Abscesses on Hooves

This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by ponygirl360 ponygirl360 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • millebw Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    I have an 18 year old thoroughbred who is a hard keeper.. He is having abscesses all the time. we recently moved him to a new place and that’s when it started…once before he was at a new location and it started like this…then moved him to another..and it stopped…. never knew what it was…and now that it has started again at the new location and I don’t know what is causing these? one is a solar abscess and its been awful for months! Poor thing is in constant pain….please help if anyone knows! thank you!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1


    sorry to hear your horse is in so much pain! What is the paddock environment at the new place? Is it quite different than the place where your horse did not have an abscess? What do your farrier and vet recommend for treatment and/or boots, shoes? Does your horse get plenty of turnout or not much? How is the stall cleaning? Pellets or shavings?

    These are the questions I would be asking myself….I know I’m not giving you answers, but perhaps food for thought?


    Rosita Rosita
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    1) get Soft Ride Boots! NOW & have them FedEx-ed & sent to your best address. Worth every penny as other brands don’t hold up. Have tried several and they just fell apart in three days. Softrideboots.com. My vet had me put them on my active Azteca mare when she severely bruised a front foot: avoided abscesses. They even stayed on when she had her frequent cases of “happy feet”, which is how she got hurt having too much fun. Other boots may work for a very short time, but Soft Ride Boots are sized to fit and not chafe. I got two sorts of inserts: laminitis pads (which lasted 6 months of hard/brutal use) and normal pads, which I have in reserve just in case she decides to run and play too much. She is now 100% out of the boots. My arena turnout is groomed but cow pony DNA is not to be denied: they love to run and spin.
    2) make sure horse gets a good biotin supplement. Biotin was discovered as a human supplement because of its value in horses. Also, in winter, horses do not make vitamin D3. They need green grass and sunshine for their biochemistry, which has a different pathway from humans with same vitamin at end. My vet has my horses on vitamin D3 (consult literature for dose) and small daily amounts of magnesium maleate from Source Naturals (just a few hundred milligrams). Magnesium carbonate or oxide is basically rock & poorly absorbed. The vet literature seems not to have figured this out. My vet did understand! She warned that the 14 grams (yes, grams!!!) a day of MgO or MgCO3 in some nutritional trials could be enuf to change gut pH.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had a horse who frequently blew out abscesses. He had insulin resistance. One thing I would think of is a different sugar level in the different pasture. Remission is a good, cheap supplement that could help for that.

    Chris Chris
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 17

    Writing as a barefoot trimming specialist with over 12 years of experience, your horse’s recurring abscess problems are almost certainly due to contracted hooves and/or metabolic problems/sudden diet changes. My advice is to find the best barefoot trimmer in your area and work with them to improve your horse’s hoof quality (you might want to check the Trimmers List at http://www.thehorseshoof.com). Rehab should include providing your horse lots of turnout time (24/7 is optimal) in the company of other horses. Moisture (daily exposure of water up to the level of the coronary band), hoof Mechanism (physiologically correct hoof shape allows reversible expansion and enables vital blood circulation) and Movement (on firm, level, non-concussive terrain) all play critical roles to achieving permanent improvement.

    Abscesses usually form in hooves from chronic pressure that cuts off blood supply, causing localized tissue death (basically too much horn in too small a space, = contraction). If the necrotic area is too large to be removed by blood circulation, an abscess is formed (rarely is an infection involved). When solar abscesses are involved, IME there is often a weakness/stretching in the laminar connection, causing the coffin bone to drop downward in the hoof capsule. This puts painful pressure along the lower surface/edges of the coffin bone where it is not designed to carry weight. In a reasonably healthy horse, these problems can nearly always be corrected by a correct barefoot trim and more natural equine lifestyle. Please keep in mind it takes about 8 months to fully replace a hoof growing at a normal, healthy rate so that considerable patience and dedication may be required in some cases.

    Since you also described your horse as a hard keeper, you might want to have him evaluated for Cushing’s (PPID), which would predispose him to laminitis and thus solar abscessing. SmartPak makes a Pituitary Support supplement that is absolutely incredible! In the meantime, I’m also a fan of Soft-Ride boots (not really designed for riding but excellent during rehab). And extremely important–immediately get your horse off all sweet feeds or anything else high in NSC (simple sugars such as molasses) which will definitely cause or exacerbate laminitis (and hence solar abscessing). Good luck and hope you keep us updated on your progress!

    Rosita Rosita
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 6

    AMEN to the advice to avoid sugars, especially in sweet feeds or furans in grass. For an older horse who might be subject to Cushings, getting the blood tests for hormone levels is important. Years ago I got rid of all sweet feeds, went to low carbohydrate extruded feed and the benefits included the birds left my barn and quit sorting thru manure for seeds that had not been digested (money wasted). Your natural trimming farrier recommends moisture for coronary bands, as does mine. I have a mare who cannot go on grass of any sort, so I get a good hand lotion (no preservatives), add lanolin and moisturize her coronary bands as needed. My farrier has shown me how to evaluate her needs, as lately we are having tons of rain and her arena turnout has good moisture (for now).

    dmaequestrian dmaequestrian
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    This could be due to the condition of the paddock of his stall.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    I agree with dmaequestrian. If there is a lot of gravel or things that can do that to your horses hooves then it needs to be changed. I have always had the abscesses cut out a little bit and cleaned out really well to make sure there is nothing in it. I put “Blue Lotion” (from Farnam) on it.

    ponygirl360 ponygirl360
    Topics Started: 9Replies Posted: 41

    I have had similar issues when moving my horse between barns. At one barn in particular, he loses shoes constantly and ends up with bruised coffin bones. It is simply the change in his pasture. When the ground is too hard or rough, then he is affected more. I have to closely monitor his turnout to prevent issues. I would check your turnout situation and evaluate from there.

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