Shoeing for Distal Phalanx Fractures

Glue-on shoes are a good option when dealing with these situations

Fractures of P3 are not uncommon. The most frequent cause is due to the horse kicking or landing on an unyielding object such as stall walls, rocks in fields and hard unlevel ground.

This particular case dealt with a P3 hind foot fracture (Figures 1 and 2) in a retired horse in his late teens that had never been ridden and was totally kept on good pasture.

Apart from this injury, this was a sound horse that was trimmed every 6 weeks. The hoof wall was excellent and needed no adjustment.

What caused the problem is unknown, but this very lame horse was presented with three fractures to the distal phalanx on its left hind.


Figure 1.


Figure 2.





The horse could still bear weight, but it was very reluctant to walk. The veterinary surgeon requested some sort of shoe that would help stabilize the foot and was open to suggestions on the choice of shoe.

The trimming (Figure 3) and shoeing process was undertaken with the horse in a standing position. It took only the normal amount of time as a normal shoeing job.


Figure 3.

Sedation Avoided

As the horse was in considerable discomfort without any pain relief, it was assumed any shoeing would require some form of sedation — given the trauma associated with nailing on shoes. Some pain relief was also likely to be needed to minimize the effect of the post-shoeing trauma.

Removing the need to attach the shoe with nails liberates the farrier from…

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