Suspected abcess help please

Cliqmo

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Hello. As title, I suspect my horse has an abcess in his foot, am I best to call out the farrier or the vet?

The brief history is that he went really lame a month ago, was seen by the vet who diagnosed thrush in near fore and detected faint digital pulse in same fetlock
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He was seen the following week by the farrier who advised that the thrush is likely to be a red herring and suggested it might be an abcess, in which case it will come out of its own accord.

Still lame last week so seen by different vet (I moved yards and calling out the same vet was not feasible, but new vet has been given the history) New vet thought either soft tissue/ligament pain in his shoulder or ligament issue in his foot. She gave him an anti-inflammatory, advised me to keep him quiet for a week and said it will be nerve blocks and x rays if he doesn't come sound.

Had Mctimoney (back lady) out today who confirmed definitely nothing muscular/tissue related in his shoulder/back and reiterated farriers first suggestion that it is foot related and that it is probably an abcess. His feet grow very slowly (he is barefoot and they get trimmed every 3mths) so it could still be an abcess that hasn't broken out.

Do I call the vet and get them to run full diagnostics or do I call out the farrier and ask him to rummage for an abcess??
NB horse is NOT insured to cover vets fees
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Cookies for getting this far and any advice MUCH appreciated. Ali.
 

kit279

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A month is a little long for an abscess - I'd have expected it to have burst by now. Excuse me if I'm asking the obvious - have you been poulticing/hot tubbing to draw it out?
 

mis_max

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When my broodmare had an abcess I thought she had broken her back she was that lame, I didn't know how we were going to get her the 100 yds from field to stable. She had not shown the slightest sign prior to me going to catch her on that evening.

The vet was able to feel and find digital pulse, used paring knife until he found abcess and opened it then lameness was magically "cured" so her pain must have been completely relieved but we continued to treat and dress to prevent infection.

I would have thought a month long abcess was unlikely compared to this experience but maybe?
 

Cliqmo

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[ QUOTE ]
A month is a little long for an abscess - I'd have expected it to have burst by now. Excuse me if I'm asking the obvious - have you been poulticing/hot tubbing to draw it out?

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Kit279, thanks for the question. Short answer is no
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because orginally his feet were very wet and muddy (hence the thrush I assume) and so I concentrated on getting rid of the thrush and drying his feet out and now there doesn't seem to be any puncture point or wound to draw from
**edited to say that I have looked up abcess treatments online and will start doing this immediately**

Also I treated the thrush with alamycin spray (antibacterial) so could this have caused the abcess to recess into the foot without actually being strong enough to treat it.
 

legaldancer

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One of mine had an abcess that niggled away for ages, before the vet finally dug around & drained it. It must have taken around 3 weeks for it to have come to a head.
I'm sure this won't be the case with yours, but I had another horse who presented with symptoms that were like an abcess, but the vet couldn't find anything. They then thought it could be in his shoulder. Horse got more & more lame over 3 weeks before he was on 3 legs, hopping lame. It turned out that he had a septic infection in his sesamoid bone & had to be PTS. X-rays didn't show this either, it was only when he went to Equine Hospital that they found it & then it took a while (hours rather than days).

Don't panic, but get it checked out thoroughly.
 

Tnavas

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Definately an abscess - ask your farrier to rumage around and see if he can open it up. Be ready with some hot water, animalintex, a disposable nappy and duct tape to poultice the wound till it's clean.

Some abscess's can brew for months, flaring up with the difference in weather - wet weather flares them up again. One of my youngsters had one for about a year, you'd spot him in the paddock turn and go sore but look sound after, finally I had him X rayed as he went very lame and I had seen him kicked on the knee (coincident) when nothing showed on the X ray the vet took one of his foot, there sitting just behind the coronary band was the abscess - I poulticed it and it blew a couple of days later.

A quick way to tell if lameness is low down or up high is to lunge the horse. If lame low down then the horse goes lamer on the inside leg (more weight on inside makes injury feel worse), if high up the horse goes lamer on the outside leg, outside of horse has to reach further on a circle.
 

cyearsley

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Tricky one....my horse went lame last January only 1-2/10 for about 4 weeks, had three farriers look at him (grabbed one each time they came to yard) two vets saw him, was xrayed which were clear....vet recommended a five day course of bute as one last ditch attempt before MRI (we were now approaching 8 weeks)....buted up and end of week 6 was chased by a dog round his field and went hopping lame, farrier came to shoe and check sudden change and .....an abscess....7 weeks!!! The foot squelched when he squeezed it and still my horse harly reacted! My wonderful farrier dug out the foot, we poulticed for a few days, shoe back on and bingo! It is a tricky one as mine was not hopping lame for 7 weeks (some are tougher than others and have a high pain threshold) no obvious raised digital pulse either......hope this gives you some positive vibes. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

Cliqmo

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[ QUOTE ]
It is a tricky one as mine was not hopping lame for 7 weeks (some are tougher than others and have a high pain threshold) no obvious raised digital pulse either

[/ QUOTE ]

Same! Some days he seems perfectly sound, then just occasionally he will go to turn (always when turning left left so weight onto near fore) and he has a real *ouch* sort of wince. When he is lame it is a huge pronounced head movement, which seems completely at odds with being intermittent?!
 
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