Hoof Abcess

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Randi

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Ok, ranch cow with a hoof abscess, what treatment protocols are there. She's not wild, but not a pet either.

Pretty sure she has an abscess, there's no swelling and no crack in her hoof. And we've dealt with enough to know what they are. BUT, we haven't been very successful in treating them.

In the past, we have tried trimming, using a hoof knife to dig it out, wrapping with a poultice of Epsom salt.

I'm wondering if we should try a hoof boot, like for horses and soak her foot till it's softened up and then try some farrier work?
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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Our hoof trimmer tells us to put massive doses of Penicillin in them (IIRC, double the recommended dose - we use the sub q penicillin) as soon as you notice lameness. He swears the penicillin gets to the infection better, and you need double dose because the hoof is furthest away in the body. He puts them on the table and digs it out, then glues a shoe on the good toe to take weight off the bad toe. The shoe lasts about 60 days, and they are sound as soon as they get off the table. We have had it happen a few times, seems like it hits when they have to cross the dry, very sharp, rocky creek to get to the back pasture. My theory is they get a bruise from the sharp rocks, and then develop an abscess. We have only had a few times over here, but the hoof trimmer knows exactly what it is when we describe it.
 

Aaron

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Usually trimming works. That being said, neighbor and I both each have a cow that have abscesses high in the foot along the coronary band that have not responded to trimming, boots or antibiotics. Had the vet look at mine after a whole whack of treatments and she suggested Excenel for 5 days as a last ditch effort. Did that and no different. I don't know how neighbor's cow is doing, haven't been over to see it for couple months. Mine gets around with an obvious limp and does ok. Gave her a round of Resflor on the 27th and that has helped some. Hoping to see improvement in the next 4 months so she can grow wheels.
 

wbvs58

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I always prefer to try and drain the abscess before giving any antibiotics to them even if you have to leave them untreated for a day or two. The reason being is you want as much pressure and volume of puss there to make finding the abscess easier. Yes putting some type of boot on with a poultice would be usefull even just to soften it up and make paring with a knife easier, a paste of epson salts is always usefull. Leave the antibiotics until after you have drained it they will just slow things down and make it more difficult to find but it usually cranks up again after they are gone.

I have a pulley system like on the mainsheet of a sailing boat with some webbing strap on the end to go around the pastern to lift it and I'll clean it up a bit with a flapper disc used judiciously on an angle grinder and then squeeze with pinchers to try and isolate pain then pare any cracks or marks until they disappear or hit the puss.

Ken
 
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Randi

Randi

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wbvs58":1172tair said:
I always prefer to try and drain the abscess before giving any antibiotics to them even if you have to leave them untreated for a day or two. The reason being is you want as much pressure and volume of puss there to make finding the abscess easier. Yes putting some type of boot on with a poultice would be usefull even just to soften it up and make paring with a knife easier, a paste of epson salts is always usefull. Leave the antibiotics until after you have drained it they will just slow things down and make it more difficult to find but it usually cranks up again after they are gone.

I have a pulley system like on the mainsheet of a sailing boat with some webbing strap on the end to go around the pastern to lift it and I'll clean it up a bit with a flapper disc used judiciously on an angle grinder and then squeeze with pinchers to try and isolate pain then pare any cracks or marks until they disappear or hit the puss.

Ken


This is kind of what I was thinking. I do know antibiotics don't help if you can't get the infection out.
 
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Randi

Randi

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OK, so we had it all lined up to take her to a local cattle farrier in the next few days. So this morning we fed them near the corral, with the plan to suck them into the pen tomorrow morning and catch her. Expected to see her come trailing in at the end of the herd (1/2 mile walk) to where we fed this morning. But, we didn't even see her, and had to go look through the whole herd to find her. And she is not hardly limping this morning. Yesterday she was almost 3 legged. I guess it could have broken open on its own... So I guess we'll keep an eye on her for the next while, and catch her if we have to. Hopefully she's fine now.
 

gcreekrch

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Randi":i2qa3hyf said:
OK, so we had it all lined up to take her to a local cattle farrier in the next few days. So this morning we fed them near the corral, with the plan to suck them into the pen tomorrow morning and catch her. Expected to see her come trailing in at the end of the herd (1/2 mile walk) to where we fed this morning. But, we didn't even see her, and had to go look through the whole herd to find her. And she is not hardly limping this morning. Yesterday she was almost 3 legged. I guess it could have broken open on its own... So I guess we'll keep an eye on her for the next while, and catch her if we have to. Hopefully she's fine now.

If you still use it, Micotil is the best drug for foot issues like this. Now she has done thedirty work might be time to help her.

I won't use Micotil because I'm too clumsy and have been known to jab myself fairly often. So, Draxxin costs more but does the job too.

We have also used bleach on foot infections, clears them up great.
 

angus9259

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":1os84pfl said:
I was always told LA200 (Tetracylin sp??) was best for footrot & pinkeye. Is it not best for absesses??

This is my vet's approach.
 

gcreekrch

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":399siw6z said:
I was always told LA200 (Tetracylin sp??) was best for footrot & pinkeye. Is it not best for absesses??

It's the cheapest and works fine but the other 2 drugs last longer and maybe dig deeper.

We use LA for many things, I've just grown to dislike the huge dosage and the swelling that occurs no matter how mant small injection sites used.

We use long acting Pen under the membrane of the eyeball or Dex and RTU Exenel in the eyelid for pinkeye.
 
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Randi

Randi

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We have had to cull a cow both of the last 2 years due to an abscess. LA works great for footrot. We haven't really found anything that works well for an abscess.

Footrot is an infection to the exterior of the foot. It's pretty easy to treat, actually to the point, that if it doesn't respond to treatment, you can be fairly certain you aren't dealing with footrot.

On the other hand, an abscess is an infection inside the hoof wall. Usually caused by some sort of concussion trauma, such as a stone bruise, or a puncture wound. Abscesses are very difficult to treat. There is minimal blood flow within the hoof itself, so getting enough drugs in there is the problem. With horses, you dig it out, then usually wrap the foot in a poultice using Epsom salts to draw the infection out. Reasonably easy, as most horses are halterbroke, and you can pick their feet up. Cows on the other hand.....Well they're usually NOT halterbroke, nor do they like having their feet handled.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Randi":3hslrvje said:
We have had to cull a cow both of the last 2 years due to an abscess. LA works great for footrot. We haven't really found anything that works well for an abscess.

Footrot is an infection to the exterior of the foot. It's pretty easy to treat, actually to the point, that if it doesn't respond to treatment, you can be fairly certain you aren't dealing with footrot.

On the other hand, an abscess is an infection inside the hoof wall. Usually caused by some sort of concussion trauma, such as a stone bruise, or a puncture wound. Abscesses are very difficult to treat. There is minimal blood flow within the hoof itself, so getting enough drugs in there is the problem. With horses, you dig it out, then usually wrap the foot in a poultice using Epsom salts to draw the infection out. Reasonably easy, as most horses are halterbroke, and you can pick their feet up. Cows on the other hand.....Well they're usually NOT halterbroke, nor do they like having their feet handled.
Thanks. That was what I kinda figured.
 

Supa Dexta

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Had a bull limping around like a baby last yr - put him under, opened the abscess and he put weight on it later that day. Was put out with cows by the next week for the start of breeding season. If you can located the spot, putting them under makes it a lot easier to work on.
 

Bright Raven

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Supa Dexta":im4kn7k0 said:
Had a bull limping around like a baby last yr - put him under, opened the abscess and he put weight on it later that day. Was put out with cows by the next week for the start of breeding season. If you can located the spot, putting them under makes it a lot easier to work on.

Do you use Xylazine? Or a total systemic anesthesia?
 
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Randi

Randi

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Yes, we've had the same thing done in the past. Put them under, but the vet was unable to find and clean up the abscess.
 

Bright Raven

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Supa Dexta":r7ogi87d said:
Vet put him under. Can't get the good stuff ourselves.

If you sneak around, you can get it. It is a two edged sword. I had one experience. Taught me a lesson.
 

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