Monday, February 6, 2023

as the abscess drains

Happy Monday, y'all. Brace yourself for... a lot of pictures of kinda the same thing, from one day to the next. Not too many words, tho. 

can't remember if i told you -- but charlie finally upgraded from his hand-me-down heavy blanket. we went with schneiders
In case any readers haven't figured it out by now... The frequency of posts here on Ye Olde Blogge is directly proportional to the volume of photos snapped from day to day lol. 

apparently it's normal for the discharge to be gray / blackish
Naturally, as an obsessive documentarian.... I snap a shit ton of photos in the process of treating an injury or healing a wound.... So. You're welcome?

still gross, tho
This weekend was an interesting period in treatment, too, and one I'll hopefully NOT end up happy to have photographed for reference later if things go badly lol.... #ButJustInCase....

finished with the soaking protocol on friday
Basically, refer back to the actual professional veterinarian** notes posted here

(**Reminder for anybody who needs to hear this: professional veterinarians generally follow a standard procedure. They take a history of the animal, with any related context and background. Then they perform an actual friggin examination of the animal. From this, they formulate specific recommendations*** and courses of treatment that may or may not be adapted and evolved from day to day based on consultations and updates with the client.)

(***Professional recommendations are almost never based on a single data point --- that's why professionals do the whole "history" thing. Anybody offering advice or recommendations who has not bothered to even read available history -- and furthermore, anybody providing that unsolicited advice for free -- is *not* a professional!) 
introduced the first of two topical antibiotics -- squirted some oxytet in there
also a nice array of all the wrap supplies: lattice patchwork of duct tape strips for the wrap's sole; rolled gauze; vetwrap; the animalintex patch is in the packaging; extra duct tape; and the outer shell (top left)
First few days of treatment involved a soaking protocol, before switching to Phase 2: topical antibiotics. 

outer shell going strong
My poor vet, lol, I text her every day to double check each detail. Like... Seriously lol. Friday night I was asking about stopping the soaking given the continuing extent of drainage.

exploring the barn aisle for #enrichment
She wasn't worried about it, tho, esp considering prolonged soaking has its own consequences. Tho she did suggest squirting some oxytet into the bandage earlier than originally planned, just to be safe. 

and playing stall door halter tag <3
tommy is no iggy, but he's been featured here and here
I feel a little badly for Charlie -- he definitely seemed to enjoy his foot baths... so I kinda feel like I'm depriving him of a favorite spa treatment... 

saturday update: my steam breathing dragon got his hour in the sunshine <3 <3
Good news on that front! The horse is feeling so well right now (plus the ground froze solid, yay no mud!) that he can get some time loose under the sun in one of our little paddocks!

first day of not soaking, and introducing the full antibiotic protocol
He's honestly not a great paddock pony bc.... well. He weaves at the gate like a friggin nutjob. #counterproductive

still active drainage
But an hour out once or twice a day seems pretty tolerable to him, provided the wrap is in good enough shape for it and the mud isn't too bad. And his increased level of activity meant I could ditch the standing wraps and he hasn't stocked up again. 

also, i wonder if that section to the left of the hole is an early indication of how the sole with slough off? 
Turnout will be an evolving topic over the next week anyway. I expect it won't be a moment too soon, too. Bc.... Well... Sore Charlie in a stall?? Behaves like a pitiful pet. Healthy Charlie in a stall? Well... Lol, he acts a bit more like a caged wild animal... 

part 1 of the topical antibiotic protocol: 5 crushed metronidazole pills
We basically just need to get through this tricky bit of having such a giant exposed hole in his foot... Which is where the drugs come in. My vet has a new protocol for mega abscesses: topically applying a slurry of oxytetracycline and metronidazole. 

part ii of the slurry: a squirt of oxytetracycline. i think i'm using too much fluid here, should be more paste-y and less flow-y
I'd never seen this before until actually just a few weeks ago, when another mare at our farm had a significant abscess that was slow to resolve.  

good 'nuff, tho --- now go do your thing!
Granted she was a decidedly psychotic patient (compared to saintly Charlie)... but whatever the case, it seemed to work for her. So hopefully it'll work for Charlie too!

24hrs later, with some residue, maybe from the metro??
We are also continuing with bandaging with animalintex pads for the next few days too, even tho we aren't soaking any more. Mostly bc of the drainage. 

still with the drainage, tho notably less dark #stillgross
Tho my vet actually seems pretty ambivalent about the poultice pads. She likes them, but feels like there are probably other things better worth the cost. Like elastikon.  

are you tired of this yet?? bc i am!! lol
(fun fact: if you stare at this pic long enough, you can convince yourself the fluid is bubbling up vs sinking under, the whole concave vs convex situation -- try it!!!)
In my case, tho, I bought a huge stockpile of animalintex like... years ago, and am kinda eager to just use it up. So she said to go to town!

once i get the duct tape patch secured on the bottom of his hoof, it's easy to just build up the duct tape long the walls into the finished product
The next few days include more of the same: treating with the antibiotic slurry, little drips and drabs of semi-supervised (and short) turnout for Charlie (ground conditions allowing), and wrapping up the hoof up like a freakin fortress, complete with that same disposable shell that's doing it's job admirably. 

Phase 3 is coming soon too -- wherein we'll turn the horse out out. Naturally, with a stronger, more reinforced outer boot. Stay tuned. If you're into that sorta thing, obvi. 


  1. Hopeful that the ground holds up! We're about to get more rain here so we're going to have some super bored horses

    1. aw poor guys! hopefully it doesn't last long!

  2. Hope you're all better soon, Charlie!

    1. not gonna lie, i have no earthly clue on how long it's gonna take for him to grow a new sole lol

  3. What the heck man! Abscesses can be the absolute worst ugh. Fingers crossed for fast healing... and growth.

    1. he got a rock stuck in his shoe and bruised the foot pretty badly, thus the giant abscess

  4. That is a good-sized hole! All the better to allow goop to drain, I guess.
    Keratex makes a hoof putty that you can stick in the hole to close it up, but you have to make sure everything has drained and it's starting to heal up first. The tin isn't all that expensive and will last forever (for most horses -maybe not Charlie though!).
    Fingers crossed it continues to heal nicely!

    1. So we actually do not expect this hole to close up. Bc of the size and location of the abscess (uh, his whole foot), my vet believes his sole will eventually completely detach from the rest of his foot and slough off, as a new sole regrows underneath (sorta like losing a toenail). Aka a “false sole” situation. There’s a link above to her full assessment and recommended treatment plan.

  5. I continue to root for a speedy recovery for Charlie. It is encouraging to see a dedicated owner who wants the best for her horse. Abscess care is not for the faint of heart, for sure. Nice new blanket, by the way!

    1. Thanks so far I’m really happy with this blanket - it’s very cozy and he seems comfortable in it!

  6. Wow, that is some abscess! Best wishes for a speedy recovery! (And you're going to be Super Expert at hoof wraps by the time that happens.)

    1. ha -- it will be charlie's most impressive accomplishment yet, getting me to do a half decent hoof wrap LOL! really tho, my wraps are just fine for a stalled horse, or for an hour in a paddock. but i'm gonna slap on a proper hoof boot when it's time for the horse to get some real turnout.....

  7. Wow. That is one for the books.

  8. Wowowowow. The metronidazole slurry is FASCINATING. The whole drainage situation continues to astound me. What troopers you both are.

  9. I've never seen that antibiotic protocol either, but it makes really good sense! I hope this thing finishes draining soon and you can get this behind you sooner than later.
    I feel you on the constant hoof wrapping evolution. I've been fortunate my last two lengthy episodes were on tiny pony feet. It's a real task with full size feet!


Thanks for leaving a comment! You may need to enable third party cookies in your browser settings if you have trouble using this form.