Recurrent abscess burst through coronet

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20 May 2015
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My young horse is having a hell of a ride with abscesses. He's had this one in his back foot, caused by a hoof split in the autumn, since early Dec. It burst out through the coronet band and I poulticed it with animalintex/hoof boot and it seemed to heal okay. Boot off. Then last week he was hopping lame on it again, neither vet nor farrier thought it was an abscess for some reason (? Poss because hoof sole not sensitive?) I poulticed it anyway, sure enough a day later it's burst back through the coronet half a cm above the last one. So back to animalintex and boot and desperately trying to keep it mud free. As you can imagine the coronet band is now looking REALLY grim... A load of black shit came out in the poultice yesterday but no heat or swelling in the leg and he's not lame.

I'm sick of vet recommending I keep him in and administering antibiotics. He becomes dangerous if kept in for more than a day simply because he's a big young horse who isn't very lame and gets very frustrated being kept from the herd, and I've read that antibiotics are pretty pointless for abscesses.
What should I do? Plug on with trying to keep it clean/dry and poulticed or just give in and let nature take its course?
 

Orangehorse

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My horse has had a few abscesses over the years. The last one came out through the coronet, a first for me. It was also going on for a long time.

I had been poulticing without much result for about a week and a lame horse, so I called the vet and she
did give antibiotics, despite having "the chat." She said it would concentrate the infection and, giver her her due, that is what happened. My farrier came and cut a wedge shape at the bottom of the hoof, and I kept poulticing and I have never had so much stuff come out of an abscess from both ends!It had been tracking up the hoof wall.
He was out all the time with a poultice and a hoof boot on top - but it was summer time.
 

Surbie

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Is keeping in to keep it clean? Are there any alternatives you can talk to your YO about?

Before my horse was mine, he had a recurrent abcess & subsequent recovery journey that lasted 8-9 months. The yard eventually rigged up a hard-standing patio with an open stable so he could have movement without muck, and that was an absolute godsend. He had a little old pony for company, and that helped keep him sane - the previous months he too became dangerous to handle, seemed a bit better, was turned out, got the abcess back.

Have you had the foot x-rayed? Mine's abcess tracked horizontally into the foot and seemed to retain some of whatever was causing the infection. He ended up having a partial resection and he recovered fully.
 

Amymay

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If it’s been going on for several weeks, yes I’d have thought it would be useful. I’d also want the horse moving around.
 

Petalpoos

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One of my horses had a lot of abscesses over the years, including one that came out of the coronet. I never kept her in though as I don’t think standing still is ever good for horses and I think the moving around seems to help the abscesses ‘mature’ I used to wrap the hoof up in a nappy, with vetwrap and duct tape, then put on a Shires poultice boot, the hard blue type. I used them over many years and found they always worked well and kept the foot dry. However, I was also fortunate to be able to build a large dry paddock with a field shelter which she was able to wander around in when the mud was really grim. I hope it heals up soon.
 

nutjob

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A friends horse had a tiny bit of metal in his hoof when an abscess went on and on. It had burst but it wouldn't heal up. It's worth having an xray if it's not straightforward.
 
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Yes he's out with animalintex/vetwrap/tape or hoof boot depending on how long the hoof boot lasts! I had his front feet X rayed recently for his front abscess and the output was rather disappointing which makes me loath to pay for another one but I guess no news is good news.
What's the implication, do you think, if I stop bothering with the poultice and just leave him out in the mud?
 

ihatework

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Yes he's out with animalintex/vetwrap/tape or hoof boot depending on how long the hoof boot lasts! I had his front feet X rayed recently for his front abscess and the output was rather disappointing which makes me loath to pay for another one but I guess no news is good news.
What's the implication, do you think, if I stop bothering with the poultice and just leave him out in the mud?
It’s one of those where hindsight is a marvellous thing!

With a coronet burst, the pus is generally fighting against gravity, so you can find you don’t get it fully drained and it rumbles on until it finds another escape route.

Generally accesses do better I find if you can keep the horse moving. However I’d probably avoid winging it if at all possible and keep foot wrapped.

I ended up with a nightmare last year with a rumbling abscess on a 2yo. It eventually tracked out of the coronet, destabilising and cracking the foot. We managed it from the field for the best part of 5 months, initially by standard poultice/wraps/boots, then plating and casting the resulting crack. Before admitting defeat and doing 4 months barn rest 🙄

But in all my years, that is the only problematic abscess I have owned (although have seen a couple of other similar).
 

Gloi

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A friends horse had a tiny bit of metal in his hoof when an abscess went on and on. It had burst but it wouldn't heal up. It's worth having an xray if it's not straightforward.
The same thing happened to mine . I found out when the pus pushed a bit of wire out of his frog. He'd not been right for weeks but the vet had just been giving Bute and antibiotics.
 

sarahann1

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Speaking as someone who’s got a horse who’s been stuck on the abscess merry go round for the best part of 3yrs and is now approx £10k poorer for the experience. X-ray X-ray X-ray….keep poulticing, keep in touch with your farrier and keep it as clean as you possibly can. Even if you think it’s sorted, bandage for another 2-3 weeks after to give the hoof horn time to heal in a cleaner environment. If there is any sort of cavity, some iodine on a swab jammed into it will help reduce the risk of debris getting into it.
 

Surbie

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What's the implication, do you think, if I stop bothering with the poultice and just leave him out in the mud?
Personally I wouldn't. You can't keep it clean, and you'll likely have reinfection.

Mine ended up living with iodine gauze in his foot for 8 weeks, changed 2x day, hot soaked, poulticed etc. It was a lot. Then patio rehab while the foot grew out of the resection as it was then winter and very muddy.

I hadn't appreciated how long it would take for the hoof to fully recover. 3 years on, his white line is almost normal again, it was massively distorted for the first 18-24 months after the resection.
 

Amymay

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Whew. Thanks for the advice. X ray discovered an entire horseshoe nail buried in his frog, cue emergency hospital trip but looks like the nail may well have been there for bloody ages and it hadn't quite reached the tendon so bursa is ok. Bloody hell!
😱😱😱

Thanks for updating. Wishing him a speedy recovery x
 
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