Hoof Abscesses


A tender mass filled with pus caused due to infection. An abscess can develop in any part of the body but are especially debilitating when formed within the horses' hoof.


What steps should I take to help my horse?


When a hoof abscess erupts at the CORONARY band, we all get excited now the horse is now able to stand and move more comfortably.

We've obsessed over the 3 legged horse in our pasture, called the vet the farrier and stocked up on poultice, duct tape and hoof boots.

The relief felt by owners is almost immediate too as prior to this there is not much we can do except poultice and wait it out.

Whilst the problem is generally resolved, there are still implications to the hoof wall which is now going to grow down with a defect in the wall of the hoof capsule. It will take approx. 9 months for the hoof defect caused by the abscess eruption to be at ground level and trimmed away if it has erupted at the coronary band.

In the meantime, this abscess exit point (hoof defect) is dead tissue on the hoof wall leaving it exposed to entry for pathogens. The lower it grows, the bigger and nastier it looks – quite often 2 or 3 times bigger than the initial insult. Why is this?

Generally, there is a lack of healthy cells around the area to reproduce hoof wall. The insult creates a pocket for pathogens to enter (manure, bacteria and fungi present in the soil, urine, dirt etc). As these pathogens collect into the hoof defect, it gradually degrades the area = continues to weaken the hoof wall.

A simple way to look after these hoof defect points is to ensure they are kept clean and free from debris.   At least 3 times per week it would be good practice to clean out the defect with a wire hoof pick and use HOOF SPRAY with to flush and cleanse the area.

Our CURVED TIP SYRINGES can be used for liquid and have a nifty curved tip and a good reach for small areas.  These come in a pack of 5 and are a very handy item for the tack room.

Our BEESWAX PURE BALLS can top off your routine by applying them over the thoroughly disinfected point, creating a barrier between the pathogens present in the horses’ daily turnout. Beeswax Pure Ball Malleable Hoof Putty is packed full of natural cosmetic grade ingredients and laced with Peppermint and Cinnamon essential oils.

As always, this advice is never intended to replace veterinary advice and we always recommend contacting your vet as a first point of call.