Weekend before last, Rodney had a suspected abscess [Noshow]. We soaked it, per usual. After that, my in-house medical advisor wanted to DO SOMETHING. We settled on a poultice.
Start with clean hoof.
Pack with paste of Epsom salt and water and grits. Google suggested wheat bran. The store we tried was out of stock. My in-house chemist (he’s a terribly useful dude) realized that the purpose of the wheat bran was to act as filler. We found that Epsom salt paste alone settled to the toe of the foot. Epsom salts & shavings didn’t shift but didn’t pack as well. The point is to kept the Epsom salts in contact with the foot.
Cover with feminine hygiene product. Leave wrapper on for added waterproof layer. Neonate diapers would also work.
Wrap foot in several layers of tape. In this case, we prefer Gorilla to Duck.
Finished product – top.
Finished product – side.
Abscess behavior was gone overnight. Since there were still traces of Captain Pitiful, we kept the hoof wrapped a few more days, changing twice a day, then switched to a padded bootie. Rodney was sound in a straight line almost immediately. He continued to take the very occasional bad step. Hence the padded bootie.
Once we started wrapping the foot, we did not soak it again. With poultice instead of bucket a) the foot gets constant exposure to Epsom salts instead of 20 minutes twice a day and b) a paste on the sole has got to be better than constantly immersing the hoof wall in water.
Caveat. Although three experienced horsemen and Google were involved, no veterinarian was consulted during this process. Our first line of defense tends to be time and Dr. Green. Do was you will with the information. It worked for us. Will definitely keep in mind to try next time. There will be a next time. As long as we have horses, there will always be a next time.
It took me two days of bandaging his foot before I thought, ‘Hey. this would be a good blog post. Let’s take pictures.’ Proof that the blog isn’t *always* the first thing on my mind.
Update. Horsemen? Two horsewomen and a horseman? Three horsefolks? I need to ponder this.
Thank you for reading,