A bruised sole occurs following direct trauma to the sole of the hoof. A common cause of lameness in both shod and unshod horses, bruised soles are often caused by stones or work on hard surfaces.
The sensitive structures that lay beneath the sole (soft tissue between the sole of the hoof and coffin bone) are damaged as tiny blood vessels underneath the sole haemorrhage (bleed). If the damage to blood vessels is minimal bruising usually disappears within a few days.
However, such damage may result in the formation of a haematoma (blood blister) between the sole and sensitive tissues. Even if a haematoma does not develop, there may be sufficient damage to the laminae of the sole to result in clinical signs such as mild or severe sudden lameness localized to the foot, increased foot warmth or increased digital pulses through the digital arteries.
If sole bruising reoccurs owners should consult their vet and farrier as chronic sole bruising may indicate an underlying problem such as an abscess, which if left untreated infection may spread to the coffin bone resulting in osteomyelitis. Pedal osteitis is another problem that might develop; this is a chronic inflammatory condition of the coffin bone that results in bone resorption and weakening of the bone. A pathologic fracture of the coffin bone could result.
Can Equissage help?
However slight the bruise, there is still some damage to the tiny blood vessels within the foot otherwise there would be no evidence of a bruise in the first place. The body's reaction to any form of injury is to increase blood flow to the area to provide vital nutrients to heal the damaged cells but this does not actually help too much as it the little blood vessels that are damaged so the increased blood flow has nowhere to go except to accumulate and add to the discomfort, the horse's foot is unable to swell to relieve pressure. By using Equissage as part of the treatment the inflammation will be reduced so that a more normal flow is restored thus relieving the pressure within the foot. Once more comfortable the horse will begin to bear more weight on the foot and the resultant contact between the frog and the ground surface will enable normal circulation to resume.
Apply the Hand Unit to the underside of the foot. Whilst a medium setting would be of more benefit, the horse may be too tender to allow this; if the horse is very sensitive then hold the Hand Unit directly on the hoof instead. However, even on the low setting, a 10 minute treatment will suffice, although ideally twice a day. If used in conjunction with the Pad, then the beneficial effects will be more long lasting thus helping to continue with the healing process.