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Foot abscessation in horses
  1. Elizabeth Barr
  1. Barr Equine Veterinary, West Malling, Kent, ME19 6RD, UK
  1. email: office{at}

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Foot abscessation is an extremely common cause of acute, often severe, lameness in horses. Despite the frequency with which owners, farriers and veterinary surgeons are presented with horses with this problem, there is a surprising paucity of studies concerning foot abscessation in the veterinary literature, with much of what we ‘know’ being referenced back to textbooks and attributed to personal opinion and experience.

An epidemiological study by Cole and colleagues1 is summarised on p 251 of this issue of Vet Record. In this paper, the authors aim to describe the clinical features of equine subsolar abscess cases from the clinical population of their practice and to determine the factors that are associated with increased number of veterinary visits, prolonged treatment and complications. This work is important for the equine practitioner, given how commonly we are presented with horses with this condition. It also is important to the equine industry on a wider scale, as a prolonged treatment period equates to days lost from training or competition. Also, the welfare implications of this often extremely painful condition are obvious.

The study by Cole and colleagues1 showed that subsolar abscesses are more common in forelimbs, with the right forelimb being the most …

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