During the winter months our horse’s hooves are expected to withstand some difficult conditions that can rapidly change in a short space of time, moving from a cosy, dry stable to a waterlogged, muddy field.
It is little wonder that some of the most debilitating hoof conditions reoccur frequently during the unpredictable British winter. However, for the welfare of a horse’s wellbeing it is essential that they still have access to turnout every day, so eliminating exposure to wet, muddy conditions is completely impossible.
Hoof abscesses and thrush are two of the most common ailments affecting the hoof during winter, and both can be attributed to the wet, muddy ground experienced in the winter months.
Foot abscesses are more common in wet weather because the moisture softens horse’s feet, making it easier for foreign objects or dirt to penetrate the hoof.
Over winter you should check and clean hooves daily. If hooves are muddy, even after you have picked them out, water and a hoof brush should be used to clean the feet thoroughly and check for any injuries.
If your horse is shod, shoes should be checked regularly and carefully for signs of looseness; a twisted shoe can easily penetrate a hoof which has been softened by wet weather, and provides an entry point for dirt and bacteria.
Muddy gateways where our horses tend to stand for prolonged periods are another culprit for loosening shoes as anyone who has ever got a wellington boot stuck will testify!
Wet environments or poor hygiene can also lead to bacterial growth within the frog tissues and/or clefts of the frog, known as thrush. If left untreated, thrush can penetrate deep into the structures of the foot.
Horses that suffer from thrush may benefit from the use of a preventative product; your farrier will be able to advise you.
Animalintex is the only licensed veterinary poultice available in the UK market that is suitable for rapid treatment of a variety of equine foot conditions, including both hoof abscesses and thrush.
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 wound area for the wound to heal.
Additionally, its available in hoof shaped dressings, ideal for treatment of winter foot ailments, without the need to find a pair of scissors and cut to shape in cold, wet conditions, making Animalintex Hoof Treatment both economic and convenient.
RRP around £6
For further information contact Robinson Animal Healthcare on 01909 735000 or visit www.robinsonanimalhealthcare.com