What is a Hoof Abscess?
Hoof Abscesses are an internal infection of the horses hoof causing pressure and discomfort.
There are many ways a horse may contract a hoof abscess and it is not an uncommon occurrence in the horse world. A qualified farrier or veterinarian should be called in to diagnose.
Quite often a hoof abscess may be seen from underneath the hoof in the form of a darker area that can ooze a blackish pus-like substance with pressure. Not always is the hoof abscess near to the surface of the sole, and may occur in the cracks and fissures of an unhealthy white line as well.
A few ways a hoof abscess may be contracted:
- Tragic Insult - For example, sharp object peircing the hoof sole.
- Unhealthy Hoof - allowing foreign material to bury itself into the whiteline/surround areas.
- Hoof Diseases - Often a horse with Laminitis will be prone to Abscessing due to internal swelling and destabilization within the hoof.
Treating Hoof Abscesses in Horses.
To properly treat a hoof abscess a qualified professional is always recommended for diagnosis. With the proper treatment, a hoof abscess will usually be cleared up with no further problems.
Treating an equine hoof abscess can be done through the use of a "Hoof Abscess Tool" that is designed especially for drilling into the infected area of the hoof, leaving the rest of the uninfected hoof untouched. This hoof abscess tool is a much better alternative to "pairing away" with the hoof knife.
Creating a hole an eigth of an inch in size using hand power, the hoof abscess tool is the solution for creating a precise drainage hole. By drilling into the infected area of the equine hoof, an opening will be provided for the "pus" to escape.
Further treatment requires bathing and poulticing procedures. Bathing can be done with warm water and epsom salts. Poulticing can be done with a wet bran/epsom salt mix applied in the corner of an old feed bag or disposable diaper - wrapped and held with duct tape.
It must be stated, that a professional must be the one doing the drilling, as a horses hoof is a very complicated and sensitive structure. The horse owner can maintain the baths and poulticing regiment - a very important part of the healing process.
Not every hoof abscess is treatable and may sometimes need to run its course. This usually involves off and on lame symptoms ranging from a couple of weeks to a few months; Until the foreign material "blows" it's way out of the hoof wall near the coronet band. An unnerving experience for the horse owner, yet usually not an overly serious problem for the horse hoof once it has finished.
Written By: Josh Emsley