Pictured Above: Using sterile gauze can help avoid hoof shavings and other debris from contaminating the abscess wound.

Avoiding contamination of an open foot wound can prove tricky at times, but a little preparation and forethought can improve your chances for a successful outcome.

When RW, a retired barrel racing horse, experienced severe bruising and abscesses, Moscow, Tenn., farrier Daniel Bishop had to prepare the sorrel Quarter Horse for a shoe and hospital plate. Before balancing RW’s foot with a rasp, Bishop placed a piece of 4x4 sterile gauze over the open abscess wound.

“All I’m doing,” Bishop says, “is covering that up so the shavings don’t get down in there.”

For more tips on working with an abscessed horse in the field, read “Vet, Farrier Tackle Tough Abscess Case,” in the January/February 2017 issue of American Farriers Journal.