Steps To Properly Take Care Of A Horse Affected By hoof abscess

Steps To Properly Take Care Of A Horse Affected By hoof abscess

Taking care of our horses may not always be an easy task. Apart from ensuring that their having proper nutrition and are living in a conducive environment, there is also the issue of infections that we may need to battle out sometimes. Hoof abscess is one of them. Before we delve into treatment options for hoof abscess, let’s start by understanding what it is.

What is hoof abscess?

They are bubbles of pus that form under the skin, quite similar to the whiteheads that are common to humans. The best way to deal with hoof abscess would pretty much follow in the footsteps of how we deal with these whiteheads, simply pop, drain them and allow the place to heal.

What causes abscess?

When the hoof has a weak point, its very easy for bacteria to find their way into the skin, causing an infection that results in an abscess. Bruising is also another leading cause, since its very easy for bacteria to penetrate and thrive in the cracked skin.

How do I know that my horse has hoof abscess?

Lameness in quite common in the presence of the condition. It may vary according to the severity of the infection, with some horses being totally lame. Other tell tale signs include swelling and heat around the affected area, or a grayish/ black pus seeping out through the hoof. A hoof tester exam is vital when finding the exact abscess location. Your vet is the best person to carry out the exam to prevent further trauma to the horse.

How to treat hoof abscess

Just as we had mentioned earlier, it is best to deal with them as we would with a common zit. Drain them keep the area clean to prevent bacteria from re-infecting the wound. Once your vet has properly diagnosed the condition, here are a few steps that you should follow to help nurse your horse back to health.

Requirements: A bucket, cotton cloth/ diaper, Iodine/ Epsom salts, duct tape and a bandage.

Step 1. Add enough Epsom salts to the water to form a saturated solution.

Step 2. Place the entire hoof in the solution. This will fasten the abscess eruption process and help with drawing out the infection.

Step 3. Get a poultice pad and soak it in hot water, then use it to cover the entire hoof. You may also use Epsom salts and Iodine in place of a poultice pad.

Step 4. Use the diaper or cotton sheet to wrap the hoof. Secure everything with the bandage, and just for reinforcement purposes, wrap the duct tape around it. Some stubborn horses may need a horse boot to keep everything in place.

It will just take a couple of days and your equine friend will be back to their normal, healthy self! Remember to keep the area well protected from debris to prevent another complication from erupting.

Abscess prevention

Regular and thorough hoof cleaning should be exercised to get rid of mud and rocks. Farrier care should also be a routine, so that the feet are kept well groomed and balanced.

Some horses may not always have strong or thick soles. To keep them from getting infected, take effective measures like shoeing them for instance. Always be on the look out and take proper preventive action before your horse is affected by these lameness-inducing conditions

Your equine vet must be informed about any abscess symptoms as early as possible. Only then will you be able to diagnose and treat the infection before it takes root. Remember, hoof abscess is one of the leading causes of lameness in horses, so it is better to be armed with proper information on prevention, care and treatment.

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