hoof abscess cowgirl magazine

Hoof abscesses can cause your horse a lot of pain. Bacteria becomes trapped in the laminae and hoof wall. A pocket of pus develops and pressure builds up. They most commonly occur in spring and fall when wet conditions exist. Cracks in the hoof leave space for bacteria to enter. Trauma like stepping on a nail can also cause this hoof condition.

Symptoms of a Hoof Abscess

  1. Sudden lameness ranging from mild to severe
  2. Hoof wall or leg is warm to the touch
  3. Swelling in the leg
  4. Foul odor
  5. Discharge from the hoof or around the coronary band

You should contact your veterinarian, if you notice one or more of these symptoms. In some cases, you may even see a puncture in the hoof.

Treatment usually consists of soaking the hoof in Epsom salts and applying a poultice pad and wrap. Your vet will help you determine the appropriate course of action.