Sole Bruise Lameness

This morning when I went to the barn, my Quarter Horse gelding was lame, to the point where he did not want to bear any weight on his left hind foot. My barn manager thinks it might be a sole bruise. What is a sole bruise? What should I do?
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Q: This morning when I went to the barn, my Quarter Horse gelding was lame, to the point where he did not want to bear any weight on his left hind foot at all. My barn manager thinks it might be a sole bruise. What is a sole bruise? What should I do about it until my veterinarian arrives?


A: You have heard the expression "between a rock and a hard place." Visualize what lies between those two unforgiving places and the condition it must be in, and you get some idea of what a sole bruise is. A more technical definition would be a sudden or constant crushing of soft tissue between the horny sole (the bottom of the foot) and the coffin bone. In fact, a sole bruise is just like a bruise on a human. For example, when you smash your finger with a hammer, the bruising that you suffer on your fingertip would be comparable to a sole bruise. You know how painful that type of injury is. A sole bruise can be just as painful to your horse. The more painful the bruise, the more loathe your horse will be to bear weight on the affected limb.

stone bruise

Constant jarring on a hard surface can cause a sole

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Written by:

William Moyer, DVM, is the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M and is President-elect of AAEP.

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