Wednesday, August 5, 2015

...And Then I Popped an Abscess!

Yes, I still have a lot of catching up to do on this blog (there's still a long overdue show recap, for one) so this post will be out of order chronologically since it's just from this past weekend.

Disclaimer: If you're squeamish at the site of blood you may want to scroll quick past the second picture in this post.

Baby's first hoof wrap.
Everything has been a whirlwind lately since my husband and I closed on a house a week and a half ago and spent the next four days painting everything and moving in. There was next to no barn time during that period since we were obviously quite focused on getting everything done in the new house and moving ourselves out of our apartment. I finally got the opportunity for a little barn time on Friday so I went after work with the intention of grooming and at least lunging Maggie since she had had a week off. 

I gave her a nice curry, a brushing, and then picked out three hooves and was picking out the fourth...and then I popped and abscess.

I didn't know it was an abscess at the time, though. Maggie was completely weight bearing on all four limbs and walked out of her stall totally normally. But as I dug into the collateral groove of her left front hoof she jerked her leg out of my hand.


Here's where you want to start scrolling quick if you don't like blood.

When I picked it up again to see what was matter here is what I saw: 

Obviously my immediate reaction to this sight was, "OH GOD I'VE KILLED MY HORSE SHE IS GOING TO BLEED OUT OF HER HOOF AND DIE SHIT WHAT HAVE I DONE." Completely rational, of course.
My second reaction was, "It's ok...I think...I'll hose it out and see what going on and then I can freak out accordingly."

My third reaction was to take the above picture.

Fortunately the bleeding seemed to stem itself pretty quickly since Maggie didn't leave a trail of bloody hoof prints down the aisle as I led her outside to the hose. She was also still walking completely normally with no sign of lameness. 

I picked up her foot to cold hose it a bit and when all the blood was washed out I found this: 

Indeed, it appeared that I punctured the outside of her frog with my hoof pick. Mind you, I don't have a very sharp pick; just a standard one like this:

So that spot on her hoof must have been super soft. After cold hosing, I soaked a ball of cotton in betadine, packed it in the groove, and wrapped the hoof.

"What dis??"
I was able to get a hold of my farrier, who I have a great relationship with and have worked with for a long time - I know he's not a vet, but I trust him with any and all issues with my horse's feet. He said it sounded like I hit an existing bruise or abcess and thought what I did with the Betadine and hoof wrap sounded good for now. Fortunately, I already had him scheduled to come out on Sunday morning for a trim.

When he removed the wrap on Sunday (I had re-betadined and re-wrapped it Saturday and it looked mostly the same as Friday after the incident, but with no fresh blood) we found a little puss on the previously betadine-soaked piece of cotton and he said it definitely looked like I had popped an abscess that was brewing. So...good for me? 

It seemed to be draining/ have drained well, so my farrier didn't think continuing to wrap it would be necessary. I just applied a little more betadine and some Alusheild and stuck Maggie back into her stall where she continued to munch her breakfast with delight. 

So instead of riding my horse this weekend I continued to unpack stuff into the new house. I guess it works out. I'm getting seriously antsy about getting some saddle time soon though, but I'm going to keep letting Maggie take it easy for the next couple days. She had still been completely sound, but I certainly wouldn't want to push it and risk bruising her sole while it's still soft. 

Maybe I'll actually have some time to catch up with blogging.

So, anyone had something like this happen to them before? It totally took me by surprise!


  1. I'm going to call you Maggie, DVM! Hehehe

    1. My farrier thinks I should start marketing my magical abscess-finding hoof pick lol

  2. This was super gross and amazing and I'm so glad you shared!!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed! Love me some super gross stuff, but more so when it's not my horse...

  3. um wow i'd probably flip my lid if that happened to me! what a dramatic rupture!! (and also kinda cool haha)

  4. I would have totally had the same first reaction: I've killed my own horse. Puncture wound to the frog. Congrats on the new home!

  5. I would have totally had the same first reaction: I've killed my own horse. Puncture wound to the frog. Congrats on the new home!

  6. I would have totally had the same first reaction: I've killed my own horse. Puncture wound to the frog. Congrats on the new home!