This somewhat old fashioned and simple
treatment of an abscess is especially effective in cases of a deep abscess
in the hoof that could not be opened or drained. This form of treatment is
also very handy if we have difficulty in soaking the horse’s foot. If
the horse has only a mild form of abscess and he is moving about, then
this type of bandaging is not practical, as the horse will lose it in
relatively short time. This treatment is also unsuitable in cases where
one was able to
open and drain the
abscess, in which case the treatment
is more suitable (Treatment
Caution! Not suitable for an
abscess associated with
This treatment is best used in
cases where the horse is very lame, does not want to put his foot down and
does not want to move about, hence usually confined to a stall. The deep
abscess is often very hard to localize, as the horse is usually only very
slightly sensitive to the
testers, while he can hardly put any weight
on the foot. It is not recommended to dig in the hoof and look for a deep
Preparing a poultice
Get about 4 to 6 quarts of bran
and about ¼ cup of
(linseed). Put both in a bucket, mix and
soak in hot-boiling water and let stand for about one hour. Add only as much water as the bran
can soak up. After about one hour the poultice should be cooled down to about the
body temperature and ready to use.
flax seed plays an important
not only in helping to soften the hoof, but it also caries some
Wrapping the hoof
Cut the corner of a nylon (not paper) feedbag as depicted in fig 1. It is better to cut it larger, as the excess can be always cut off, once on the hoof. It is best to double it (use two pieces), since the bag will more likely break through in time.
Put the bran poultice into the cutout bag as depicted in fig 2. Insert the horse’s foot in it in such way so it surrounds the entire hoof. Set the foot down and wrap a duck tape around the cut out bag at the pastern area (fig. 3). Please make sure that it is not too tight but tight enough to keep the bag on.
In most cases the foot will break
through the bag in time, depending on the movement of the horse and the
bedding (surface). Most of the time it should stay on at least 12 hours, which
The bandage should be changed at
least once per day, however two times per day is better, especially during
the winter when the poultice will tend to freeze after a while. The
poultice should not be hot, best about the temperature of the body. The
hoof should be washed thoroughly in-between the bandage changes, as the
flax seed will decay quickly.
The abscess usually breaks out
within three days. Once when this happens, the foot should be washed out,
let dry and in the place/s where the abscess broke out (usually at the
side of the heal and/or at the toe) the
is applied to prevent further infections as well as premature closing of
the exit (draining) wound. The Reducine will also help significantly in
the regeneration of the damaged coronet band.
| There are also various boots available that
could be used instead of the bag. Just use your head and make sure that
you know what you are treating. It is quite normal, that the horse will be
most lame (sore) just before the abscess breaks out, hence he will appear
worse off the day after each treatment till the abscess finally breaks
out, at which point most of the pain is finally gone.
Note: If the abscess is too slow to break out and the infection begins to spread up the leg (obvious swelling) you may want to administer antibiotics like penicillin for five days. Please, consult your veterinarian if you are not sure about what you are dealing with. In some cases of the deep abscess the horses do not respond (not sensitive) to the pressure of hoof testers, something to keep in mind.
Alternative Treatment no. 1 of an abscess in the hoof.
Alternative treatment no. 3 of an Abscess in the Hoof (opening - drilling)