Healing a Horse Abscess
One day your horse is fine and the next, it appears lame- that is the affect of a horse abscess. An abscess happens when an infection develops in the hoof. While neglect does play a part in some circumstances, various things can lead to infection, such as the horse stepping on a sharp object, foreign material entering through cracks in the hoof, as well as improper shoeing.
When an abscess develops, the wound fills with pus and causes increased pressure in the hoof. This is what causes abscesses to be so painful and keeps the horse from putting any weight on the injured leg. Thankfully, horse abscesses do not pose a risk to the animal’s life. Once the pus drains out, usually through the coronary band or weakened hoof wall, the infection should end and the horse will recover. While horse abscesses can heal on their own, it is important to remember that your horse is in pain and the healing process will take a lot longer if it is not helped alone.
Most veterinarians, and even some blacksmiths who are familiar with abscesses, can be of help. To end the infection quicker, they will locate the origin on the wound and create a small hole for the pus to leak out. Depending on the extent of the infection, this minor procedure will significantly lower the healing time for the horse. To keep your horse from developing another infection, you need to keep the hoof as clean as possible after the hole is cut. If dirt or manure gets into the wound, the horse can develop more serious health issues. You should soak the hoof to decrease swelling and the pain the horse experiences. Water with a bit of apple cider vinegar is a popular choice among trainers. While you love your horse dearly, you cannot neglect your other chores and soak its hoof all day.
To assist you in providing the necessary treatment, Hoof Wraps Brand now offers a soaking boot. This product makes soaking a horse abscess a breeze. Simply fill it with the soaking liquid or ice and wrap it around the injured hoof. The Hoof Wraps Brand Soaker is made of 2200 ballistic nylon with a think liner for ultimate comfort. It fits hoofs up to six inches in diameter and feature three fastening points for increased flexibility.
Hoof Wraps Brand Soaker is a necessity when treating a horse abscess.
As the bacteria in the hoof capsule reproduces, the horse’s internal defenses set off a reaction that eventually results in exudates and gas forming, leading to inflammation and causes the dermal (sensitive) and epidermal (horny) sole to separate. This causes intense pain from the pressure and the tearing apart of the sole and other regions as the abscess moves through the foot.
The pain a horse suffers during these episodes can be compared to what you feel if you smash the end of a fingernail and it fills with blood. If you have ever done that, you can see why horses with abscesses are lame to the point that you may think they have a broken leg.
When a horse has an abscess, the common treatment is to drain the abscess, if possible, and have the owner soak the hoof in Epsom salts and warm water for 15 minutes, twice daily. Not all horses appreciate having their hooves soaked, and warm water is not always easily obtained in some areas where horses live.
On top of that treatment, if the abscess has been opened from the bottom of the foot, there is a protection aspect that requires either a hospital plate or constant bandaging by the customer. It can be a lot of work treating a horse with an abscess.
I have been shoeing for a very long time, and it is pretty rare when I get excited about a new way of doing things. Several months ago, I was introduced to a product called an Epsom Salts Poultice, made by a company called Kaeco. This poultice is designed to be applied to a foot with an abscess and takes the place of the whole soaking thing.