Marquis Farrier Service
Abscess & Treatment 

Abscess Definition:
An abscess is an extremely localized infection, which is generally "walled off" within the hoof capsule. There are numerous causes for such infections; however, the primary causes are fungal infections, puncture wounds, and seedy toe. Left unattended, an abscess will migrate up the hoof capsule, following the path of least resistance, until it eventually "blows out" through the hoof wall or, often, at the coronary band.


  • lameness
  • gait is off in one direction
  • altered hoof landing pattern
  • heat, strong digital pulse
  • not wanting to put weight on foot
  • concussion sensitivity


  • provide clean and debris free environment
  • ride on soft terrain
  • shoes, boots
  • clean feet daily

Abscesses can be opened and drained from the ground surface. They also can be drawn out from the cornory band with icthomal. Since opening an abscess is an invasive procedure and often involves contact with sensitive tissue, a qualified Farrier or veterinarian should be contracted to debride the infected area. You may need to administer appropriate medications and tetanus vaccines.

Treatment I use is to provide a small drain hole which should be left open for extended drainage and application of medication's, poultices, and soaking twice a day for a half hour in warm water with Epson Salts. Do that for about one week period. Continue treatment with soaking and poultices/ medications until horse shows noticeable improvements in walking.

Don't stall up the horse but if possible let stay in small paddock. The more the horse walks around the quicker the healing will be.

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