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Suturing a Toe Crack After an Abscess

Helping a horse with a severe toe crack relies on weighing decisions throughout the process


Pictured Above: This toe crack case resulted from an abscess that blew out about a year before this farrier clinic.

Farrier Takeaways

  • ider the owner’s willingness to provide proper aftercare and the environment in which the horse is kept.
  • Consider each part of the appliance so you or another farrier can adjust as necessary, without removing the entire package.
  • Before you first attempt lacing a crack, practice on a cadaver limb to gain experience.

Every case presents farriers with variables that influence the decision on trimming and shoeing a horse. The impact of these factors are weighed, some more influential than others. Ignoring any of these may result in the failure of an otherwise reasonable decision.

Clients and the role they are willing to play in their horse’s footcare may greatly influence the success of the farrier’s work, especially in the aftercare of therapeutic cases.

Woodbury, Conn., farrier Joe Santos discussed how he considers this factor, as well as others while demonstrating a crack repair at a recent American Association of Professional Farriers Hoof-Care Essentials Clinic at Northeast Farrier Supply in Winstead, Conn.

Low Maintenance Solution Needed

Santos, joined by Dr. Ryland Edwards of Fairfield Equine in Newtown, Conn., worked on a case of a horse with a substantial dorsal crack on its hind left foot. Neither farrier nor veterinarian have worked with the horse before today. About a year ago, the horse blew an abscess near the coronary band. Over months, the crack had grown down but was never…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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