Over Winter we often see an increase in cases of foot abscesses and thrush due to the difficult wet and muddy conditions.
Foot abscesses (aka pus in the foot) tend to look very dramatic, with the horse severely lame, often non-weight bearing. This level of lameness can also be caused by other injuries such as a fracture so Veterinary advice should be sought promptly.
How can I prevent pus in the foot?
- Good foot care – regular farriery and twice daily picking out of feet.
- Ensure your horse has access to clean and dry standing whether stabled or pasture kept.
- Keep your first aid kit stocked up – poultice, vetwrap, Epsom salts and gaffa tape are all essentials at this time of year.
- Although this isn’t going to prevent pus in the foot, ensure ALL horses’ tetanus vaccinations are kept up to date, whatever their age.
Thrush you might smell it before you see it! It is characterised by stinky feet, with black discharge from the frogs. This can be caused by poor foot hygiene (more common in wet dirty conditions), but also a lack of exercise and poor foot confirmation. If the latter is the case, keep working with your Vet and farrier!
How can I prevent thrush?
- Pick out the foot twice daily.
- Allow the foot time to be clean and dry every day.
- Regular farriery.
If you would like more information, please get in touch!