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In this series, we will examine different shoeing applications and various alternatives for achieving the same desired outcome. In this installment, we explore the Z-bar shoe.
The Z-bar is a versatile shoe that can be used when it’s necessary to relieve weight-bearing in the heel quarter or the heel as a result of an injury or insult. It can be used to float sore, sheared and lacerated heels. It can aid the healing of quarter cracks by allowing the hairline to drop. It’s also beneficial for shoeing hoof avulsions; abscesses; corns and infected or fractured bars.
It’s important to exercise caution, though. The Z-bar isn’t ideal for all situations in which a heel needs flotation.
Laura was called in to work on a horse that presented with slight navicular changes and a prolific heel shear. After consulting radiographs, the veterinarian advised us to unload the affected side. Laura applied a Z-bar and inset Vettec Equi-Pak with passive pressure to the frog to accommodate the navicular bone.