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Factors associated with prolonged treatment days, increased veterinary visits and complications in horses with subsolar abscesses
  1. Stephen D Cole1,
  2. Darko Stefanovski2,
  3. Simon Towl3 and
  4. Ashley G Boyle2
  1. 1 Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3 Jurox Animal Health, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence; scole{at}


There is a lack of epidemiological studies about equine subsolar (hoof) abscesses even though they are among one of the most common causes of acute, severe lameness. The goals of this study were to (1) describe the equine subsolar abscess patient population of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center’s Field Service and (2) to determine the factors that are associated with increased veterinary visits, prolonged treatment and complications. Descriptive statistics were performed on data collected from 160 cases of equine subsolar abscess. Inferential statistics were performed on a subset of those cases. No significant results were identified in relation to an increased number of veterinary visits. Poisson regression of days of treatment revealed that abscesses diagnosed in the summer (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=9.42, P<0.001) and abscesses found at the coronary band (IRR=3.21, P<0.001) were more likely to be treated for longer. Presence of a draining tract (IRR=0.73, P=0.017) and a higher lameness (IRR=0.30, P=0.01 for grade 3, IRR=0.1, P<0.001 for grades 4 and 5) score at presentation resulted in shortened treatment times. Abscesses affecting multiple portions of the digit were associated with an increased chance of complication. The study presented here is the first retrospective study on subsolar abscesses to the authors’ knowledge.

  • hoof
  • foot conditions
  • horses
  • lameness
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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