A sub-solar hoof abscess, also known as pus in the foot is a common cause of lameness, particularly in wet weather conditions following a long dry period. It is thought that tiny cracks appear in the dry hoof wall and allow moisture, dirt and bacteria to enter. Infection sets in, followed by a build-up of pus that, within the restricting hoof cavity, soon becomes extremely painful. Other cases are associated with puncture wounds to the hoof and sometimes infection can ascend up the horseshoe nail tracts.
It is not unusual for an abscess to cause a horse to be non-weight bearing on the affected limb. If you suspect your horse is suffering from pus in the foot a visit from your vet or farrier should be arranged as soon as possible.
How to recognise a hoof abscess