There is little more a horse owner dreads than going out and seeing their horse crippled in the paddock with what looks like a broken leg. Even as a hoofcare provider, no matter how many times I console a horse owner that it’s “probably just an abscess,” my mind always jumps to worst case scenario on my own horses. Still, most “overnight” debilitating lamenesses in a limb are abscesses. So how do we prevent these, and how do we treat them when they do occur?
Dr. Neal Valk, a veterinarian with a special interest in hoofcare and podiatry, chatted with me about how abscesses most commonly occur, how we can treat them, and how we can prevent them in the future. Because the truth is – healthy, well maintained hooves should not get abscesses.. so how do we make sure our horses’ feet are healthy?