Stabilizing the Hoof Wall After Resection

Hoof casts promote healing, but be aware of side effects

Several disorders affecting the hooves can be an indication for a partial hoof wall resection. However, high risks and harmful side effects are associated with a loss of supporting hoof wall, so the hoof must be stabilized and protected to promote successful healing

This article shall provide an overview of indications for hoof wall resections and the application of hoof casts based on four case reports. Some general information will be offered first.

In general, indications for hoof wall resections are given if severe hoof wall separations occurred, combined with a loss of function and risk of exacerbation of the disorder or secondary damages of sound structures. Moreover, excessive scar tissue causing pressure on enclosed structures of the hoof capsule might be a reason to remove parts of the hoof wall. Specifically, the following disorders can be indications for hoof wall resections:

  • Chronic laminitis.
  • White line disease.
  • Chronic and profound cracks.
  • Injuries of the hoof wall/avulsion.
  • Keratoma.
  • Abscesses.
  • Perforation of the hoof with acute objects.

Farrier Takeaways

  • A hoof cast stabilizes the hoof after wall resection, relieves the distal phalanx and the solar dermis to help the sole recover and protect the distal phalanx.
  • If extensive hoof wall resection is performed, the bearing function of the removed hoof wall needs to be substituted. It is critical to avoid sole pressure and harming the distal phalanx.
  • A hoof cast can cause negative side effects such as restriction of hoof movement, heel contraction, narrowing of the hoof and irritation of the bulbs…
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Jennifer hagen 5

Jenny Hagen

Jenny Hagen, DVM, PhD, CF, is a veterinarian, re­searcher and certified farrier. She is in private practice for equine ortho­pedics and chiropractic. She is a mem­ber of the faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Leipzig University in Ger­many.

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