Foot Abscesses







Heel Bulb Abscess


 abs1.jpg Sole Abscess – between frog & bar on left

above two photos courtesy Amy Dickson, Kamloops BC




While it was ‘active’, this abscess created a pocket of fluid that impinged on the blood vessels in the solar corium, bruising it (visible as the pink edge around the outer edge of the abscess). 





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Breeding or Genetics?

It is commonly believed that we have bred domestic horses to have poor or small feet. A common example is the halter-bred Quarter Horse whose feet are small and upright due to breeding for this desirable characteristic. While individual breeds do have certain common characteristics to their feet, we have not been breeding horses long enough to have altered their genetic characteristics.  Furthermore this assumes that the pool starts with some examples of genetically small-hooved individuals.  Their poor hoof quality or shape is largely a result of their environment and lifestyles while they are growing up.

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These horses were recently rescued from an operation using horses in their historical re-creation shows. The two in the front will stay in Central NJ. The Appaloosa has an advanced case of coonfoot and the spotted Appaloosa, who has found a home in a rescue in Phillipsburg has an improperly healed fracture making his left hind leg unusable. The thin one is barefoot and will be receiving regular trims when necessary.

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Strangely, his hind feet are in worse shape than his fronts, with much more bruising, possible old laminitis, and a very large abscess in the Right Hind.



Welcome to the Barefoot Hoofcare blog. We will discuss various ways to trim feet, present cases on a regular basis, and discuss different approaches to dealing with problems. We invite horse owners to submit their questions and cases for input from the blog owner as well as a rotating panel of experts.