Horse Health

Hoof abscesses

Cross-section of a hoof

Cross-section of a hoof.

Increased pressure is a marked pain stimulus. In the case of a horse with a hoof abscess, pain is vastly reduced as the abscess cavity is broached, which releases the pus and reduces the pressure.

Without intervention by a farrier or vet, the pus may track between tissue planes, where it can burst out. This usually occurs at the ‘white line’ or the coronary band. Occasionally, it will run in a plane underneath the sole and create a subsolar abscess.

Once the abscess has burst, it is usual to apply a poultice to encourage complete drainage of the purulent content.