The horses can be so lame that owners will think that the horse may have a fracture. Hoof abscesses are very painful for the horse. It would be like having a blood blister under your toe nail, and then having to walk around on it. Some causes of abscesses may be due to a lack of cleaning out the foot in a muddy environment, overgrown sole trapping debris, a newly trimmed foot which leaves the foot more open to packing in bacteria from the environment, nail holes from shoes which weaken the hoof wall, or foot injuries such as bruising. Hoof abscesses are usually easily treated and heal quickly. Once the abscess is located and drained the horse feels immediate relief. However there are some abscesses that may be deep in the foot and cannot be opened up immediately. These may take time soaking the foot, and possibly poultice for up to 2 weeks. Please see the article below for a more in-depth look at hoof abscesses and how you can recognize, treat, and prevent them.
It's getting cold outside and we are getting a lot of questions about when/if clients should blanket their horses. Horses with a full winter coat can regulate their temperature very well even in colder weather. Many people will body clip their horses in order to keep riding them during the winter months. They do this in order to keep them from overheating during work or coming out of work overly sweaty. If you choose to body clip your horse, they will need to be blanketed at warmer temperatures, compared to those horses with a full winter coat. The image below is a great general guideline for owners to follow (keep in mind that these are daytime temperatures, not overnight lows) Each horse is unique and may react to temperatures differently. If you have any concerns about your animal and its specific requirements (i.e. based on weight, age, or other medical concerns), call our office today so one of our Veterinarians can consult with your individually.