Hey, Star*(or others)...vet-ish (horse) question...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    In your vet experience, did you ever deal with any hoof abscesses and/or use ichthammol.
  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Don't know about ichty thing, but keep the hooves clipped clean and walk a lot, especially if they are in a wet/cold climate. I didn't shoe my horses in the winter as there was typically several inches of snow to walk upon. That's where infection can come in, but its more comfortable for them.

  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I think wee difficult child's new "ride" has an abscess. He came to us in need of immunizations, worming, groceries, and farrier care - It looks like, perhaps, I should have made the farrier the priority...I hope, anyway... I hope its not something worse. He's pretty much 3-legged right now...walking is out of the question til we figure out exactly what's causing this. No heat, no swelling, no tenderness to pressure, no cuts, scrapes, punctures...all I can think is abscess that we can't see yet, but he is as non-weight-bearing on it as is possible for a quadriped.
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I would have a vet out to see this boy. It is possible that he's got a 'gravel' or abcess that tunnelled up and will eventually 'point' at the coronary band in order to drain.

    Problem is that with this kind of lameness, if it is an abcess, severe damage may have been done to the interior structures of the hoof--specially the coffin bone or tendons/ligaments.

    The vet can pinpoint the cause of the lameness for you and then work with your farrier if it's an issue s/he can help with on after care. Farriers are not vets and cutting out abcesses falls into the domain of 'vet treatment'.

    The other big risk with this type of lameness is that the horse will throw his weight onto the opposing limb which puts him at a very high risk of laminitis or 'founder' in that limb.

    It's even possible that the lameness itself is caused by founder and again, that's for the vet to diagnose.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    He does have an abscess but we weren't able to drain it. But I feel better knowing that's what it is and not something more severe.

    It seems to be relatively small, tho, so we put him on antibiotics and hoping it will clear up without having to erupt. He's already walked more this morning than he has in the past 2 full days.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well - I think the first thing I would do is take the shoe off the infected hoof. Usually - depending on how deep the abscess is? You can be looking at a couple days to a month before it either pops on it's own and drains or you can pop it, drain it then pack it with antibiotics. So my experience is

    Get the shoe off.....
    Soak the bad foot for about 15 minutes in hot water (not like scalding but really warm with epsom salts and then take it out) pat try because you're going to tape parts of the hoof later.

    Put on some gloves and get the Icthamol (oh blech don't miss the smell of this gunk) and put it on the bottom of the hoof a little thick - maybe 1/4 - 1/2" thick. This stuff is like drawing salve and takes the moisture out of the hoof. Then we used baby diapers absorbent side up towards the hoof and then wrapped it with vet tape....about 1/2 a roll. Then and I know - here comes redneck horse and Nancy would love this - but Duct tape that to give it a protective cover.

    Now - you can leave this on for about 2 days. Some people will say 3, I think 2 is enough and some people will tell you you can soak the hoof with the stuff on. I don't like that - I think you run the risk of the tape coming undone and then exposing the hoof. But I think it's safe to leave the bandage on for 2 days if you can't get out there...HOWEVER - My personal belief is SOAK THE FOOT EVERY DAY for 15 minutes!!!!! VERY IMPORTANT then redress it as above. The salt is healing, the salve is drawing. And the walking gets blood circulating and pushes that abscess down and pop.

    I would take Going Norths Advice and get a vet out or get thee horse to a vet - because of staph and secondary infections etc. But if you're doing the poor mans cha cha right now - keep her on antibiotics and call the vet and ask how long once the thing pops. And ask what to pack it with once it does - and then don't forget to put the shoe back on.

    Other wise it sounds like clipity clipity clipity .....flop and not clop.

    EPSOM salts
    Rubber pan
    Latex gloves
    Vet tape
    Babydiapers (cloth throw away kind NOT plastic)
    Call vet-
    Take off shoe

    Glass of beer.....that's for you. :faint:
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Star, you crack me up.

    I did get him to the vet and all that jazz...fun stuff...but I was pretty sure it was an abcess before I dragged him in there. I have never used icthammol, but sounds like you have. Seems we have someone abcess often enough that I think I might add that stuff to my little equine medication cabinet...kinda sounds like that stuff and lime are the BOMB.

    (if it makes you feel any better, I even OWN (or at least used to) a medicine boot and prefer the diaper/duct tape method! And if Nancy wants to read something real redneck, I can post the home rememdy we use for the pony when his feeties get sore (he was previously foundered when we bought him...that even makes ME laugh, but it works!!!))
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    An awful lot of horse people went to using the disposeable diapers when they came out. Those and duct tape just work better than a soaking boot.

    I would ask your vet about pulling the shoe/shoes (it is often not a good idea to pull the shoe only on the affected foot. Some vets adivsed leaving the shoes on depending on where/how deep the abcess is.

    A lot of abcesses will tunnel to the back quarter of the coronary band or to the heel bulb itself.

    Ask your vet about putting on a bar shoe to take the strain of weight bearing off the affected part of the hoof.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Bar shoe is an EXCELLENT suggestion. ;)

    So is a pair of swimmers nose plugs for ICK...smell. LOL. :tongue: - Did I mention REEEEEEALLY good disposable gloves?

    I was telling my Mom about your situation and she said - she has a better one. I said - "Really?" (thinking I couldn't hardly get my Mom to ever even come to see me ride) and she said "tell her if she gets RID of the horse she will get rid of the abscess."

    That mom (lol) such a clever woman. :laugh:

    She applies the same logic to men.:peaceful: - I quickly checked the bottom of DF's feet. :alien:
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I like to use a bar shoe on a lot of cases of "sore feeties" like abcesses and good ol' quarter cracks.

    Shari, is your horse a thoroughbred or tB cross? Both TBs and modern quarter horses (the ones with the bulky bodies and teensy feet)

    Basically both breeds just have lousy feet, the QHs are really prone to navicular disease (arthritis of a bone in the hoof that acts like a pulley for the tendons) and TBs are very prone to having very shelly feet and very thin hoof walls.

    I can use my Arab mare that I had for many years. She did FIFTY mile competive rides routinely barefoot.

    She just had really sturdy feet (and big feet in proportion to her body size). My vet loved it. My farrier hated it as it took so long and so much effort to just do a routine foot trimming.

    on the other hand, my niece has a TB mare retired off the racetrack sound (just a bad case of the 'slows') and I swear this mare has the worse feet I've ever seen. Thin walls, flat soles, ad nauseum. She gets abcesses all the time. It's definitely a breed thing.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I read (have not tried, but read) that putting epsom salt in a disposable diaper, wrapping with duct tape, and then dousing the diaper with water a couple of times a day gives you the equivelent of frequent saoks without the hassle... kinda made sense to me, tho I haven't tried that. Tho I do have to wonder....half of my horse first aid kit consists of diapers, duct tape, and maxi pads.....strange to think about.
    This little guy is not shod. Actually, we haven't had him long and he came up lame the first day I turned him out with the other horses, but I don't really think that had much to do with this. I don't know what breed he is...this is wee difficult child's new ride that we just got...he's about a 13.2 quarter-type-ish pony. His feet are a little flat, but nothing too bad (we have worse), and he doesn't have the tiny QH feet (by the way - I HATE that...develop a 1200 pound horse and put it on toothpicks....grrr). But they were in dire need of being trimmed. I was more worried about getting weight on him and worming and vaccinations than I was trimming.
    Get rid of the horse and you also get rid of the abscess....too funny. I like your mom. I may need to apply her "men" logic to the situation, tho, because even if I get rid of THIS horse with THIS abscess, my darling husband will just drag in another...
    I have actually gone to barefoot as much as possible. I shoe the team, 'cause they are almost always on the road, but our riding horses are barefoot unless a particular situation calls for shoes. We've actually had less trouble with them keeping them barefoot than when we kept them shod. Obviously, the little founder pony gets corrective shoes as needed, etc, but for the most part, we're shoeless and love it.
    Oh, and we aren't breed specific around here. We have a little bit of everything. We are much less diverse now than a few years ago, when we had an appy and a mule and a TWH in the mix, but there's no breed loyalty around here. They tend to get dragged home according to the job they can do. lol
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    "My" very first horse was an elderly Saddlebred who despite the breed's reputation for foot and leg problems, did fine flat shod in front and barefoot in back. He had been a "park horse" for many years and you know that he'd put a lot of strain on his legs with the heavy shoes and weighted pads.

    He did fine. He was just aged to the point of being a bit too creaky in the hocks to carry a heavy rider.

    I DESPISE the popular QH. I owned one for a few years that was of the old-fashioned "working type". He actually came from a working cattle ranch. People couldn't figure out why my guy didn't have the problems with navicular and metabolic disorders that their QHs did.

    My Arab I got at a dispersal auction. She was nobly bred, had raced in Poland for a couple of years but decided that she wasn't racing anymore (simply broke from the gate at a walk, LoL).

    It turned out after she came to the US that not only did she have old scars from wire cuts, but she couldn't get pregnant.

    I outbid a meat buyer for her and IIRC I paid around 650 or so for her. She was a real "bear" to train to saddle and very timid. I had to go all the way back to long-lining her and work back up to saddle training.

    Her big problem came from the racing. She was terrified of being hit. I got her to the point where you could touch her all over without her freaking out, but I couldn't get to the point of carrying a crop while riding her.

    Outside of routine care (teeth, feet, shots, worming, etc) the only times I needed vet care were once when she got belted by another horse and cracked a splint bone, and once when she caught herself on a fence and had to have a laceration in her chest stitched up.

    She was just a wonderful horse and I still have fond memories of her.