So, it was just an abcess?

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Remaani, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Long story short, my filly on weaning injured herself resulting in 3 puncture wounds which were well (or we thought?) treated, flushing out several times a day, AB's etc.
    Not long after she hurt herself again (or maybe just caused by the pervious injury..), naturally thought just a paddock fall & the local vet came out the next morn & organised us to take her to Murdoch for Xrays, she was very lame & the shoulder seemed to poke out overnight, although she was rugged so not noticed but became very sore.
    No fracture, break, chip etc of the shoulder & the vet put it down to serious nerve damage. The puncture wounds (healed) didn't seem to be an issue.

    Before weaning:


    Day before Xrays, so 2nd Feb.


    At Murdoch.


    Murdoch report stated (removed a few things like vets name etc):

    ?Aurora? was referred to the Equine Centre at Murdoch University by ********* on February 3, 2012 for evaluation of a suspected dislocation of the right scapulo-humeral (shoulder) joint. The filly had been found to be lame prior with swelling around the distal limb. On further examination yesterday, the filly was found to have a large, firm swelling over the lateral aspect of the shoulder.
    On examination ?Aurora? was comfortable at the walk (edited: mainly as she had pain relief so was feeling good!), although on the right fore there was a reduced cranial phase of stride present, and the limb was held slightly abducted from the body. The proximal humerus was noticably protruding laterally at an abnormal angle which also caused lateral or abaxial deviation of the scapula. The filly was painful to deep palaption of the pectoral muscles in the axilla (armpit). X-rays were taken of the shoulder and they showed no evidence of fractures or complete luxation of the shoulder but there was outward rotation of the humerus.
    On the basis of our findings today it was concluded that ?Aurora? had damaged the medial (inside) support to the right shoulder, either the supporting muscles (deep pectorals and sublcavius) or their nerve supply
    which was causing the abnormal angulation of the proximal humerus and distal scapula. The shoulder joint did not appear to be luxated or dislocated in the true sense of the word, but rather malaligned as a result of the loss of medial support.
    ? Stall rest with in-hand grazing for 6 weeks.
    ? Phenylbutazone (an anti-inflammatory) to be prescrived by the referring vet, Dr ********.
    ? Maintenance diet.
    The filly should be re-evaluated for lameness in 6 weeks time prior to being turned out.

    She was on Bute for 13 days from the Xrays onwards, something i just didn't like to have her on, but ATT, was needed.
    So far, she had 1 session of Equine Touch 16th Feb but not touching the shoulder, just other parts of her body that was sore/stiff.
    Being 3 legged, she wasn't coping well but was only early.....
    Dr Bruce Ferguson treated her (Acupuncture) on 4th March also using Shock Wave Therapy & almost instantly, she was weight bearing on the sore side... but still a bit "hoppy" & favouring the leg as much as she could. She continued to be 3 legged with a bit of walking on it.
    This is the arvo after the Acupuncture at lunch time.



    Pretty much she wasn't doing anything bar walking & when allowed out (Bruce suggested time in a paddock), she muffled the most unco trot/crab shuffle.
    But funnily enough, she seemed to always been in good spirits, she dropped condition but didn't get "skinny", she would play with Tyger over the fence, tip her water over but became pretty sour & grumpy quickly also looking depressed at times.
    I was lucky, although she dropped condition, she kept up a good appetite.

    On the 13th March, i got home in the arvo & she was causing grief in her yard, lots of squealing, banging the panels & i wondered what the crap she was doing. Well we had bucking, jumping about, squealing & carrying on, funny as she was using the sore leg, very well & acting very unlike her (or maybe like BEFORE the injury.. lots of spunk!).
    Found gunk on her chest which was a burst abcess, her leg was also straight again, before - the shoulder being pushed out had caused the o/f to turn out also. She walked rather well, although still "stiffly" to be tied up. Vet called but was out treating a colic.
    I cleaned/flushed the wound & tried getting out as much pus as i could.
    This is what it looked like, before cleaning:


    Vet couldn't come out till the morning, extracted lots more gunk (luckily as Aurora wasn't as sore, she was moving about heaps & it was self draining), some dead tissue etc, flushed it out, IV Bute (i decided against more Bute, vet was ok with that) & AB's.
    It's being flushed as often as needed, self draining still.

    The 14th March, i let her in the small yard, enough room to move about & didn't she have a ball!
    She only goes out for 1/2 the day, spends most of it at the hay roll.

  2. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    The wound, 15th March.


    16th March, she had Equine Touch in the morning.




    And hooning, she hasn't done it for ages & she is having fun, not bad after weeks of being 3 legged!


    She was trimmed today, the o/f hoof is now very contracted but farrier thinks it'll come good.
    She is still yarded at night but she is happier socialising during the day & after yesty's ET session, she's feeling even less stiff.

    Now i posted this as it's interesting, i have had some conflicting advice but i am listening to 3 people. Those that are treating her, my vet, Dr Bruce Ferguson & my lovely ET lady, Glenda.
    It's a learning curve for me, i may be doing something different, or wrong to what others here on SY may do, i expect some critisim, but i feel now, we are on the right path.
    We expected it could take her 12 mths to heal IF it was/is? Nerve Damage but everyone now believes it is due to the puncture wounds, especially the vet. ATM we believe what caused this has been removed with the gunk but we are going to Ultrasound if it's not starting to heal, the vet couldn't feel/find anything. The vet didn't place a drain in, which i expected, but the wound is still self draining & regulary flushed/cleaned. I prefer not to have her on Bute, but we are starting Aurora on a herbal diet.

    It could still be 12 mths for her to heal, she may never be shown but i don't care - she is perfectly fine as a pretty paddock ornament, afterall i adore this filly, she is Music's full sister so am happy to try what we can, to help her.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2012
  3. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    WOWIE!!!! Glad to hear she's on the mend. No criticism from me mate! You've had that horse to some really good vets. Understandable not having her on Bute all the time. Sometimes pain is there as a bit of a 'oi, take it easy so I can mend' message to the horse.
  4. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    WOW what an ordeal for everyone!
    And I think you are on the right track for a full recovery.

    Whatever was brewing in there certainly did a job on the poor darling...must have been very painful for her. It must have been hiding in among the shoulder muscles and was just waiting to explode out.....god no wonder she felt better once it burst!

    Keep it draining like you're doing and I suppose while ever she is moving around she will be expelling it.

    Great job and hopefully a full and speedy recovery!
  5. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Glad the prognosis is positive :D or sounds positive to me :eek:

    What a gorgeous girl!!!! I hope she makes a full recovery!!
  6. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I can't believe that! What a bizarre thing. I am so glad she has recovered. She looks awesome now. Did any foriegn body come out at all?
  7. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    Oh and the running around probably does the abscess the world of good too!

    She is such a cute pony :)
  8. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Thanks all, i've never dealt with anything like this before so bit of an eye opener, real learning curve actually, however i have her being treated by some wonderful people & all are excited after hearing/seeing the burst abcess.

    GtD, honestly i do not know.
    I last saw her in the morning & she was fine (well not fine, but no abcess anyway), it was late arvo i saw her again & saw the abcess. The vet can't feel anything but believes it has been expelled. They did state to do an Ultrasound (back to Murdoch) if it doesn't start to heal.

    I'm not getting my hopes up as i'm kinda expecting some sort of set back, but really, we'll go to what ever lengths needed to ensure she lives a happy life, even if she'll just live in my paddock as a hayburner, as i can guarantee, she'll never leave my ownership (well she wasn't going to be anyway..).

    Murdoch are great though, 1st time there & everyone was wonderful.
    Even Dr Bruce Ferguson whom travelled up to treat her, i found him to be very upfront, yet fantastic to deal with & soo kind on the horses, as well as Glenda that does the ET - she's a godsend, treating Aurora before other important appointments!
  9. Sim

    Sim Well-known Member

    Remanni, you must be thrilled, considering only a little while ago it was looking that PTS was a distinct possiblity.

    Sounds to me like a great prognosis. I believe it was Bruce Ferguson that lectured me once on the the body's remarkable ability to heal itself, and it sounds like this is what is happening with your gorgeous filly,(with some help from some talented practitioners, of course!.

    Best of luck**)
  10. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Thanks Remaani for answering my question. It is just an amazing thing to happen. Like you say it could have been expelled early on.
  11. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    That is amazing. I can only imagine the relief your little girl must have felt when that wretched thing burst and relieved the pressure. Poor baby.
    Good on you for giving her every chance. **)
    Fingers crossed she makes a full recovery in time and I'll be keen to watch her progress. Please keep us updated.
  12. wawa85

    wawa85 Guest

    Ouch that looks like it must have been painful! :eek:
    Glad to hear she is doing better, she looks like such a sweet cheeky girl.
  13. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Wow that is amazing! What a great photographic journal too.
    Im so glad that the whole saga has 'come to a head' so to speak, at least now with the abcess appearing and her being less lame, lets hope all is on the road to recovery. Hopefully the abcess has expelled its foreign body and continues to heal. I even got OH over to check out the photos, he was interested as well. I have been following your other threads. ;)
    I would have been SO upset if she was mine, I cant imagine how you must have felt at the time.
    She is a lovely little thing :)
  14. beagle

    beagle Well-known Member

    that is an impressive problem, that's for sure.
    I'd just be concerned that the natural "breakage" point for the abscess is not ventral (ground direction) enough for adequate drainage. I would be concerned that stagnant fluid & detritus would be building in the areas below the drainage point.
    As GR said, more exercise the better.
    If it were an option, perhaps, dropping the little girl under g.a & opening up her axilla (armpit) to implant a drain to encourage more drainage. A thought?
    may not be viable but hey, I'd try it.;)
    She is just gorgeous & I hope she heals without any complications.:)
    Deep abscesses such as those are notorious for causing huge amounts of oedema which is prob why she popped out her shoulder.
    Hope it all works out ok.
  15. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Thanks Beagle... it is still draining which is good, even whilst standing still eating.
    I do feel a drain would of been great but at this stage the vet feels not.
    Her forearm was also very swollen but much less now & her armpit was "full", pictured in the 13th March photo but it's looking better now.
    Luckily the wound doesn't get too crusty so not forming a scab which limits anymore drainage.

    I guess i'll see what the vet says when they are back here to see her, but i'll mention that if they don't - so thankyou for that info. :)
  16. beagle

    beagle Well-known Member

    You're very welcome Remaani, I hope everything works out well.
    Not meaning to 2nd guess your vets, as i'm sure they are doing what is best.
  17. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    No that's fine, i've been 2nd guessing a few things since it happened (but i'm no vet, lol) & in a way, there is always a better/or different approach to things like this. **)
    I'll be sure to mention it however & let you know. :)
  18. beagle

    beagle Well-known Member

    Please do, as I'm old school ,so these young 'uns out there may have a diff approach!!!
    It's always a client's perogative to ask questions, i personsally like it as it means they are LISTENING (lololololol) ffs.....otherwise they have a glazed look....
    I think it is a very interesting case & by no means common.
    if you would care to pm me instead of posting i would still like to know the progress.
  19. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Thank you so much for sharing - and pretty please with sprinkles on top keep us updated! That is so bizar and very interesting!

    Good on you for sticking with it! :)
  20. Babe the standy ROCKS

    Babe the standy ROCKS Well-known Member

    Holey Moley Remaani, that must have been very worrying for you. What a beautiful filly she is. I hope everything comes good with no setbacks, thank you for the interesting pics.

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