This section is from the book "The Farmers Ready Reference Or Hand Book Of Diseases Of Horses And Cattle", by S. C. Orr. . Also available from Amazon: The Farmer's Ready Reference;.
Horses are always more or less liable to injuries to the feet from nails and sharp stones. Nail punctures are most liable to occur to horses driven upon the streets and alleys of cities, while cuts and bruises from sharp stones happen oftenest on country roads and in work upon the farm As the liability to such injuries is so great, the foot should always be examined before a decision is given, no matter what other symptoms of lameness may be exhibited.
Treatment - If there is a shoe on the foot, remove it; dress out the sole until the point of injury is found, then remove any foreign body that may be there and also remove enough of the sole to make a free outlet for the discharge; apply a little turpentine to the wound, then place the foot in a flaxseed-meal poultice for a day or two until the tenderness is removed, then omit the poultice but clean out the opening through the sole once a day and fill it with cotton saturated with pine tar. When the sole has formed over the wound again the shoe can be put on and the animal will be ready for work. More serious and permanent injuries result from neglect in wounds of the foot than from any other class. Seemingly slight, at first, they are given little attention, probably forgotten. Sometimes the lameness may be very slight for a few days then grow suddenly worse; the foot becomes hot and painful; pus forms and, having no outlet, burrows under the horn until the entire sole of the foot frequently has to be removed and the animal is unable to work for weeks Neglected nail punctures often produce quittor. And tetanus, or lockjaw, is more liable to follow from neglect of wounds of the feet than from wounds on any other part of the animal.