are a danger when a hoof is bruised,
but in the even that such an infection does not occur, the
bruise will resolve itself within one to four weeks.
Lameness occurs when the hard outer shell is breached and
the sensitive inner tissue is injured. What makes a puncture
such a serious injury is the fact that the actual wound
itself closes itself around the object that caused the
injury which then in turn gives way to the likelihood of
abscess formation. The deeper the puncture wound, the more
damage the injury will cause. To this end, the injury caused
by a sharp rock, while painful, will be less severe than
would be caused by a penetrating nail, which may actually
lead to an infection of the joint.
A vigilant horse owner will be able to suspect an abscess
when an animal favors one foot or if a lower limb is
swollen. If you believe that your horse may suffer from such
an injury, it is well worth having a veterinarian test the
hoof and treating it by opening the abscess to permit
drainage of the accumulated fluids. Thereafter a soaking of
the affected foot in hot water with Epsom salt may be
indicated. Last but not least is the treatment of the wound
with antiseptic agents and a bandage. To permit the horse to
get back to its routine as soon as possible you may use a
shoe and pad.
Should you examine your animalís hoof and find that the
penetrating item is still lodged in the hoof, do not remove
it but instead permit the veterinarian to radiograph the
hoof to ascertain the extend of the damage. Of course, the
best treatment pales in comparison to superior prevention,
and by keeping your horseís hooves properly shoed, and its
immediate living area clear of nails and sharp rocks, you
will be able to keep your animalís feet healthy.