Abscesses Lead List of Common Hoof Infections

Dr. Raul Bras discusses foot infections at Midwest Equine Podiatry Conference


Pictured Above: Abscesses travel up to the coronary band where it’s easier to break through. If a horse doesn’t improve 1 to 2 days after blowing the abscess, the problem may be deeper.

Farrier Takeaways

  • When using hoof testers, a farrier has to be able to differentiate between pain vs. pressure. Start by testing the areas where the horse is not sensitive then examine the area that is suspect.
  • Don’t forget the limb opposite the afflicted foot. If the horse being treated is not bearing weight for 2 or more days, contralateral limb laminitis may occur.
  • If a horse suffers a puncture wound, do not remove the foreign body before consulting with a veterinarian. Take radiographs when possible.

Foot infections are a common source of lameness in the horse. Understanding the causes of these infections and identifying their clinical signs are key to getting a horse back on the path toward health. Raul Bras, certified journeyman farrier and a veterinarian at Rood & Riddle in Lexington, Ky. discussed some of the different foot infections a hoof-care professional is likely to encounter, the importance of early identification and types of veterinary interventions that may be necessary at the Midwest Equine Podiatry Conference in Arlington, Wis. The conference was presented by Lodi Veterinary Care and Country View Equine Clinic.

Causes of Infections

Foot infections occur when a large number of microorganisms breach the protective barrier of the cornified hoof capsule — namely, the hoof wall, sole or frog — and invade the…

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Kristen Kubisiak

Kristen Kubisiak has been a writer and photographer with newspapers and magazines for 15 years. A native of Wisconsin, she served as the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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