Abscesses

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Knowing the history of this horse, she has an abscess putting pressure on her heel causing her to stand on her tippy-toe.

It’s that time of year again. The winter months are upon us and tend to bring wet, cold weather, which in turn bring muddy and then frozen ground. As a result our horses can suffer from the constant change in ground conditions leading to a greater risk of the nasty thing we refer to as abscesses.

There are several ways to pinpoint and treat an abscess.

The first requires calling your farrier to see if he/she can locate the abscess and carve it out making it easier to treat and heal. The second way is to just soak the hoof until the abscess pops. You can soak the hoof with Epsom salt and hot water. The third way is to just wait it out and see what happens. The only time I just wait it out if I can’t handle the horse as well as I would like.

To reduce the inflammation and heat in the foot due to an abscess, I place the Aculife patches at the correct points and get immediate relief. This is the time of year that we need to watch our horses for signs of abscesses and treat right away. The goal is to draw the abscess out from the bottom to reduce the amount of damage that can occur to the hoof itself.

There have been times where the abscess has blown out the front of the coronet band, the back of the hoof never the heal bulb and out from the front of the hoof. These areas interrupt the proper growth of the hoof and take longer to heal.

If your horse comes up lame, first rule out injury to the tendons, ligaments and bones. Then treat as an abscess! Good luck in this wet weather!

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This is where the mares abscess blew.
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The possible cause of this abscess was a piece of wire or a nail.
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Top view of hoof and abscess line!

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