Re: Hoof cracks help please.

Lavinia Fiscaletti

I've added the sole shot to the album as well. Thanks for sending it along.

The frog appears fairly healthy but it is stretched forward to some degree and not as robust as it could be, which is a fairly common occurrence in horses who are always shod because they don't use their frogs much-if-at-all.

Those imbalances may have been exacerbated by the work of the previous farrier but they date back a lot further than two months as the amount of excess toe length and laminar wedge goes almost the entire height of the dorsal wall. That is 9-12 months of growth. I think that there has been some degree of Hi-Low going on for most of this hoerse's life, which it has been managed to some degree but not actually fully addressed. All of the subtle imbalances literally exploded when the trim completely fell apart during the tenure of the last farrier.

1. I certainly wouldn't recommend a full workload when the hoof has literally split from top to bottom and the live tissues are exposed. The coronary band needs to be stabilized so that there is as little movement in it as possible while it generates a solid hoof wall from the top down. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting him back into work until the solid wall has grown down at least 2/3 of the way to the ground so that is doesn't split again. That would likely take at least 6 months time. It may take two full hoof growth cycles for there to be a really solid connection, but that will depend on how fast (and how well) he regenerates the new capsule. If diet and trim get really tight then he has the greatest potential to heal more quickly. You could consider adding Jiaogulan to increase circulation and accelerate the hoof growth, but then you also need to make absolutely sure the trim remains spot-on at all times or the speedier growth will backfire by outpacing the trim. I would also be vigilant about not allowing infection to enter until the wound seals over - that fly in one of the pictures is concerning at this time. Turnout in a small area, with level footing, no racing around or sharp turns to stress the foot until there is evidence of some new, connected growth. Hand walking would likely be fine as he is currently sound, correct?

2. This is one of the times where a shoe may be your friend as it will definitely minimize any expansion/contraction of the foot during movement. Although that is generally not a positive thing, in this case you need to stabilize the wall edges, and esp. the coronary band itself, so that new wall can grow in attached - think a cast on a broken arm. Shoes will prevent flexion of the feet so will stabilize the entire area, allowing it to grow out. Egg bars will stabilize the heels at one height by creating a level perimeter for the hoof to stand on.

4. I don't know that rolling the wall would be helpful at this time, esp. as he is in shoes. It appears as if the current farrier has done a good job aligning and stabilizing the area. I would definitely want to see the toes come back more so the breakover gets set in the correct location.


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