Pigeon Fever Abscess Rupture: Update on Bob

Well, it seemed to take an eternity, but Bob’s abscess finally ruptured a couple of days ago.  This is my first (and I’m really hoping, last) experience with Pigeon Fever, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  It wasn’t as monumental as I thought it might be, but it has definitely opened up. And now the fun is just beginning. . .

I hope you will forgive the gory details in this post. But, with that said, here is the draining abscess:

I am cleaning the abscess twice a day with a diluted betadine solution.  I have to scrub off the scab–or in the case of this morning, frozen pus– to keep it draining.  Bob doesn’t like it too much, but if I press around the opening of the abscess, I can get more of the nasty stuff out.  I figure the faster we can get it out of there, the better.  Luckily flies aren’t a problem right now, but if they were, I’d need to use some method of fly control to keep them from possibly transmitting the bacteria to my other horses.

The drainage from the abscess is full of the bacteria, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, and is highly contagious.  It’s recommended that you keep the horse isolated and dispose of the drainage, manure, and bedding in a place where other horses won’t have access to it.  It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after handling the infected horse and  disinfect or dispose of feed and water buckets and other materials with which the infected horse comes in contact.

It can take up to several weeks or even months for the abscess to completely heal.  Bob’s has already reduced in size quite a bit, so I’m hoping it won’t be too awfully long.  I also stopped by the vet’s today and picked up some Bute to give him since he seems to be a bit stiff these last few days.  I will continue with the acupressure sessions as well.

Ta-ta for now,



Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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