Stone bruise?

About 3 weeks I brought my horse in from the pasture to ride, he was exceptionally slow getting to the gate, once I got him out he kept lifting his hind leg like he was in pain. Fortunately the farrier was coming that next week. I left him in the stall that night. When the farrier came out he looked at the foot and he pressed a spot that my horse jerked back from. He told me he had a stone bruise. He got the hoof knife and shaved that area and he said there was liquid coming out of that spot or a little hole …very tiny , and let it drain, as it made a sissing noise. He told me to soak and put iodine on it for a couple days and he will be fine. Well 3 weeks have passed and he doesn’t lift his hind anymore, but is not sound to ride. I was putting iodine on it and soaked his foot for a week and half. When he trots he drags his foot a little bit. I rode him one time to see how he is doing and he staged the hoof at the trot. He is like that in sand but ant that bad on rocks? (I don’t ride him now while he has this injury*) . A couple days ago I was looking at his foot and there was still that tiny hole in there and it’s soft. I have been putting keratex on his feet to try to harden it. Opinions?

Probably a stone bruise. They can up to 10 weeks to heal. Ask me how I know

Abscess … And sounds like it drained, but could still have an infection going on. Ask your vet… He may want to look and give you antibiotic for 5 days to help clear-dry it up.

How often each day were you soaking? How long were the soaks? Typically, it’s iodine or betadine with epsom salt in warm water for soaks. And the hoof needs to be submerged in warm water to the coronet band.

“Funny” story: popped into a barn for some work. Horse had been dx’d as abscess/ stone bruise by trainer/ vet. Client instructed to soak foot. Horse not getting better after a week. I observed why: client decided soaking was too troublesome and instead decided cold hosing cannon bone would provide same end result. Did nothing for his hoof but horse got a great case of scratches though because the leg was never dried.


Is the hoof wrapped between soaking to eliminate debris and dirt from getting in the hole? How big is the hole? Did it spontaneously open or did the farrier find the soft spot and create the hole himself?

Frankly, at this stage I might want to have a vet out to see if there might be something structural going on… and on the off chance see if there’s a foreign body in there that contributed to the bruising/ abscess. Depending upon your urgency to return to riding, I might even spring for radiographs of that foot.

Soaking is not something that is universally believed to do any good. My vet believes it doesn’t, and it softens the hoof and makes horses prone to reabscess.

But you should be keeping it very clean. I prefer to clean it out daily, spray with Chlorhexadine solution, then fill the abscess with Tomorrow and keep it wrapped in a diaper and vetwrap bandage.

Don’t put Keratex in there, that’s not an antibiotic ointment. Likely to do more harm than good. No one knows exactly what is in their patented formula but it’s probably not supposed to be introduced into the deep interior of the hoof through an abscess pathway.

A stone bruise should not build up that type of pressure, at least none of those I’ve dealt with have. Nor should it be lasting 3 weeks, particularly one that has been “drained”. Time enough to get your veterinarian out there!!