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StarquoMax21

Bruising? Abscess? Need Help

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Hello,

I have had awful luck with my mare in the past year. Last year at this time, she had an abscess blow out of her hoof wall that left almost a 2 inch split. Got that healed up finally. My vet told me beginning of spring when the grass is lush to put a grazing muzzle on her. She is an easy keeper and a big girl, so shaving some weight off her is a good thing. She also has a cresty neck which she's never had before. She didn't founder though, vet did a thorough exam. Now on to this year.. I had her trimmed about 4 weeks ago. The split from the abscess had grown out, so he nipped it off. I leave her barefoot because I don't ride as much as I used too. She was fine, but ended up sore a few days after. Took her about a week or so to come out of it. After that, she was sound, running around, bucking, no signs of lameness. Took the muzzle off around mid July. Out of the blue a few days ago, she starts limping bad again on the same hoof (her front left). I cleaned it out, scraped with a brush, but nothing was in it that would have caused that much pain. She has very tender soles, and I noticed she has a bad case of thrush, which I'm dealing with also. She is at my parents house and I only make it down once, sometimes twice a week so it's hard to keep up on everything, and my landlord won't let me bring her to our house so I can keep a better eye on her. I haven't rode her, she's just been out in the field when this happened. Not sure if she bruised it, or if it's another abscess coming on? I'm at a loss with her. She's a good horse, and I don't want to give up on her, it's just tough dealing with this every time I turn around. I have never had any problems with her up until the last year! Waiting to call the vet, because I want to see if she comes out of it like she did last time. Debating whether to leave her out, or to stall her. Vet said last time it was best to leave her out so she could move around. Having a hard time finding a good reliable farrier too. The guy I was using got a full time job and doesn't have time to do it anymore. Like I said, it's been one thing after another. Any ideas or suggestions of what it could be, or what I should do?

Edited by StarquoMax21

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It could be a bruise, and/or an abscess brewing. Or it could be laminitis or all three. Since you had just taken her out of the grazing muzzle, I would suspect it's pasture laminitis. If she isn't being ridden regularly, and is overweight and cresty, she probably needs to be back in the muzzle or in a drylot with hay. She also needs to be treated for the thrush. That could be contributing to the problem.

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Should I stall her on soft bedding for a few days? or should I leave her out so she can move around? I'm hoping its just a stone bruise. I started using Listerine and the dawn dish soap remedies for thrush, hoping that helps too! Poor girl hasn't had a good year.. Just want to get her healed up so she's sound and so I can start riding her again. Once the thrush is gone, thought about putting shoes on the front with hoof packing for extra sole protection.

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It could be a bruise, and/or an abscess brewing. Or it could be laminitis or all three. Since you had just taken her out of the grazing muzzle, I would suspect it's pasture laminitis. If she isn't being ridden regularly, and is overweight and cresty, she probably needs to be back in the muzzle or in a drylot with hay. She also needs to be treated for the thrush. That could be contributing to the problem.

I agree with this. Thin sensitive soles are often a result of low grade laminitis, causing distal decent, which in turn leads to being prone to sole bruising, which can progress to an abscess. Thrush also is often a complication of not only wet conditions, but loss of total hoof health, through things like laminitis

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jubal, I can't get the link to work

I cleaned and scrubbed her hoof last night, and wrapped it with a gel pad on the bottom. The gel pad is infused with tea tree oil and a couple other medicines. She walked a lot better with the support. I noticed a little heat coming from her coronary band, and she was a kind of swollen in her fetlock. Put the grazing muzzle back on and turned her back out.

Edited by StarquoMax21

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When you get this horse's hoof(hooves) healed up, and she is walking normally, I'd try using Keratex sole hardener. I use it on my horse and it is a great product. You can apply it couple times a week when you get down to see your horse. :smileywavey:

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The link shows up when I quote only part of a post. An abscess will cause a noticeable digital pulse in that leg. On the other hand, laminitis will cause it to be noticeable in both legs.

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She does have a noticeable pulse in that leg. I could barely find a pulse on the other one. So I guess I should prepare myself for another abscess :indifferent: If I'm lucky, maybe a deep bruise. Once I get things healed up, I thought about corrective trimming and shoeing. Have been looking into the glue on Easyshoes, or something similar. Also, pads to protect her soles. What do you think? I'm looking into everything possible to prevent this from happening again. I'm not made of money, but I will do what it takes to make her better and put my mind at ease.

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If you go the shoing route, I would shoe her with not just a pad, but support shoing, using one of the Vettec products

Better to keep her barefoot, using hoof boots and pads and regular corrective trimming, so you not just cover up the problem, as with shoing with pads, but help her to grow a heathier foot with sole thickness and concavity

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I have someone coming tomorrow to trim her and take a look at that hoof. Hoping to get some answers, and good news. Say a prayer for us! Someone scared me earlier and mentioned possible navicular?

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Nothing you've described sounds like navicular. My horse had several abscesses in the year after he foundered. I couldn't have treated them if he'd had pads on. Once he started limping, I wrapped his hoof with Icthamol all over the sole, a layer of baby diaper, and then duct tape to hold it on. The abscess usually drained after two or three days and then he was sound again. You also could soak the foot in warm water and Epsom salt for about 20 minutes, but only do it once. I think wrapping helps the abscess drain through the sole instead of the coronary band.

I'd ask the farrier not to trim his sole.

Edited by jubal

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I didn't think it was navicular either, but it still scared me thinking about it. I went down last night to check on her. She was walking a lot better. I took the wrap off, soaked it then rewrapped it. I took a good look at her hoof, and a big piece of the frog was flopping around? It's so hard to get a good reliable farrier where I live. This guy that is coming tonight is amish, so I'm hoping he does a good job and knows what to do to get her back on track.

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Well no farrier tonight. Something came up and he couldn't make it. Rescheduled for Wednesday. Fingers crossed for more progress though! Thanks for all the advice so far :)

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If she is overweight and having problems with abscesses, then I suspect the problem is metabolic. Abscesses are part of the navicular picture. Think of them as warning signs. The diet needs to be balanced and she needs to move. She needs to get off the grass. July is about the only safe month for such horses in a year, sometime not even that. The sugar in the grass goes up and down the stem with the sun. The cooler nights sees the sugar trapped in the stem and staying high around the clock. Everything, plant and animal is going "winter is coming, I must prepare." Fall can be just as dangerous as spring. So, keep that muzzle on at all costs, or dry lot. If she is out all day with the muzzle on, she will need 2% of her body weight in hay each night to compensate. Gravel also will help her, around the water trough, loafing areas, gateways, on her chosen paths. It will help with spitting out thrush with its good drainage and self-trim and toughen up the hoof. Setting up slow feeders so that she rotates on them, with a gravel path between them will have her doing her homework during your absence. I would try to get there those 2x/week to treat the thrush until its under control. In the meantime, no grass, no sugar, no starch, no treats, no dead grass, no added iron. Hay, water, minerals and movement instead. You're going to have to be a mean Mom and simplify the diet right down. The goal is to get rid of that crest and slim her down. Consider that crest as fatty deposits laden with cytokines that will push the button for inflammation at the drop of a hat. That crest is feeding this problem and she needs to lose it.

It would be much better with pics, but I can try to describe what you should see when you lift that hoof. The white line, which runs around the edge of the sole should be 1/8th of an inch wide all the way around. If its wider at the toe, then imbalance is causing torque on it and stretching it there. If its wider all the way around, not yellow, but darker and looking mad, then its metabolic. When you pick up the hoof and look at the white line, you're just seeing the ground end of the white line. If you cup your hand over the whole hoof wall, up to the coronary band, there's the actual extend of the whole white line involved. When the white line becomes inflammed, it lets go of the bone and the bone sinks lower in the hoof. The ground conditions are only part of the problem with this situation. The horse's descending weight is a bigger factor. Every time she takes a step, the bone comes down on the inside of the sole causing inflammation that causes bone changes as well. Its one thing for Murphy's Law to rule with that one bad step out there, but a low bone on thin sole is Murphy's Law happening with every step on the inside, regardless of the ground. If you put a ruler across the hoof from 9-3 and measure down from there to the bottom of the groove beside the apex and get less than 1/2", then she needs protection. The bone will not remediate and the damage is permanent, so its important. The padding also prevents abscesses that set you back from good hoof form and comfort for months, as you've found out. The wrapping and padding brings some worries though, in your absence, but the gravel is going to provide a more maintenance-free way to reach your goals, of keeping thrush at bay and toughening up the hoof and self trimming the hoof to the way she wants it.

There can be the situation of more devastation and damage done when a horse gets into the oat bin and founders, but P3 can also slowly descend in the hoof over the summer to end up on the edge of the cliff of founder. Just one incident of a glucose rise can push the horse over the edge. I once told someone, don't you dare open that gate and let the horses get out in that field or there will be trouble, well she did and they did get into trouble, within 24 hours. So, if your parents see her without her muzzle on, they must get it found and put back on immediately. Some bright electrical tape on it, or something, will help it being found out there. She will still need to be dry lotted at night and made to eat hay and if she's getting too much grass through the muzzle and her weight not getting anywhere, then tape up the hole in the muzzle and get the vet in for a thyroid test. (simple blood test, not costly treatment) Its the more movement part that is what will start the improvement. A mini pasture paradise set up in her night time enclosure....slow feeders hung around the perimeter of it with a gravelled path between them.....perfect. :smilie:

When you get there for your visit, leave the dirt in her feet and go for a walk for move movement. If you can work your way up to 10 minutes of trotting, the more power to you. Then go and treat the thrush. The powdered form of minerals kept free choice in a dry place is best. The blocks don't cut it. She'd have to lick her tongue off to get what she needs. You may find she pigs out on it at first due to her needs, but it will settle down. You can also feed her a dose of minerals right from your hand when you are there, just to make sure she gets them. Not only will the minerals help spit out thrush, but protects the wall and its waxes and oils, but also strengthens connective tissue for a stronger hoof as well.

I'm trying to imagine what I would do in your situation. Hope this helps....

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Well, surprise surprise. The Amish guy came out to trim her hooves, and he found an abscess. It was very hard to see, but he has a keen eye. He trailed it and it started to drain. I wrapped her hoof, and she is doing much better. He is coming back in a week or so to check her progress. I was pleased with him! Very knowledgeable. She's still in a grazing muzzle, and will be for awhile. The only dry lot I have is a pen in the barn. She's getting low starch pellets and a couple supplements, plus minerals and hay. I don't have any pics of the hoof. If I remember when I'm down there, I will try to get some.

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I hope she's had a tetanus vaccination. If not, she needs one pronto. Glad you know for sure why she was lame and now you know what to watch for and how to avoid laminitis.

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Just on another note, you said she is a bit tender-footed... I'd try Durasole to try and thicken her soles. Used it for a while on my very sensitive-soled mare and it worked very well, but I quit using it due to not needing it as much since I didn't ride her without hoof boots...

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