Research Journal May/June 2021

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Study of Coffin Bone and Hoof Capsule Relationship

Researchers from the United States and Columbia conducted a radiographic survey to measure and describe the relationship between the coffin bone and the hoof capsule of Columbian Paso Fino horses.

They took digital lateromedial radiographs of the front and hind hooves of 45 Paso Finos between 3 and 5 years of age that had no signs of lameness or history of laminitis. All horses were about 20 days from having been shod. Hoof measurements including wall thickness, sole depth and coffin bone and hoof angles were obtained from the images and comparisons were made between the front and hind hooves as well as between horses that move at four different characteristic gaits.

Front and hind hoof measurements were correlated. Proximal wall thickness was significantly greater in the front feet as was palmar/plantar sole depth. Hoof angles were not significantly different between feet; however, the dorsal angle of the coffin bone was about 2 degrees greater in front compared with hind feet. Only the distance between the tip of the coffin bone and the shoe was different (about a ½- centimeter greater in the trot and gallop) between horses with different gaits in the front hooves, and a few other minor differences were seen in the gait of the hind feet, notably the vertical distance above the extensor process and the thickness of the distal hoof wall at the toe. It is unclear to what extent shoeing and trimming styles that may vary…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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