My horse is lame and I think it is a foot abscess, what should I do?
A hoof abscess is when an infection occurs in the lamina of the hoof caused by bacteria. It usually develops after a puncture wound or trauma to the sole. It often results in sudden onset and severe lameness. Sometimes you can feel heat in the hoof and/or swelling in the lower leg and it will be painful when pressure is applied to the site of the infection.
Once the abscess is located it needs to be drained to relieve the pressure. This can be done by using epsom salts in warm water and/or covering with a poultice dressing, like an Animalintex, to draw the infection out. Some will require draining by puncturing the abscess, this should only be done by a farrier or veterinarian. The site of the abscess and the hoof should be kept bandaged and clean until it heals. Anti-inflammatories and antibiotics may also be prescribed by a veterinarian for pain relief and to reduce the chance of another infection developing.
If symptoms persist or you are unsure of the problem you should always contact your veterinarian or farrier for assistance.