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Dan C., DVM
Dan C., DVM, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1183
Experience:  Solo Equine Practitioner/Mobile Practice Owner for 16 years.
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My horse is 3 legged lame on the left nd. walking on toe

Customer Question

My horse is 3 legged lame on the left hind. walking on toe protecting his heel. the farrier was here today and said he believed it is an abcess. he has some swelling in thr fetlock. he is eating pooping drinking and peeing but is in obvious pain and running a fever of 102. is it possible an abcess in the foot could cause a mild fever?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 2 years ago.

Greetings, and thanks for the question.

Sorry to hear about Chief's sudden problem, but based on what you have described, I would have to agree with your farrier (I'm just wondering why your farrier didn't address the issue....?).

But to answer your question, yes, an abscess in the hoof can raise the temperature, but the temperature is artificially raised not directly due to the abscess, but rather due to the pain involved and the inflammation in the limb associated with the abscess. Also, a temp. of 102 in the horse is not anything to be alarmed about at this point. Did your farrier leave you with any directions as far as addressing the abscess?

What you may notice, is that if this is indeed an abscess, is that the Bute will not have too much of an effect as far as relieving Chief's discomfort. What I would recommend that you consider, would be to soak his affected hoof in a bucket of warm water including Epsom Salts (1 cup salts per gallon of water) and a small amount of Betadine, so the water resembles weak tea (that is, if Chief will allow it....!). Soaking for about 15 minutes several times a day often helps to bring the abscess to a surface and offer some relief, however the best course of treatment would be to have the foot checked out by your Vet, and see if she or he can locate and pare out a hole to allow the abscess to drain. Often, soaking does help to ease pain and soften the sole, but in many instances, the abscess will actually migrate upwards and burst through the coronet band. This creates an extremely sore area, and will often take longer to heal.

Did you have any other plans to treat Chief's abscess? Ideally, the best plan would be to have him checked out by your Vet, but often people will try to treat on their own.

Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I do trust that I've answered your question to your satisfaction.

Thanks again for the question, and please let me know if I can be of any further help.

All the best to you and Chief, and I do hope that he has a speedy recovery.

-Dan C.

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning!

Just checking to see if you have any further questions.

Thanks again,

-Dan C.

Expert:  Dan C., DVM replied 2 years ago.
Hi Misty,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dan C., DVM