is as confused as I am. She got down this morning and did not want to  get up. Did not eat. He did all the checks she has had before. Used the pincher things on the hoof no response but he went and picked up the hoof on the other side she struggled to put any weight on the sore hoof. he thought her shoulder on that side was bothering her but not 100 % sure. He gave her a pain killing injection and I have to up her bute from a half to a whole packet in the morning and see how she does . She did eat hay this afternoon when I took her son in to keep her company. I mentioned that I wondered if the hoof could have been punctured at some point and damaged done but he did not seem to think this was the case. Anyway if she does not improve then x-ray will be next.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 07:44:52 pm »
Vet was back again today, this is the 3rd vet and he is as confused as I am. She got down this morning and did not want to  get up. Did not eat. He did all the checks she has had before. Used the pincher things on the hoof no response but he went and picked up the hoof on the other side she struggled to put any weight on the sore hoof. he thought her shoulder on that side was bothering her but not 100 % sure. He gave her a pain killing injection and I have to up her bute from a half to a whole packet in the morning and see how she does . She did eat hay this afternoon when I took her son in to keep her company. I mentioned that I wondered if the hoof could have been punctured at some point and damaged done but he did not seem to think this was the case. Anyway if she does not improve then x-ray will be next.

Is your vet an equine specialist? He seems very vauge in his diagnosis and its a bit of a leap from an foot abcess to a shoulder problem? Or have you seen 3 different vets from the same practice?

I hope you manage to get to the bottom of it soon, ill horses really get me down, especially when you don't know what it is and can't help :(

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Abcess.
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 09:50:48 pm »
Do you have any video of her moving from the past little while during the time she's been lame?  Maybe some of us could give you an idea of where she's lame if we can see her moving.  If he can't tell if it's shoulder or hoof then frankly I'm wondering if he knows much about horses as the lameness is completely different!!!  Where is he thinking of x-raying if he's not sure where the problem is?  Has he done flexion tests?  Is she better/worse in a straight line or on tight circles?  Better moving left or right?  Have you checked her on soggy ground for tracking up and pressure inner/outer front/back?  Has he tapped the outside of her hoof as well as using callipers on the sole?  Is there any puffiness in tendons around pastern and cannon?  Any signs of splints?  Has he pulled her leg to assess shoulder movement?

You said before that she was sound with the boot on but lame without it.  Now you're saying she doesn't want to get up.  Is she standing normally or could it be laminitis? - which would make her sore on all legs but potentially worse on the one the farrier's been digging about at. 

You may want to try an equine physio if your vet isn't much use... They can only work on referral from the vet, but you may be able to get an opinion on where the lameness is coming from which could help the vet.  Not sure exactly where you're based but going by your monica, I can recommend Ceri Godney CS Animal Hydro and Physiotherapy who's based out of Neath.  You can find her on FB https://www.facebook.com/csanimalhydroandphysio/?ref=br_rs  UPDATE: Sorry, just realised I was looking at BJ_Cardiff's Carmarthen address not Sabrina's!  I doubt Ceri will cover that far!

Fingers crossed you can get to the bottom of the problem quickly and then get her the right treatment. 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 09:44:57 am by Scarlet.Dragon »
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

 

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