Canker or Frog Abscess?

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Mar 16, 2022
Reaction score
Hi All,

Thanks for being part of my trusted voices-of-reason! My farrier, trainer, and vet all have very different opinions and I am finding it hard to tell which method to follow. My big horse (so sorry for not posting about my minis this time), either has a frog abscess that won't go away or canker. I can't tell.. Any help on what you think is going on and how to fix it, would be much appreciated!

Here are some photos (Sorry they're graphic!) of his foot over the past 2-3 weeks. It won't seem to go away!

I forgot to add-- he was in glue on shoes before a 2-3 weeks ago so I couldn't see it growing until the farrier came for a trim


  • IMG_7121.jpeg
    302 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_6536.jpg
    112.4 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_6514.jpg
    827.1 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_6466.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0
  • Resized_20230207_172515.jpg
    105.5 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_6596.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0
  • Screenshot 2023-02-24 at 9.37.40 PM.png
    Screenshot 2023-02-24 at 9.37.40 PM.png
    2.7 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
I would have questions. Are the pictures in order oldest to newest? It does look like it's healing if so. Something like that is going to take a long time to clear up totally. Also if its canker (which it does look like to me) how different is the treatment from an abscess? I usually trust the vet or farrier over a trainer on strange issues, just because they see a lot more horses. If those two disagree, I tell them to talk to each other and make a decision.
I haven't trimmed any horses with canker, but these pictures resemble canker photos I have seen. Is it in all four feet, or is this series of photos just one hoof? You will want your vet involved if you suspect it might be a canker. The more it spreads, the more difficult it is to resolve.

Thank you! It's the same foot and it is over the past 2 weeks-- it has been getting better it seems. But they do disagree on whether it's an abcess or canker
If this is a series over two weeks, then I would like to know the order of progression in the photos too. The portion that more resembles canker is up near the hairline in the heel bulb. Image 6536 looks like a possible abcess exit on the right heel bulb near the hairline. But to the left of that, the tissue looks irregular and more closely resembles a canker appearance. Image 6466 resembles a canker with irregular hoof/sole appearance and blood exiting the frog. But I'm not a vet, and I don't plan one on TV. :)

What are you treating with? Was the horse ever lame?
I've never seen or dealt with a chancer. That looks so uncomfortable, poor thing. I believe protocol would be an epsom salt soak and then a poultice boot to keep it really clean. Are you booting the foot in between? We use a diaper (size 4 fits the average horse) with a duct tape pad over it to secure it and keep it waterproof when we're dealing with hoof issues. I like to use sugar and betadine (or iodine) mixed into a paste on a 4 x 4 gauze to poultice over the sore. I thought my vet was crazy the first time she told me that but it works like a treat.

Best wishes for your bigg-un!
Thank you so much everyone! I probably should start a new feed, but while I have all you helpful experts here… one of my minis is SUPER Harry this winter. His coat is so long. Sorry to be a hypochondriac and please excuse the weird roses.. but do y’all think this looks normal or do you think I should see if he has cushings or another medical thing going on?

Thank you all for your encouragement to push me in the right direction and thoughts!

Ps. He’s been grey all the other seasons this year so interesting he got so sun bleached!


  • C46234DF-54D7-40C9-A310-BFB073390082.jpeg
    701.8 KB · Views: 0
That looks about par for the course for winter mini hair to me - you'd want to pay more attention when he sheds out, if he seems to shed slowly or the hair looks extra rough or curly then those can be signs. But some horses don't really get the classic coat changes either, so...
Him's pretty cute!!! That coat looks just like Jasmine's. As long as he sheds out well and carries a good weight (which he looks to be), I think you're good. How old is he? It's never a bad idea to check seasonally for parasites and treat accordingly.

Latest posts