If you find your horse suddenly and acutely lame, and he can barely put pressure on the affected foot, it?s very possible he has a hoof abscess.? The first thing to do in a case like this is to call your vet or farrier.? After using hoof-testers to locate the abscess, they will cut open the infected pocket and drain it, giving your horse instant relief.? Keeping the foot clean is vital for the healing process.? First soak your horse?s foot in Epsom salts and warm water at least once per day and then, placing a gauze pad soaked in iodine and table sugar on the infected area, wrap with a VetWrap bandage.? To keep the horse?s foot dry, put a plastic bag over the hoof and wrap with duct tape.? This will keep the foot dry even in the wet bedding of the stall, and the duct tape will keep your horse from ripping it open.? Alternatively, you could use a poultice boot.?
You will need to keep up this routine until your horse?s hoof stops smelling of infection, usually about 5 days or so.? Keep your horse in a clean, dry stall during this recovery time.? If your vet or farrier can?t find the abcess, you?ll need to have x-rays taken.? Once the possibility of a fracture has been ruled out, poultice the hoof until the abscess drains on its own, either on the sole or the coronet.? You?ll notice immediate improvement when it bursts, as your horse will immediately begin to put pressure on the infected hoof.? Before finishing with the bandaging, you may wish to have your vet or farrier back for a follow-up visit to ensure that everything has healed properly.