Have you ever encountered hock sores on your horse? Hock sores show up as irritated areas on your horse's hocks where the hair has been rubbed off, and sometimes where the skin has been rubbed open. Resulting from your horse’s hock pressing into or rubbing against the ground or the bottom of his stall when he lies down, hock sores are sensitive and may even include a bit of swelling.

Treating hock sores can be a challenge because they’re located on a joint that’s tricky to bandage or wrap. If your horse is dealing with hock sores, here are some ways you can handle them.

Evaluate Bedding

Before you start about treating the hock sores, take a serious look at your horse's bedding in his horse stall. Hock sores are the result of your horse making contact with hard ground. If he's doing this while in his stall, consider increasing or changing the amount of his bedding. Using a Stall Mattress can also help to make your horse's stall more comfortable for him. This, paired with a good quality bedding, can help lessen the formation of hock sores and can allow your horse to recover from existing sores.

Provide Protection

The best thing that you can do to help a hock sore heal is to provide padding to keep it from getting worse whenever your horse lies down. Some horse owners place a duct tape patch over and around a hock sore to lessen friction against the ground and to let it heal. (If the hock sore involves open skin, be sure to cover this with a bandage first if you plan to use the duct tape method.)

Hock boots also provide a way to give your horse extra protection against hock sores. Soft and pliable, these boots encircle your horse’s hocks to give him added cushion and padding whenever he lies down. Hock boots need to be correctly adjusted if they are to stay in place, and generally they’re just used overnight.

Creams and Ointments

Using thick creams or ointments on your horse's hock sore can help to speed healing along and lessen the friction he'll encounter when he lies down. Creams and ointments need to be reapplied frequently to remain effective.

Wrap It Up

Sometimes wrapping your horse's lower legs with pillow wraps and standing bandages is enough to change the position of his hocks when he lies down, lessening the pressure and allowing the hock sores to heal.

You can also wrap a horse's hocks to provide padding and protection. Wrapping a hock is a challenge, though, and it has to be done correctly if it is to be safe. If you don't yet know how to wrap a hock, have your vet or an experienced horse person show you.

Regardless of what method you use to treat hock sores, providing your horse with a softer place to lie down can both help to heal them and help to prevent other sores from forming.

Original Source: Hock Sores and How to Handle Them

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