What Is Canker In Horses and How to Treat It?

You may be curious about the hoof condition which is known as canker in horses.

Have you noticed a smelly discharge and ragged-looking frog of your horse? If so, it’s time for you to find out more information.

canker in horse

What is Canker in Horses?

Well, it is an abnormal condition of the horse’s foot when an infection invades the frog, bars, and sole.

This infectious process leading to an increase in the horn-producing tissues of the equine hoof.

As you may know, it is one of two disease processes commonly relating to a horse’s frog. Compared to Thrush, which destroys the tissues, Canker spreads living tissues and encourages abnormal tissue expansion.

Symptoms of Canker in Horses!

In the early stage of the process, many people can confuse Canker with Thrush.

To recognize this problem or distinguish with others, keep an eye on these signs:

  • The central area of granulation tissue on the frog is likely to bleed
  • Light brown or gray matter on the hoof
  • It can spread to the sole and hoof wall
  • Smelly discharge
  • The horse is unwilling to stand and walk
  • The injury leads to lameness

What Are The Factors Causing It?

In fact, the root of this disease is still controversial. However, it is certain that canker in horses results from abnormal keratin production. Also, it occurs in case of the lack of oxygen to the frog.

Many people believe that it develops in low hygiene conditions and when the hooves of the horse keep covered in mud and feces. But some disagree with that.

How To Treat Canker?

treatment of canker horse

Treatment of Canker

Prevention is better than cure. So, the first measure you should take is keeping the feet of your horse clean and dry, and doing the routine trimming.

It is beneficial to make a treatment plan, providing your horse with regular visits by a farrier as a way of canker recurrences.

Debride the horn which covers the affected area. But remember, try not to draw blood, or else your horse will have an infection because of bacteria.

It’s also important to use a clean and dry bandage for the wounds.

Make sure to limit exercise and daily activities during its healing to help the horse take a rest and recover quickly.

In case the affected area stays moist, or hooves start to look doubtful, have a veterinarian re-check your horse.


Horse’s Canker is quite common.

With the above information, now you can get the idea of “what is Canker in horses” as well as how to deal with it.

Chances are this infection is not so dangerous and you can eliminate it. To avoid the recurrences, make sure to keep your horse’s environment clean and dry and take close attention to your horse’s feet.

Now, let us know what’s your opinion by leaving your comments below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on this website.


  • https://wagwalking.com/horse/condition/canker
  • https://www.msdvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/lameness-in-horses/canker-in-horses
  • https://aaep.org/horsehealth/equine-canker

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