Horse, Barefoot, Hooves, Navicular, Trimming, Laminitis, Founder, White Line Disease, Abscess, Thrush
Partially From: http://www.hoofabscess.com --
1. What is a Hoof Abscess
The pus will take the path of least resistance to relieve the pressure and if left untreated, will usually work its way up the hoof wall, breaking out at the coronary band or the bulbs of the heel.
Most abscesses are found in the sole of the hoof, but an abscess can be found elsewhere.
2. Signs of a Hoof Abscess
Other signs include heat in the limb or hoof, an increased digital pulse, and can include a swollen leg and/or a low-grade fever. The tendons in the affected leg can become painful and swollen due to congestion of blood vessels.
As the abscess progresses, the infection and pressure of purulent fluid (pus) accumulation in the hoof often cause severe pain until the infection works its way up the hoof wall and pops out at the coronary band, or the bulb of the heel or drains out the sole.
3. Causes of a Hoof Abscess
Sole penetration by a sharp object is not a very common scenario for a hoof abscess. More often, an abscess is a result of corium or lateral cartilage area compression or most frequently due to the introduction of bacteria and moisture in to the hoof.
If corium damage is the cause, the abscess scenario begins with internal hoof tissue dying because of compression and poor blood flow. Once blood flow returns to the area, the dead tissue is carried by pus to the outside of the hoof.
If the abscess is caused by bacteria migrating in to the hoof from the outside, a particle of sand or soil enters the softer white line area and becomes engrained in the sensitive lamina underneath the hoof wall, resulting in an infection inside the hoof. The infection can travel up the hoof and drain at the coronary band or stay close to the sole of the hoof. An abscess can also occur under the bars of the hoof.
The infection can enter as a result of a nail driven too close to the white line, a hoof wall defect or hoof separation. Horses that have been shod and then go barefoot tend to have an increased chance of developing a hoof abscess until the hoof becomes stronger.
Other less common factors can cause a hoof abscess, and many times the exact cause or point of origin will not be known.
4. Diagnosis of a Hoof Abscess
hoof abscess can be diagnosed by examining the hoof for heat and pain,
swelling in the pastern and fetlock and by the presence of a pronounced
digital arterial pulse.
5. Treatment of a Hoof Abscess Naturally --www.barefoottrim.com
Allowing the horse to move about as he or she naturally does will help to hasten the opening of the abscess and the subsequent recovery. Once the abscess has opened then it is necessary to keep the opening clean and free of mud, manure and other insultive materials. Soaking the hoof in a mixture of Calendula and water a couple times a day for a few days will ensure the bacteria will be eradicated and the new tissue will grow in quickly and soundly. After soaking a protective bandage can be applied with a boot to cover. Because the pain from the pressure inside the hoof has been remediated through the abscess opening, the horse will be more willing to resume his or her normal movement patterns. Continuing to encourage movement will help hasten the recovery.
Two Homepathic products work wonders in helping to resolve this issue --
Hepar sulph 200c given before the abscess has opened. Just one dose.
If there is any swelling moving UP the extremity before the abscess has broken through then another remedy is useful - Ledum 200c. One dose. (Note: if the abscess is a result of an ongoing constitutional issue such as laminitis then another remedy than those listed above would be more appropriate. Discerning what remedy, out of thousands, is best left up to Hom. Veterinarian or Practitioner. Please consult with your Homeopathic Veterinarian.)
The following photo was taken just 4 months after the photo of the abscess at the top of this article. Correct trimming on a timely basis with correct husbandry for the horse helped to resolve this issue quickly.