Frequently Asked Questions

 

Hoof problems that may affect your horse

 

Keeping a horse’s hoof healthy is vital to the overall well being of your horse. There are many different diseases and conditions that you will need to keep an eye on and even take action to repair or to stop your horse from suffering from. Remembering your horse sleeps, eats, drinks and runs all while standing up on there feet so it is very important to maintain and repair their hooves.

I will list and discuss some of the more common ones we might have to deal with.

 

THRUSH OR CANKER

Thrush or Canker is an infection of mainly the frog, when the frog becomes infected it is known as hoof rot. The main sign of thrush is a foul odour coming from the underside of the foot as well as an oozing discharge, the main cause of thrush is too much time spent in moist, muddy unhygienic conditions. To remedy the thrush remove the horse from wet moist area and apply liquid medication that you can get from most tack shop or by e-mailing myself, you can also call me for assistance to remove infected area with shoeing knife etc.

Thrush is a very common problem and easily treated but left alone can ruin the hoof.

 

CORNS

Horses can also be affected by corn as humans, a corn is caused by any repetitive pressure that is applied to any part of the foot. The most common cause of corns are shoeing related whether it be a poor job or poorly fitted shoes but primarily its the shoes moving or left on to long. The main problem we run into is horses landing uneven resulting in more pressure being loaded up one side of the bars. It is good practise to check for corns or any form of discolouring in the bars area or back quarters, corns can be seriously sore in your horse so you will probably notice some form of lameness in there stride or with the hoof testers. The best treatment is to call your farrier for the removal of the corn. Similar to corns is a bruised sole commonly called a stone bruise. Bruised soles affect many horses but are more common in flat feet horses and when shoes are removed for whatever reason. A bruise maybe caused by stepping on a hard object, even a piece of gravel.

A corn or a bruise should be remedied quickly so that the area does not abscess,

 

ABSCESSES

Abscesses are another common hoof complaint. An abscess is a small hole in the hoof. Many times the horse will be fine one day and the next day unable to walk freely not putting there hoof on the ground, an abscess will generally affect only one hoof and will require and visit from the vet who will drain the abscess and apply proper dressing . The abscess can take a while to come right, with it requiring daily dressing or poultice to relieve the pressure of the infection and sometime the abscess will blow out at the weakest point of the foot and normally travels up to the coronet band.

 

CRACK

Many horses hoofs will crack at some stage ,A crack from the base of the hoof is generally a result of from dry hooves or a horse spending to much time in wet muddy conditions .The mud will weaken the hooves and lead to cracks .Small cracks at the bottom of the hoof will grow out on the own and generally do not need treatment ,A crack may also occur at the base or the top of the hoof these are more serious and are usually a result from an injury to the coronet or the lower leg . A crack that bleeds or causes any form of lameness will require a visit from your farrier most likely a trim or shoeing job will be all they need.

 

 

 

SEEDY TOE

Seedy toe is another very common problem in hooves. Seedy toe is a condition in which the outside hoof wall becomes separated from the sensitive lamina found inside the hoof. The hoof will look healthy from the outside, but when cleaning the hoof you will notice the inside is crumbly and appears to be fallen away. Seedy toe is most commonly caused by improper or lack of trimming the hoof. Your farrier will help you treat the condition, but sometimes there is no treatment option depending on the severity of the case of seedy toe.

 

 

LAMINITIS/FOUNDER

Laminitis is mostly known as founder in the horse. When the horse is said to have founder, it generally means the horse is very lame and not able to be in use. Laminitis is an inflammation of the foot that generally affects the front two feet. The most common cause is eating to much, or finding the grain bin and over eating grain. Once a horse is affected by laminitis it may never fully recover, so it is very important to maintain your horse’s diet wisely. A horse can recover with the help of the vet and some treatment from your farrier.

 

laminitis (meaning as per the dictionary - www.dictionary.com)

ˌlamɪˈnʌɪtɪs/Submit

noun

inflammation of sensitive layers of tissue (laminae) inside the hoof in horses and other animals. It is particularly prevalent in ponies feeding on rich spring grass and can cause extreme lameness.

 

CONCLUSION

So you can see that there are several conditions that affect your horse’s hooves. But many can be prevented by proper cleaning, trimming and shoeing. Be sure to maintain a 6-8 week trimming schedule and dry clean living conditions if you want to successfully avoid any serious hoof problems in your horse!

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