Q: My horse has an abscess that just isn’t healing well. Our veterinarian has helped to treat the hoof, but I would love your tips to see what has worked well for others. How have other horse owners worked with veterinarians and pros to successfully heal abscesses?
Cavallo President Carole Herder shares her advice….
A: We trust that your horse will heal from this with a bit of time. Abscesses are completely treatable– but they are painful for your horse in the process. It is great that you are already working with your veterinarian to help your horse heal. Be mindful that your horse is meant to move and movement will create the blood circulation necessary for healing. The problem is, a sore horse does not want to move, so get Cavallo Boots and Pads (https://www.cavallo-inc.com) on your horse as soon as you notice signs of discomfort. Then, take the steps necessary to correct the abscess.
Cavallo Boots can help. The boots are easily modified to become therapy boots by taping up the drainage holes to prevent your solution from escaping. Twenty to 30 minutes of soaking in warm salt water will help. Your horse can still move around while being treated. After the soaking, remove the boots to welcome the oxygen. Read more about using Cavallos during healing here: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/why-trek-makes-the-perfect-therapy-rehab-hoof-boot.
More Comfortable with Boots
Annalee F. from Illinois shared this success story after dealing with her horse’s abscesses. Her Cavallo Boots helped her horse stay comfortable as she worked with her trimmer and specialized lameness veterinarian to discover what was causing constant abscesses. Now, the pair are able to ride the trails with Cavallo’s Trek Boots (https://www.cavallo-inc.com/product/trek-regular-sole-hoof-boot).
“After a couple of years of riding Salina, my gaited Paso Fino, on our crushed rock trails, she developed sore feet and was having lots of abscesses,” Annalee says. “[I was told to] shoe her. During the second round of shoeing, she objected violently to the procedure, which was a first for her—I’d never seen her so adamantly refuse something before. “Trust the horse” should always be followed as she abscessed with her shoes on. They were pulled and I began researching hoof boots, vowing to never put shoes on her again.”
“A well-known barefoot trimmer came to evaluate her, and suggested pads inside the boots for extra support, which we did,” she says. “I wish I could say that her abscesses were magically healed, but even with boots for every ride, she would at times develop abscesses.”
“I finally obtained the name of another vet who specialized in lameness issues. I’m so very glad I did! She had very up-to-date imagining equipment which showed, among other things, that my horse had a very slight rotation of the cannon bone and very thin soles.”
“She recommended an endocrine test of Cushings/Insulin Resistance. Sure enough, my 24-year old mare has IR, which is not unusual for her breed. I immediately changed her feed to one with the lowest sugar content I could find. Plus, I’ve used Cavallo Trek boots for probably the last four or five years, and have been so pleased with the way they stay on, and the ease of getting them on (and off) that I recommended them to a friend for her horses.”
“I have to say that we are aging together, as I will be 80 years old this August, and she will be 25 in May. My various aches and pains have mandated shorter trail rides, but thankfully, we are still able to enjoy them.”
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The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.