(Abscess: localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue)

This is very common illness/injury of the hoof. In principle the sensitive part of the hoof (laminae) is inflamed and infected due to various injuries. There are several causes and I will introduce the most common ones.

  • Pricking the horse’s foot by the farrier or just too close nail, (less common).
  • Various bruises due to an impact that can get infected in a latter stage. Often seen in the winter months on bare footed horses, (failry common)
  • Excessive pressure to the laminae (usually under the bars) that will die off and in time will cause an abscess. (fairly common)
  • Foreign object (stones, dirt, bacteria) working it’s way through the horny part of the sole or along side beneath the wall to the sensitive part of the hoof (laminae), (failry common).
  • Foreign objects penetration, like nails and such. (less common)
  • In some cases the thrush can cause an abscess of the laminae above the frog. (less common)
  • Bacterial Infections due to bacterial penetration through the horn into the sensitive part of the hoof (laminae), (farily common)
  • Founder (in founder more common)

Treatments vary, according the injury, whether the laminae of the coronet (7a), the wall (7b), the sole (7c) or the frog (7d) is involved. Also whether there was a deep penetration to the foot by a foreign object or whether the farrier, or someone who tried to be one, pricked the horse’s hoof. The inflammation and the infection of the laminae due to foundering is another matter, which will be discussed separately, since the treatment is all together different. Please do not ignore the latter! Should you treat horse’s foot for an abscess while he is foundering, you could cause substantial and irreparable damage to the horses foot, even the animal’s end.


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