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Another Month, Another Abscess…

Scottie with another abscess

So far 2024 has not been our year.

Scottie came in abscess lame towards the end of January. But over the next few days, while waiting for the farrier to come out, his lameness was very up and down. Some days he was very lame, some he wasn’t far off being sound. This combined with a bit of swelling in his lower leg made me doubt and abscess and worried it could be a tendon injury.

But I treated both. I iced his leg for the swelling and tubbed his foot in epsom salts for a possible abscess until the farrier could come out. I breathed a sigh of relief when the farrier took Scottie’s shoe off and found a tract under his pads where the abscess had been trying to drain, explaining the on and off lameness.

Within 24 hours of poulticing he looked much better and the swelling in his leg went down. So I was feeling a lot happier. We kept poulticing until we had several days of clean poultices and trotted him up. He looked sound, despite not having a shoe on his very flat foot. However, he did have the occasional sore step, I put down to standing on a bit of uneven ground.

He had his shoe put back on with his pads and extra putty to keep the tract clean. Within a few hours he was quite sore again and the swelling was starting to return to his leg. The next morning he looked a lot better again. A quick chat to the farrier and we thought he might just be a bit sore under the pad.

The farrier was due back out the following week anyway, for his usual shoeing. So we decided to play it by ear. If he was comfortable turn him out with his foot covered and tub once a day just in case there was anything left in there. First opportunity, Scottie was an absolute lunatic in the field, bombing around for at least 20 mins and I instantly regretted my decision.

He came in comfortable, and despite the leg puffing up slightly that evening, the following morning the swelling had gone down a lot and he trotted up sound. We haven’t quite got to the bottom of the lingering swelling yet. But he is sound and it is consistently going down with movement and cold hosing.

We are now trying something a bit new and taking Scottie’s pads off for the rest of the winter. It’s his first winter in this particular pad and we have now had 2 abscesses. Scottie had not had one in the 10 years I have had him before. It’s been a few days since we took his pads off and his swelling has almost completely gone now. So we are just keeping an eye on him and planning to put his pads back on in the summer, when the mud is less of a problem.

I’m still a little concerned about the on and off swelling in that leg, but I’m also fairly convinced it’s linked to the abscess. I’m just going to slowly bring him back into work and see how we get on. Hopefully that’s our last abscess for a while!

Last Updated on 09/02/2024

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