cracks in hoof

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cracks in hoof

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:07 pm

Hi Don- I'm wondering if you can help me. My gelding has a vertical crack in two of his hooves. They look pretty deep to me but he doesn't seem to be in any pain. The thing that bothers me is that as soon as I think they might grow out and be able to be trimmed off, they always split further up. As it is now, he's had these two cracks for almost a year and both cracks extend halfway up his hoof. Dirt gets in there and "things" catch on the crack, causing his hoof to get ripped open there. My farrier is unconcerned, but I guess I just don't like the way it looks. Is there something that we can fill it with to strengthen it and help it grow out? I'd eventually like to show this gelding. There is no way I can do that with these cracks in his hooves.



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Re: cracks in hoof

Post by Don Cloutier on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:32 pm

The cracks you are describing can be caused from a few different problems, identifying the specific cause without having the actual hoof in my hand would be hit or miss, so let’s not focus on the how, let’s look at the cure.



It does sound like Mother Nature is trying to fix the problem, you said these cracks have been an issue for about a year and after a trim it appears to be growing out. Ok, I am going to have to get dirty. Bottom Line This. You need to get aggressive with this problem. It will never fully resolve itself on its own. Your farrier needs to step up or step aside. I hate to put it that way, but if this has been ongoing for a year, it sounds like something is just not working. I do not know if you have your horse shod or not, but in order to fix this problem you will have to have him shod. This will help to stabilize the hoof as it heals and grows out. The next step is to stabilize the hoof wall. There are plenty of products available to correct this issue, some farriers use staples, some use plates, some use polymer products, and some use a combination of these together. Some look medieval and other methods have a natural appearance. My preferred method is using Vettec products, they are durable, hold up well and completely seal out anything undesirable from entering back into the crack. This is paramount to correcting this problem.



In closing I am not suggesting you fire your farrier, I have no idea what your relationship is. This may be an excellent learning experience for the both of you, or you may wish to bring in a person who has experience in dealing with this particular problem, none of us know it all. When I get in over my head I pick up the phone, as my highest concern is for the health and well being of the animal.



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