Horse Veterinary Questions? Ask an Equine Vet.
Is the swelling at the top of the hoof near the coronary band? Or is is in the haired area at the back of the hoof? It is likely an abscess tracking out of the foot at the area following the path of least resistance but it may involve deeper tissues and be more serious than a simple abscess. If it is an abscess that involves the digital tendon sheath this can be a serious problem and he needs aggressive treatment. If he is uncontrollable he should be sedated so that the area can be thoroughly examined and may even need to be aspirated or x-rayed to determine that cause of the swelling. If it is an abscess that involves the digital tendon sheath or the cartilages (Quittor), aggressive debridement and surgical treatment may be the best option as well as aggressive antibiotic therapy based on culture results to make sure the right antibiotic is chosen. Both tendon sheath abscesses and Quittor are serious conditions and can cause significant lameness if left untreated and you may want to consider referral to an equine center (if your vet is not already affiliated with one) for diagnostics and a second opinion. Was this the information you were looking for?
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