Treatment of post-laminitc abscesses

Comments by Gene Ovnicek

"Abscesses that occur at the coronary band and through the sole of the foot are expected in serious cases and offer the patient a better chance of recovering to a higher level of soundness with a much greater future of returning to pre-disease condition. This can only happen when proper support is given immediately to these patients in the area of the foot that is naturally redeveloping for that purpose.

I have records of the last 30 cases that have abscessed through the coronary band and/or through the sole within a short time after the initial insult of laminitis (1 to 2 months). Our purpose was to record results of those cases whose abscesses were treated, versus those who were untreated. Over half of the abscesses were not soaked or encouraged to dry up. The abscesses at the coronary band were left uncovered. The sole abscesses were wrapped and protected from dirt and debris only. No trimming of the sole in the area of the abscess was done to encourage drainage. The wraps consisted of two layers of prepared Styrofoam blocks applied with Elasticon tape. The other cases were soaked with Epsom Salts or Betadine for 2 or 3 days. Some of those cases were cleaned of debris on the sole where the abscess came through.

There were little to no set backs in healing with those who were untreated. Most cases that were treated by soaking progressed slower and some had reoccurring painful periods. All of the cases that had sole material removed around the abscess site stabilized much later and had even more setbacks. All but 2 cases survived with over 70% returning to their pre-disease purpose. The abscesses associated with laminitis are the 'mechanisms of debridement' and follow a cycle that seems to work well if left to follow its own course of events."