Signs that a horse may have a hoof abscess

A hoof abscess causes a horse to be significantly lame, and often suddenly lame.  There is often noticeably increased heat in the affected foot, and digital pulses (felt at the fetlock), may be elevated.

It is important not to make assumptions when examining your horse for lameness.  Although hoof abscesses are the most common form of sudden and significant lameness during the wet months of the year, there are several more serious conditions that can present in exactly the same way.  Contact a veterinarian if you have any doubts at all.

Abscesses are incredibly painful for horses and the rule of thumb is not to give them bute or antibiotics and let the pus make its way out and POP up through the coronet band or through the sole.

Treating a hoof abscess

Bandaging and keeping the hoof clean are key to treating an abscess. This is where Equine Super Goo’s Topical cream comes in so use it combined with epsom salts and wrap the whole hoof up.

If there is a wet, black spot in the white line of the hoof, then it is likely that bacteria entered the foot from there.  Use a nappy smothered with Equine Super Goo Topical cream and epsom salts to help draw the infection out. If you have a rubber Tubb Ease boot or similar that will help protect the bandage. You will have to leave this on for a few days until they are less lame.  At least you know the hoof is completely clean and no more bacteria can enter.


What is a hoof abscess?

Quite often, abscesses are caused by a mix of bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.. What causes the pain isn’t just the inflammation, but the physical accumulation of pus and often gas, if it’s anaerobic bacteria, inside the hoof capsule.