Featured post

4 Exercises to Help Calm a Hot Horse

If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Monday, 31 July 2017

How To Treat Your horse's Hoof Abscess

What Is An Abscess in a Horses Hoof? 

An abscess is a localised bacterial infection in the hoof.  It is caused by a number of things and it is the body's way of trying to get the bacteria out of the hoof.  It causes a lot of pain to the horse as the hoof cannot swell.  The infection will slowly work its way out, finding the softest part of the hoof as a path.  This means that the abscess will usually come out somewhere are the heel or the coronary band. 

How is an Abscess caused? 

An abscess in the hoof can be caused by a number of things.  Here are some of the most common causes.  

  • Shoeing nails  
  • Laminitis  
  • Going from Shoed to barefoot  
  • foreign body  
  • Trauma  
  • Navicular disease 
  • Going from dry to wet weather conditions 
  • Contraction of the heels 

It is important to keep the health of your horse's hooves properly to avoid an abscess.   

How Can You Treat an abscess? 

An Abscess will eventually resolve itself.  The problem is that abscesses will take a long time to surface.  You should first contact your farrier and vet as they may be able to cut into the hoof to create a drain.  If the abscess is deeper in the hoof then the following should be followed.   

  1.  Put the horse on a painkiller such as bute which can be provided by your vet.   
  1. Soak the hoof in a bucket of Epsom salt and water or any anti-bacterial wash.   
  1. Dry hoof thoroughly after the soak.  This is important as if you don’t you will trap moisture in the next step which can cause more issues.   
  1. Wrap the foot.  Start with a poultice pad with the product already applied to it or add a poultice paste to a normal pad.  Wrap the foot with vet wrap to secure the poultice pad then add a layer of duct tape.  Be careful not to wrap it too tight.  You can then also add a hoof boot to cover everything.   
  1. Repeat steps at least every 12 hours.   
You will also have your vet to help you complete the steps that they feel is necessary. 

How to Prevent it? 

Preventing an abscess is much easier than treating one.   
Keep your horses footing in good condition is the start of ensuring that your horse's hooves stay healthy.  If the ground changes between dry and wet then the chances of a horse getting an abscess increase greatly.  Keep fields dry or move to a different field and keep stables dry and covered with bedding.   
Only use the best, most qualified farrier.  If a person is going to be nailing a shoe onto your horse's hoof then you will want someone who knows what they are doing!  Find recommendations from friends and online to find the best person for the job.   
Keeping your horses health at the best possible will avoid any secondary problems.  If your horse is prone to laminitis or any other hoof problems then an abscess is going to be more common.   


No comments:

Post a Comment