Recognizing and Treating a Hoof Abscess

Addressing hoof abscesses early can help horses have the best outcome.

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Hoof abscesses are typically quite painful for horses. An accurate and early diagnosis, however, can help you initiate prompt treatment and prevent potential further complications. Dean Hendrickson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, professor of equine surgery at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, says opening an abscess from the bottom of the hoof to allow it to drain is the ideal solution. Soaking and packing the hoof can also help draw out an infection.


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