The reader who criticized my treatment strategy stated that opening up the abscess was an inappropriate course of treatment. My licensed veterinarian, who has been in practice for more than 30 years, would disagree. Poulticing nearly always helps, but it isn't a guarantee that the abscess will drain. By not creating a drainage hole, the horse will likely suffer an increased amount of pain and possibly even greater damage to the hoof.
In either case, there would have been a hole that needed to be packed with Betadine to kill any remaining infection while protecting the exposed, sensitive tissue from further contamination. According to Dr. Tolley, once the abscess is opened and drained, the wound should be packed with Betadine for seven days to allow epithelialization to occur.