Sunday, August 15, 2010


What a roller coaster of emotions I've had the past couple of days.

Yesterday I was very testy and tightly wound due to my frustration at getting Ollie better. He was limping around so pathetically it broke my heart! I think he knew I was trying to help him. He was a rock star about soaking his hoof. He'd stand for almost an hour with his hoof in a bucket of epsom salt water.

I had a chiropractor out on Friday and he mentioned that Ollie's check ligament was sore as was his knee on his front right. We all felt that came from the compensation for the sore hoof. But the frustration came because there was no heat and no swelling. We were just guessing!

Last night while he was soaking I made plans to take him to Michigan State University's vet school!

My vet doesn't have any ultrasound equipment - no vet up in this area does unless we travel a couple of hours. I kept referencing my lameness book which seemed to clearly indicate to me that we had an abscess. But that abscess wouldn't show up! So I was doubting myself. I was wondering if I was treating the right thing Could I do more? All I was doing were twice a day epsom salt soaks.

Last night I had a hint of things to come. After soaking for about 45 minutes, Ollie had swelling in the coronet band and heat. This was a first. This even gave me some relief.

Then finally this morning! It broke! And like a teenager with pimples, I was squeezing away to get the puss to come out. I know, that's gross but it's true. I wanted all that gunk out of there. The abscess must have broken between 9 and 10am. The barn owner gave the boys their hay outdoors and didn't see anything. In fact, they remarked at how lame Ollie was. I arrived around 10 and went out to the paddock to check on Ollie's hoof. I saw the dark spot and saw the drainage mark on the hoof. I let out a cheer! He was even walking better.

Ollie had a noticeable swelling in the coronet band and up the leg to about his knee but now we know the cause. Now we know he is going to recover just fine. Now I can really relax!

Don't worry, I'm still going to do the epsom salt soaks, followed by a betadine wash and cover it with SWAT.

But now I think the worse is over and I'll get my old Ollie back. PHEW!



Here is a link to a picture of the broken open abscess.


  1. I think ALL the equine vets within 60 miles of here (and there are a LOT) have ultrasound machines! Not as many have the digital x-ray set-up and focused extracorporeal shock wave unit, but I know my husband is not the only one with them. I guess I didn't realize we are so crowded with technology here.

    Anyway, SO glad Ollie is on the mend! Abscesses are wonderful; no other severe lameness cause clears up so quickly and easily!

  2. Thank goodness!! It's always so stressful when they're lame but you can't quite pinpoint why. I know I always imagine it's just the most awful thing ever until they either get better or we can get a real solid diagnosis.

  3. You must have been so happy! To have no evidence and then a full diagnosis and recovery around the corner - very good news.

  4. Thanks everyone! I soaked him again tonight and he's looking fantastic! His abscess broke and the humidity broke! He'll have a very restful night.

    @Michelle - you are very lucky! I'd have to drive at least 2 hours to get what you have. I think I'll be grateful to be in Lexington if I need high tech equipment on my guys. I'll have so many options! LOL