Sue Roebuck
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  • Canada
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At 5:08am on July 27, 2009, Chloé Sharrocks said…
Dear Sue, thanks for your comment - I'm glad you enjoy the blog and found it interesting. Sorry for not having got back to you sooner - I've been away for a few days.

I'm afraid recurring equine foot abscesses are not something I've ever had first hand experience off. It certainly sounds as though you have a frustrating situation on your hands at the moment - the treatment you seem to be administering though is certainly what I have heard is recommended. I'm guessing you've spoken to your local vet and farrier about the matters? If it was my horse with the problem my first concern would be whether there was a problem with the way in which my farrier was shoeing my horse - perhaps the abscesses are a result of pricks with nails (although this is unlikely if the abscesses are occuring simultaneously in several feet but with a period of several weeks in between). Does your horse wear normal shoes? The reason I ask is that I remember reading an article a while ago about horses that wore pads under their shoes. They are apparantely notoriously hard to keep clean and infection-free and when this horse went lame and had heat, the farrier removed the pad to discover maggots underneath it - because you can't clean under the pad it became full of infection. Equine Cushing’s disease can also cause recurrent abscesses and therefore laminitis - but if this has happened in multiple horses and they're not displaying other classic symptoms of the disease (wavy coat and lethagy etc) then this is unlikely.

In response to your comment about soils - I don't know. I'm not a veterinarian but having had a quick search online but can't find anything that suggests a link between soil and recurrent abscess. Abscesses are obviously caused by an infection, so I would have thought that different types of soil are unlikely to have any impact - though I suppose if your soil had large amounts of bacteria that might potentially cause a problem. However, the bacteria first has to gain entry into the horse's foot - usually through a hole somewhere in the horse's hoof or foot. Maybe if your ground was particularly stoney this could mean your horses were more likely to develop small puncture wounds which have the potential to become infected. Personally though, I think this is all pretty unlikely. Perhaps your best course of action would be to speak to your vet about the general management of all of your horses and see if they can recommend a good farrier. Even if your happy with your current farrier, you could try a new one and see if all of your horses remain sound longer. Alternatively, if you really believe the pasture is at fault, could you try moving the horses temporarily (a couple of months) and seeing if the situation improves?

Sorry, I can't be much more help. Like I said, I'm not a trained veterinarian so most of my advice comes from either experience/the internet. I would certainly recommend you speak to your vet for some long term advice on how you manage the situation with all of your horses.

Thanks, Chloé
At 4:32pm on May 24, 2009, Peter & Sue Wright said…
Hi Sue
Welcome to Barnmice,




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