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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 ; James K. Belknap, DVM, PhD, DACVS, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University ; Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS, Anoka Equine Veterinary Services ; Peter Clegg, MA, Vet MB, DipECVS, PhD, MRCVS, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Liverpool ; Matthew T. Brokken, DVM, The Ohio State University ; Marcus J. Head, BVetMed, Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre ; James Schumacher, DVM, MS, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee ; John Schumacher, DVM, MS, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University ; Chris Whitton, BVSc, FANZCVS, PhD, Equine Centre, University of Melbourne

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.