Recurring abscesses

This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  jeannine_verderosa 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • CommanderInChief Original Poster CommanderInChief
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 0

    My junior jumper spent half of the summer on stall rest due to abscesses that kept coming back. We’d do a full round of treatment with the vet and farrier, we’d think it was gone, then it’d show up again, sometimes in the same spot, other times in the other hoof! It’s beyond frustrating, and I hate to see him in pain. Has anyone had success making the abscess go away for GOOD?

    Leslie Leslie
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 44

    If he is having recurring abscesses there is a reason for it, and you’ll need to find out what that is in order to prevent them from recurring. What shape are his feet in, are there chips, cracks, or flaring that could provide easy entry for bacteria? What kind of environment does he live in? Are his feet picked out regularly?

    Often if it is in the same spot, it’s because the previous abscess did not drain fully, so it’s really the same one. How have you been treating them?

    www.createdbyleslie.com - handmade custom wood-burned brushes, stall signs, & portraits, etched glasses, and custom stuffed ponies

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Seems as tho when any issue comes up, I recommend dietary evaluation! But on my own behalf : )… diet, overall, has a 90% influence over….. well.. everything!

    I have a TB/Appy cross mare, now 17 yo, that would abscess on a regular basis as a younger lass. Had one bout of colic with her as well. Over the course of a few years and to try to keep her weight consistent (air fern), I decided to try to limit the amount of sugar she was getting and put her on a no added sugar diet: no cookies other than sugar-free, one carrot, she won’t eat apples. She is most consistent on TC Senior. To my surprise, her abscess action all but evaporated. She has not had one in over 8 years now. It is possible that 1) she grew out of the metabolic state that left her susceptible, and/or 2) the minimization of sugars in her diet helped. Take a closer look at the ingredients of your boy’s grains, make sure ratios of Calcium and phosphs are correct, that there is iron, selenium and biotin in proper amounts as well. A hoof supplement might be indicated here or maybe even just a good all-around vitamin.

    I treat all abscesses with a magna gel/paste slather, a couple Pampers and a boot (unless they are truly deep and stubborn, then I soak before slathering). My farrier will NOT core them out, thank you!! I have yet to see any lameness after 48 -72 hours (10 opportunities to learn and apply over 8 year span so far, 4 different horse involved, one is Lyme-related and this even works for HIM! Vet, farrier and I are assuming it is a low grade bacterial die-off pooling in his feet). The key for us here is to keep the resulting hole clean until it closes again. Vet-wrap is my all-time best friend along with duct tape and a Cavallo boot : )

    Recurring abscesses imply a metabolic or systemic involvement. I apologize for being redundant but evaluate your horse’s diet as well as the environment (always clean your hoofpick BETWEEN feet as well as after, and have a separate pick for each horse) and equipment that you use. As already mentioned, keep hooves UTD and standing areas clean.

    Good luck with this, I would be interested in hearing of how you choose to go forward with this and the results. I make only the loosest correlation between sugars and abscesses and am open to any and all info that supports or defies this theory.

    Afterthoughts: what type of ground are you jumping on, how often, how is he shod/trimmed, does he have thin soles, could this all be impact-related?

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Leslie Leslie
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 44

    I agree diet can definitely have an impact but in my experience the #1 influence of the health of your horses feet is the quality of trim he is getting. Even if the horse has the best diet he possibly could if there is white line separation or cracks that aren’t being addreessed you will have problems.

    To start, if you haven’t already, I would recommend soaking his feet in White Lightning several times. This will kill any bacteria inside the foot that you can’t get to with topical treatments. Their website says you can also use it as a preventative and soak once a month, although personally I would rather find out what’s causing them in the first place and change that.

    I also have found that abscesses seem to heal better if allowed of pop on their own rather than having the farrier dig them out.

    www.createdbyleslie.com - handmade custom wood-burned brushes, stall signs, & portraits, etched glasses, and custom stuffed ponies

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Hey Leslie, excellent point about the quality of shoe/trim! I definitely agree with you there!

    Altho, between a WL Tx , your trim and my diet, if the horse doesn’t have the DNA to start with… 😀

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    You can also try using koppertox when you clean his hooves.
    My guy used to get abcesses all the time too. I started using a biotin supplement and put him on a grain that had a high copper and zinc percentage. Plus koppertox everyday. No more abcesses.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Leslie Leslie
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 44

    Hey Leslie, excellent point about the quality of shoe/trim! I definitely agree with you there!

    Altho, between a WL Tx , your trim and my diet, if the horse doesn’t have the DNA to start with…we be SOL :D

    Also very true! 🙂

    www.createdbyleslie.com - handmade custom wood-burned brushes, stall signs, & portraits, etched glasses, and custom stuffed ponies

    rgalambos rgalambos
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Does your horse have shoes? If he doesn’t this could also be it. He might be getting something called gravel which is when the sand in the ground gets up into his feet and causes abscesses. Your farier should be able to tell if this is the cause. I live where the ground is pretty sandy and I have to keep all 4 shoes on my young horse who otherwise has beautiful, hard great feet, because without them he has nonstop abscesses, even multiple at a time.

    naturalpasture
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 61

    A proper trim will fix this for good! I know from experience.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    I’m new to this forum, so this is the first time I’ve seen this thread. My last horse, a QH gelding, had abscesses three times. He was barefoot, in a pipe corral, and he had recently started spending so much time walking along one side of the corral (our neighbors have kids and dogs he liked to watch) that all his poop collected there. I muck out twice a day, and that was usually the only area I had to clean. When he got the abscesses, he was in so much pain that I called my vet to do the honors all three times. Finally I asked him why this horse kept getting so many abscesses, and he said, “Walking around in muck.” So I cleaned his pipe corral three times a day until I sold him several months later. He was abscess-free.

    HorseyGal
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    Make sure your horse gets some good radiographs done by your vet. My horse had the same problem (recurring abscesses in a foot), but over time the abscesses became very ugly. He ended up going to the clinic for some serious foot surgery. Vet believed there was a longstanding unresolved abscess that had gone deep, causing quittor, then infecting to the bone, requiring a sequestrum removal. If this is your problem, the sooner it’s diagnosed and treated, the better. The chance of your having this is probably small (the surgeon said he sees it a few times a year in his large practice). However, when you have recurring abscesses in one foot, it’s quite possibly quittor. Read up on quittor and ask your vet about it. I suggested it to my vet at first and she almost dismissed it. Finally the surgeon confirmed my suspicions by locating the sequestrum on an x-ray.

    Also consider:
    1 – What’s the terrain like where he’s pastured?
    2 – I’d also suggest a new farrier. Ask your vet to recommend a good one. I had one farrier/”podiatrist” who over time nearly crippled both of my horses. He trimmed my one boy so extreme that he was abscessing constantly – sometimes 2 or 3 feet at a time. This was the start of our troubles.

    HorseyGal
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    I might add that an x-ray can show fluid lines, fluid pockets and pathways where the abscess may be coming up. Getting to the source can be of great help. Gravels are a myth. According to research I’ve read, it’s physiologically impossible for foreign matter to travel up into the white line. I’d say, as seems to be the general consensus here, that the trim your horse is getting is the likely culprit and a change in farrier is necessary.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Leslie, I question why you would allow your horse to suffer while you wait for the abscesses to heal on their own? My gelding had the “founder stance” every time he got one–meaning one front foot hurt so much he wasn’t willing to put weight on it expect on the very toe. In fact I thought at first that he had foundered!

    jeannine_verderosa
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    I’m assuming he is shod. If not, do it. He needs a biotin supplement and some sole hardener. Keratex hoof Gardner works awesome.

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