Sudden Right Hind Lameness and Still Lingering--Abscess or...? Panic attacks ensuing!

Mildly freaking out due to right hind lameness. Hoping to put my mind at ease a bit until I get a vet back out again. Background:

Last Tuesday: Horse gets new shoes.

Wednesday: Horse totally sound and perfect for hour+ long dressage school.

Thursday: Suddenly 3-legged lame on right hind. Pretty good at walk, but very lame at trot, especially tracking left. Very strong digital pulse and foot is hot. Farrier and vet suspect close nail or abscess, especially since he was just shod 2 days prior. Farrier comes in the afternoon and horse is very positive to hoof tester on one nail, so he pulls it and puts in some betadine. Said he should be noticeably better on Friday, back to normal on Saturday.

Friday: Still quite a noticeable pulse and warmth on right hind foot and taking a couple funny steps when walking. Vet comes out and horse is still quite positive to hoof tester where the removed nail was. We end up removing the shoe and plan to treat as an abscess, guessing there is an abscess near where the nail was. We decide to leave the shoe off until at least Wednesday.

I continue to treat it as an abscess for the weekend. Horse is doing much better. Still feel a slight pulse, but no longer bounding. Horse is much more comfortable on our hand walks and seems happy.

Today (Monday): I have the vet back out just to verify he is better and that he could be okay to put the shoe back on in a couple days. Horse is not positive to hoof tester at all–no reaction whatsoever anywhere on the foot. I figure he will trot sound. Wrong.

Horse is still acting ouchy and quite lame on the right hind, both on straight lines and on the lunge, especially to the left when it’s on the outside. Not too terrible tracking right.

Vet decides to block the foot to see if that is still the problem. Still lame after blocking. Afraid now it is something higher up. He is due for hock injections soon, has never been lame like this due to needing his hocks done. Primary lameness vet is out of town and will be back in a week to investigate more, but I know I will not stop thinking about this until then.

Is it possible this is still an abscess even though he was not positive to the hoof tester at all today and still lame after being blocked? Trainer thinks he may not have blocked all the way and that it is still an abscess/foot issue. Also adding in that he had been working very hard until this sudden lameness and now has been basically on stall rest for 5 days and is probably sore in other places. She thinks it’s unlikely that he would be that much better after pulling the shoe but still be lame from another problem.

Anyone experienced anything similar? I’m hoping this could still be an abscess and not a suspensory, etc.

I would probably wait for the soundness vet, if it was my horse. Sorry to not really answer your question, and I hope you have an abscess getting ready to open. Would it hurt to soak in Epsom salts?

I hope so, too. I soaked in epsom salts on Friday and Saturday after the shoe was pulled. Since then, it’s been wrapped with epsom salt poultice. Haven’t seen anything come out yet…:frowning:

I had something very similar happen to my young thoroughbred, progressed the same way except that it took about a week to pop the initial abscess.

Vet came out after improvement was to the foot only but horse was off higher up.

Ended up that the week of standing off the abscessing foot weakened the muscles in that stifle. It could no longer allow the stifle to move along the ‘track’ correctly, and would pop in and out, causing a lot of pain.
I could have tried to bring him back and muscle up, but the concern was he’d end up off all over due to trying to avoid those muscles. We ended up injecting the stifle with steroids to bring the swelling down in the vicinity. He was sound by the next day, and vets orders were get him out, moving, hill work, anything I could do to build up the back end and re-stabilize the stifle. Came back beautifully.

If your vet has seen your guy and didn’t see the stifle popping, hopefully it may not have progressed as far as my guy’s did… hopefully it’s something easy like that – just beware, the more rest you give it the worse it gets.

I’m sorry you and your horse are going through this :frowning:

My guy started with VERY similar symptoms 12 days ago, except LH and I never got a big pulse in the LH hoof. I thought I might share bc I find it interesting that both our horses are lamer when the hind leg in question is on the outside of the circle. So far we have done X-rays of LH ankle and L stifle and all clear. Blocked stifle and vet saw improvement but he did not come sound. So I made an appointment at the hospital (which is for tomorrow) to get to the bottom l this.

Then just last night I tack walked him and he felt so good I ended up trotting briefly both directions and he was only slightly off…??? It was late so I did a quick check to see if and abscess finally blew out of his frog but there was nothing super obvious… Going to recheck hoof thoroughly today.

So in brief vet thinks L stifle (but we didn’t get an actual diagnosis as we need to ultrasound) and is most likely correct but I’m with you in that I’m not sure, or maybe it’s wishful thinking that it’s just an abscess.
Good luck and keep us posted!