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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Capped Hock

By Jane C. Boswell, MA, VetMB, CertVA, CertES (Orth), DECVS, MRCVS, The Liphook Equine Hospital

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Capped hock is due to distention of the subcutaneous bursa or development of an acquired bursa over the tuber calcanei. This usually results from repetitive trauma (eg, kicking or leaning on stable walls) and is not usually associated with lameness. Occasionally, a subcutaneous abscess may arise as the result of a penetrating injury and lead to painful swelling and lameness. Treatment of an abscess requires surgical excision and appropriate antimicrobial treatment.