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How to Help a Horse with Abscesses

on Sat, 12/01/2012 - 00:18
This is a picture of a horse with a hoof abscess

Hi Y'all,

Recently I heard from a Vettec user who had some technical questions about which product was right for her situation.  The problems she was dealing with are not uncommon, so I thought I'd share our conversation with Y'all.  Here's how it went: 


I am working on a horse with bad abscesses which are leaving holes the size of a pinky finger from the sole all the way out around the coronet band on both the fronts hooves. After safely draining the abscess and treating them, I would like to formulate a plan for the  next 12 months or until the holes have grown out.  I was thinking of using Equi-Pak Soft in the holes, then applying Sole-Guard over that to support the sole and hold the Equi-Pak Soft in place.  What is your advice? 


Hi Jen. I would not suggest covering any thing up until the sole around the abscesses is firm to the touch. I take it the horse is bare foot, if this is the case, you are on the right track with the combination of materials. If you are shoeing the horse, I would suggest that you block out the sole around the abscess areas with PlayDoh and pour a pad to ground level. This will protect the sensitive areas as well leave a treatment window so you can continue to medicate the abscess.

The farrier was happy for the advice and promised to send some pictures of the application if she could.  I'll post them on my blog, provided they arrive.  The YouTube videos below show how to accomplish the methods I described to the farrier.  Hopefully if you ever find yourself faced with abscesses like this, you will be able to utilize one of these packages and get your horse to feeling better as soon as possible. 




Tracy Underwood 's picture

I would sincerely like to thank you for posting this. I am dealing with this exact problem on my 2 y/o paint gelding. It started as an abscess on the bottom of his right front foot. My farrier opened it up. We treated for about 2 weeks and he went from almost sound to extremely sore one morning. When I unwrapped his foot there was an opening out the top of the heel. I could stick my pinky finger from the bottom of the foot to the top. This was early August. Last week the whole back outer edge of the foot that abscessed has fallen out leaving the outer hoof wall with no support. Several discussions with my farrier has led to trying several options that has not worked. Will discuss and let him see this on Monday .. Thanks Tracy Underwood