Winter Hoof Care by Animalintex®


Wet environments or poor hygiene can lead to bacterial growth within the frog tissues and/or clefts of the frog. The blackened decay of degenerating frog material is called thrush and is accompanied by a foul smell. Animalintex® can help with the treatment of thrush by drawing out any discharge. Always consult your farrier and veterinary surgeon if in doubt or if problems persist.

Bruised Soles

A bruise on the sole of the hoof, may be caused by the impact of a hoof coming down on rocky or uneven ground, although several other factors can be attributed, it is not an uncommon ailment. The sensitive structures that lay beneath the sole (soft tissue between the sole of the hoof and coffin bone) are damaged as tiny blood vessels underneath the sole haemorrhage (bleed). If the damage to blood vessels is minimal bruising usually disappears within a few days and poulticing can help. However, such damage may result in the formation of a haematoma (blood blister) between the sole and sensitive tissues which could lead to an abscess. If in any doubt always contact your veterinary surgeon.


Hoof Abscesses

An abscess is a cavity containing pus, which is a collection of dead cells, bacteria, and other debris resulting from an infection. As the amount of pus increases in a foot abscess it becomes painful as the hoof continually bares weight and it is unable to swell. Foot abscesses are more common in wet weather because horses’ feet are softer and it is easier for foreign objects or dirt to penetrate the foot. If a horse is standing in mud there are more opportunities for dirt to get under the shoe, or into the foot of an unshod horse. Hoof abscesses are commonly caused by dirt or gravel penetrating the white line (weakest area on the sole of the foot) or when a sharp object penetrates the hoof sole. Infection then rapidly develops, with a build-up of pus within the confines of the hoof, which is extremely painful for the horse. Abscess treatment needs to commence quickly to halt the abscess finding its own exit point – often the coronary band, but of course if it does this, then it has destroyed sensitive foot structures along the way. A vet or farrier will need to locate the abscess and drain the pus. Once the pus has been drained the foot must be cleaned, Animalintex® Hoof Treatment, secured with Equiwrap, is ideal for drawing out any remaining pus.


Maintaining the Hooves

Over winter you should check and clean hooves daily. If hooves are muddy, even after you have picked them out, then use water and a hoof brush to clean the feet – this will allow a thorough inspection to check for any damage to the hoof which could otherwise be masked by dirt. Horses that suffer from thrush may benefit from the use of a preventative product; your farrier will be able to advise you. If your horse is shod check shoes carefully to make sure they are not loose, a twisted shoe can easily penetrate a hoof which has been softened by wet weather, providing an entry point for dirt and bacteria.

Animalintex® Hoof Treatment from Robinson Animal Healthcare is cut to shape for economy and convenience. Suitable for the rapid treatment of foot conditions it is the only veterinary licensed poultice on the market for equine treatment. It contains an antiseptic to clean and prevent re-infection and natural poulticing agent, Tragacanth, which, when it reacts with water, draws out any infection and creates a clean area for the wound to heal. Animalintex® and Animalintex® Hoof Treatment can be applied dry or as a hot or cold, wet poultice.

Robinson Animal Healthcare has a wide range of products for all first aid and wound care requirements.

For more information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit

Author: Features Editor

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