What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Lame or Sore after Farrier Visit


Your horse seems sore after the farrier has either trimmed or shod them. In many cases, if the horse seemed sound to you prior to the visit, something was done to the feet that has made them sore.

If the horse was shod, the problem could be a high or hot nail, or maybe the horse was quicked and the nail puncture is now abscessing. The shoe could be applying excessive pressure to the sole, or the angle changes that were made are more than the horse could handle. If the horse was trimmed, the problem could be excessive sole removed and sole bruising, or angle changes. Also consider that the horse may have been lame before the farrier visit and you might not have noticed until now.

For horses that are barefoot and sore after trimming, the sole will usually harden and begin to grow out and slowly the horse should show less soreness over a few days.

In some cases, horses with underlying lameness issues (old, arthritic horses for example) are more lame after having had to stand for the farrier.

  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If the lameness persists after the farrier has addressed it.

your role


What To Do

Contact your vet if the problem does not seem to be resolving after 48 hours. A dose or two of an NSAID like bute may help provide a bit of temporary relief and reduce inflammation in the hooves.

For shod horses that develop soreness almost immediately after the farrier visit, time may only make the problem worse. Either sole pressure, or a hot or misdirected nail may get worse over time. Call your farrier and vet right away and let them know what has happened.

your vet's role

Your vet considers the timing since the farrier visit as a factor in the lameness evaluation. It is likely that the lameness is related to whatever changes were made to the hoof, but the problem may also be unrelated. Your vet performs a physical examination and lameness evaluation, focusing on the hoof.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Is your farrier shoeing or trimming in the same way as in the past?
  • What is the horse's age, sex, breed and history?
  • Is there a new farrier shoeing or trimming the horse's feet?
  • When was the farrier visit?
  • Has the farrier tried to resolve the probem?
  • Is the lameness noticeable to you at the walk?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

Very Common
Less Common
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Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP