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Q: “How should a farrier treat cavities found in the sole?”
— Oklahoma Farrier
A. If the cavity is from an abscess, I treat it differently than if it’s just a false sole.
When the cavity comes from an abscess, I try to determine what caused it. If the horse has foundered and you find a cavity in the sole, have the owner call the veterinarian. If it’s from an old abscess or bruise that is healed and the new sole feels strong enough, I don’t do anything special. If the new sole looks raw or tender, protect it for a few weeks. This can be done either with a pad or a hospital plate. You also need to determine if it’s an old or new abscess.
If it’s a false sole, you can remove most of it and have a good, healthy sole. In a few cases, you may want to leave the false sole (such as when a horse is kept on very rough terrain). Some horses develop a false sole if they wear pads for any length of time. Also, a false sole can develop if the horse is shod and stabled without being turned out, ridden enough and is not wearing off any of the sole.
—Bob Plant, Walworth, N.Y.
A. Holes in the soles are caused by either something trying to get out or something trying to get in.
Disruption of the sole integrity is problematic for the horse and should be addressed. Here are…