Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He popped a WHAT?

A few years ago I was grooming Kaswyn before my ride and I saw a small wound on his coronet band. I said "Oh no!" and my friend Linda heard me. She said "What?" And I said "My horse has a puncture wound!"

She came over to take a look, and said "That's not a puncture wound! He popped a gravel."

I said "What's a gravel?"

She explained that a gravel was a small abcess that worked it's way up the hoof wall and came out at the coronet band instead of out the bottom of the foot. I asked if I should call the vet, and she laughed, saying that the problem was now solved and I didn't need to do anything.

That was the first I had heard of a gravel, and the first one the Kaswyn has had.

Here is a picture of the one that I just found.

You can see the little pink circle area right at the coronet band. It looks like a little hole that's started healing from the inside, and there was no blood or swelling at all. A big bonus is that he didn't go lame, and I'm glad the abcess came out as a gravel instead of having to be dug out of the bottom of his foot. That would have been a huge pain.

For both Kaswyn and my checkbook, I'm sure.


haffiegirl said...

Wow, thanks for the info (and picture!) - I'm sure I would have totally freaked out if that had shown up on my horse. You might have just saved me a future heart attack. Thanks!

dressagemom said...

You're welcome. I hope if your horse (YOUR horse!) ever gets an abcess that he gets a gravel. No vet bill or hoof drilling required!

Chris said...

Well you learn something new every day, don't you?

Working on a stud that gets rather wet during the season, we have many broodmares that end up with abscesses and the majority we leave and they take care of themselves - like has happened with your horse; but I didn't know there was a name for it. So there you go :)

Thanks for the info!

Rising Rainbow said...

I've never heard it called a "gravel" before......I guess I've never really heard a particular term for it at all.....but if your horse has to have an abcess that's definitely the way to go.

Anonymous said...

You did luck out! Last fall Phinale went off suddenly lame two days after shoeing. Had Dr. W out - he found a deep abcess (and did not dig it out, much to Paul's relief). Two weeks of soaking, icthamol (sp?), daily wrapping and wearing easy boot and the gravel at last popped out through his coronet band. It was ugly!

Katee said...

My gelding and I are experiencing our first abscess right now. He was lame on Sunday and the vet had to come out and drill it Monday morning.

My days have been filled with hoof soaking and hoof wrapping. Fun. Next time we're signing up for one of these "gravel" abscesses. They sound like the cool way to go!

Anonymous said...

Nice picture. Remember when Simon popped that gravel at the Grand Haven show and you kept wiping off the puss that had come out of the hole before he went in the ring? Too funny. Sucker was never off on it though. Sure was an ugly hole when it was done oozing. :)

dressagemom said...


There might be other names for it too, but that's just what I was told they were called.


Oh yes, I agree. I'd rather have a self-draining abcess than one that has to be dug out.

Miss C,

At last P-man popped it out the easy way. Well, easy for you, kinda painful for him. :(


I can totally sympathize with you as far as lame horses goes. It sucks, sucks, sucks! Hope he gets better soon.


I had totally forgotten about that. Maybe I should have been more grossed out about it, but I was more concerned that the judge would spot it and try and blow the whistle on you. But if he never went lame could they really do that, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Just came across your site and read about your gravel situation. I am a veterinarian and would not recommend allowing a subsolar abscess to take its course and path of least resistance out the coronary band. There can be significant undermining of the hoof wall and the bacteria can become trapped within the foot causing permanent problems. It is always better to pare out the abscess from below. Hope that information helps.

dressagemom said...

Anon Vet,

Thanks for the info. I certainly would have had the vet out to look at the foot if he had gone lame, but I had no indication that he had an abcess. It's just a bonus that I didn't have another addition to my already huge vet bill.

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