How to treat a horse's bruised feet

Written by charlotte kirkwood
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How to treat a horse's bruised feet
Minor hoof injuries benefit from rest. (foot image by Henryk Olszewski from

In horses, a bruised foot can result from stepping on a hard object like a stone. Bruises appear reddish purple on pale colour hooves and on dark hooves, dark grey. Horses with bruised hooves or soles appear lame; they exhibit a painful reaction when pressure is put on the hoof. Treating a bruised foot depends on the severity of the injury. In some cases, when the bruise turns into an infection or an abscess, the horse will require treatment from a veterinarian.

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  1. 1

    Rest the horse. According to Pet Place, rest is the best way to allow the horse to heal. Keep the horse on a soft surface.

  2. 2

    Give the horse Bute, or phenylbutazone, which is an anti-inflammatory, nonsteroid drug, according to the website A veterinarian needs to prescribe the drug, which reduces pain and swelling while restoring function.

  3. 3

    Soak the horse's hoof in an Epsom salt solution. Gregory Fowler, D.V.M suggests soaking two to three times a day for three to four days.

  4. 4

    Apply an ice pack. PetMD suggests an ice pack for minor bruises.

  5. 5

    Instruct your farrier to apply a temporary pad underneath the shoe for extra cushion and protection, which will reduce the pressure on the horse's hoof. John Sligh, a farrier out of Ocala, Florida uses foot felt adhered to the sole with turpentine.

  6. 6

    Talk to your farrier about the amount of sole trimmed off the horse. If too much is trimmed, the horse is more susceptible to bruising.

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