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Treating an abcess in the hoof...

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Sanny

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The vet when she was here. I left a message on her non-emergency line, but probably won't hear back until this evening or in the morning.

We have a mini that went so lame so fast and so bad that we were convinced something terrible had happened - fracture / broken leg / torn ligaments - I had a million scenerios running through my head. A good friend of ours looked at him yesterday and found an abcess that he was able to open up. I soaked it in Epsom Salts, packed it with cotton soaked in Betadine and then duct taped a cardboard protector over it. I did the same this morning and we had the vet out as soon as she could get here. She gave him a tetanus booster and a penicillin shot and put him on antibiotics for 10 days and told me to keep soaking it - and wrapping/protecting it for a few more days.

I didn't even think to ask about exercise and walking around outside on it- should he be stalled 24/7 until it heals? and what about conditioning and working him? He is our new "B" size driving horse and he needs to get back in shape and him and I need to learn to work together and the kids need to be driving him every day too.

OH.....even today he really wasn't limping at all and we let him loose for a bit when the vet was getting ready to leave and he ran around (tore around, actually...) like he felt great. She said once the abcess drains they start feeling better right away.

I know she will answer my Q's that I didn't think to ask..BUT....I know many of you experienced horse owners have dealt with an abcess before so I thought maybe someone could help out now.
 

Ashley

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I personally wouldnt be letting him run around until after the soaking days. WE had a weanling do this one year. Granted we had alot more problems with her because she wouldnt use her lleg at all. But you dont wanna be getting dirt and stuff in there at this point and time. It only needs to soak and kept clean for a few days. IT isnt gonna hurt him to be left unworked for that amount of time.
 

Hosscrazy

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Sounds like you're doing the right things. I cleaned Misty's abcess with Betadine, and then covered it with Neosporin. I kept it wrapped for 2 days, changing the bandages 3-4 times a day. After that, I kept it unwrapped but still cleaned it twice a day with Betadine and then Neosporin.

I did not work Misty while she had her abcess, but she had free choice to turn out if she did feel like moving around. It took almost 3 weeks for it to heal. Just keep it clean.

Sorry for the gross picture, but it may help others see what an abcess looks like.

 

Sanny

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OMG his looked nothing like that and is a tiny hole in the bottom of his foot next to the frog. OUCH.

He actually got loose by accident when he was running around and he had his foot wrapped/protected. We caught him and put him back in his stall.
 

liltnt

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the big pinto here had an abcess that was a total pain. He cut away the hoof and yes the relief on the horses face was unbelievable almost immediate.

He put ichthammol ointment , in the whole with cotton to absorb any draining liquid, vet wrap then duct tape. We didnt have to soak it at that time but soaking is good too. Two weeks later we did it all over again as the Vet said it had gone up into is leg and would probably pop out at the hair line on the hoof. We tried stall rest but the pinto is a big horse and gelding and not walking around caused his sheath to swell. So when he wanted to walk around he was allowed. Foot was to be soaked twice a day, cleaned, redressed, and taped. It eventually came out the bottom of the hoof and not in the hairline.
 

CharmedMinis

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Lots and Lots of hoof abcess experience here unfortunately.

I wouldn't let him run around until he's off the antibiotics. You can hand walk him for short periods as long as his hoof is covered.

After soaking I would pour on some betadine and then instead of packing it with betadine, pack the hoof with Ichthammol, and then wrap it up.

The Ichthammol works wonders.
 
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Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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uhg my T/B is the king of those.. he had such a bad one a couple weeks ago he had NO sole left poor guy.

I use the iodine ointment to pack it in (once it has broke or been opened up) then pack some cotton on there then a paper bag over that the size of the hoof then wrap in vet wrap and then some duct tape across the toe to keep it all on he walks around in his turn out andI let him do his thing he knows how much pain he is in . I soak and re wrap nightly after he has been out
 

Ojai Minis

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Well, I'll probably get "looks" for my treatment.
I had a paint gelding that got abcesses quite a bit. I like to use holistic stuff as much as possible.

I give a homeopathic remedy that brings it out within 1-2 days. (Usually only one if the horse is REALLY lame). And I would soak 2 times a day in Epsom salt for a couple of days. I NEVER gave antibiotics and I never layed up. Of course, I wouldn't ride him if he was lame but never stalled. He would have done worse damage to himself


Liz V.
 

Sanny

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What is "Ichthammol" and where do I get it? is it something you get from the vet? Also, can someone help with pronounciation? I don't even know how to ask for it
 
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Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

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ICK-THO (like toe) MALL

you should be able to get it at a feed /tack store it smells AWFUL

i soak first then pack with that stuff and wrap once it breaks you want to keep it VERY clean which is why i wrap
 

littlesteppers

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Well here is what our farrier said..just pack Ichthammol on it..No soaking..not to argue ..thats just what he says..


Ichthammol
 
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Marty

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QUEEN OF ABCESSES AT YOUR SERVICE:

You are doing it right Mary. Just soak the sucker good in Epsom salts or iodine, and I use stay free mini pads cut in half to pad the bottom of the sole. Then I use vet wrap. Then duck tape.

Here's the thing: Icthamol, you can get that at any drug store. It's a black drawing sauve. Picture the abcess like the best zit you ever had that needed a good busting and squeezing the puss all out till it bled. Ooh yummy.
Same thing here. The icthamol will draw out the left over pussy bloody nasty stuff, so squirt some in the hole. You want to wrap this puppy up so that he won't be getting any dirty muddy stuff inside the exposed hole. Forget about getting this guy into shape for a week to ten days. This thing hurts and needs time to grow back over itself and that takes time. Just cause he will quit being lame doesn't mean that a hole was not drilled up inside of him, so give him time. You can let him out as long as it's dry and you change your wraps accordingly.
 

Fred

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My vet won't come out if it's an abcess he tells me to deal with because I'm a

farrier. Depending on the situation I do different things. If its small or minor, yes

I will work them lightly if they are not off as it helps drain the abcess. Believe it or

not I find a lot of horses have abcesses and their owners never know because they

are not "off". I find them when I trim. Yes, soaking will help, and icthamol will

draw it and yes keep it clean. I normally cut down a big horse pad and duct tape

it on the foot. I always tell my clients to call the vet though. Linda B
 

rabbitsfizz

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Yes had them in big and small. Rabbit has just recovered from an undetected abscess right up in the foot, I only found it when I pared him!! Well, the remains of it. He had been lame off and on for nearly a year but both I and the Vet put it down to age- at his age you have to expect it!! I had him on painkillers- the "no-Bute" kind- and Cortaflex and he picked up slowly- of course he did as it grew down it stopped hurting-Duh!! I would not pack anything into an abscess, especially one with a small opening, it can be pulled up into the wound as easily as it can draw stuff out. Gravity will do most of the work for you. A filly with an abscess I had, I never stalled her either, I had her up and cut to find it- it was quite deep but drained well, then cleaned it all out well and opened it up as much as I could, then artificial Gamgee across the bottom soaked in Green Oils and then more Gamgee (stuff you pad big horses legs with) cut darts in it, folded it round the hoof, held it in place with parcel tape, which is easier to handle when arguing with a yearling!! Then duct tape to make a hoof boot. The first day I did stall her but she was so cross she paced all night and her bed was filthy so that was not going to work. I cut the boot off with one cut down the front, re-dressed the foot and reapplied the boot securing it tightly with duct tape. Once I was sure it was drained and clean I only took it off once a week. I took it off completely after three weeks. She was just fine, BUT it was not muddy at all- I was lucky there. Once the abscess was drained she was sound and I let her do what she liked exercise wise. I do not think I would have been happy with "forced" exercise like round penning, though, you could miss a slight dip that says "it's hurting" and do a lot of harm- free running they will stop when thay want.
 

whitney

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My palomino pinto mare had an abcess. I caught it early, she was just slightly gimpy, called the vet out. He had me soak it in epsom salts and hot water (as hot as I could stand it) twice a day (20 min) for 3 days. Never did break through. That was the last time I let my farrier take sole off that mare.
 

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