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Dorsal hoof wall distortion — defined here as the deviation of the dorsal hoof wall from a straight line — can be an important indicator of overall hoof health and dorsopalmar hoof balance.
In a cross-sectional study, the authors examined the dorsal hoof wall distortion of 133 lame horses presented to an equine referral clinic for shoeing. Fifteen of the horses were shod with a glue-on shoe (Sigafoos Series I) and the remaining 118 were shod with conventional shoes. Hoof measurements were obtained from digitized lateral photographs over the course of 1 year, and the impacts the glue-on shoe and other hoof variables had on hoof wall distortion were determined.
Both hoof wall length and the use of glue-on shoes were important determinants of dorsal hoof wall distortion with less hoof wall deviation among horses shod with glue-on shoes. The authors report that knowing the hoof angles, dorsal hoof wall lengths and whether the horses were shod with glue-ons, one could predict 15% of the hoof deviation seen in this sample of horses. Acknowledging the limitations of the size of the study, the authors rightly suggest that further study of the effects of glue-on shoes will help increase our understanding of how glue-on shoes affect hoof shape over time.
— Reilly et al. JEVS 2009;29:115-117.
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