Unexpected health problems like a hoof abscess can cause worry and can be life-threatening if the infection gets severe. Managing this condition should involve the assistance of a veterinarian.
What is a hoof abscess?
An abscess in the hoof of a horse can cause many owners to freak out and worry as to why their horse is suddenly appearing to be lame. While they are a common occurrence, most often they clear up without any overly specialized treatment, but they can develop into nasty infections that lead to septic shock and death. They should be closely monitored.
How can I tell if my horse has a hoof abscess?
You will notice that the affected hoof will become less and less weight bearing. They will spend more and more time with this leg being favored, with an obvious tenderness to placing full weight down. There may, or may not be an associated fever. You should always involve a veterinarian in case the infection does become serious. You do not want to lose the horse from this treatable condition.
What causes a hoof abscess?
A hoof abscess can be caused by bacteria, lower gut bacteria interruptions and dietary changes, laminitis, or hoof injury. There are some horses that seem to be prone to developing an abscess, whereas others are only a rare occurrence.
How can I treat a hoof abscess?
Most of the time a hoof abscess will go away without any real treatment efforts. The ability to obtain quality horse medical insurance will help manage the costs of health problems like this, especially if it is due to a chronic condition, such as laminitis. Remove any shoes and avoid opening the abscess. It is better if the infected area opens without assistance. You can avoid contamination and infection this way. You will need a more aggressive treatment from a veterinarian if there is a serious infection that includes a fever.
How to Prevent a Hoof Abscess
Good nutrition and keeping the hooves dry are the best ways to prevent a hoof abscess. Shoes should be worn if the hoof walls are exceptionally thin. Great hoof care by a professional farrier is always a plus in horses that seem prone to an abscess.
Contact professionals like Ark Agency for all of your horse medical and horse mortality insurance needs, which will help you provide the best care possible through any major health event.