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Abscesses: The Common Cold for Horses
IMO, it's always best to drain the abscess if possible. They are very painful for the horse and in rare occasions cause infection in the bone which can cause deterioration.

Soaking in Epsom salts can be time consuming, aggravating for both horse and the person trying to do it. I like to make a diaper/duct tape boot with a packet of Epsom salts against the sole of the hoof. If done properly, it can last for several days and eliminates the need to soak the hoof. It takes some time but so does soaking.

Gather all supplies: A hand full of Epsom salts wrapped in a square of cloth, a small diaper, roll of vet tape, a piece of plastic feed bag large enough to cover the entire hoof and a roll of duct tape.

Have everything within arms reach (or have a helper!). Place the Epsom salts wrapped in the cloth next to the hoof (preferably over the drain hole). Wrap the hoof in the diaper then wrap the piece of feed bag over the hoof and wrap all of it in vet tape. Wrap the bottom of the hoof and sides and bring the vet tape over the bulb of the hoof and up the fetlock a bit. Next, wrap duct tape over that layer but take care not to get it on the hair above the hoof. Don't skimp on the duct tape and make sure to get several wraps on the bottom of the hoof. I tear several strips and have them ready to apply.

It's also a good idea to put the horse on pain relief as well as Ulcergard or another ulcer preventative.
Karen ~ Trails  
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN

"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."
[Image: th_horse-galloping.gif]  


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