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DAMAGING DELAY. Early treatment of this quarter crack was not provided, resulting in a chronic condition.
The importance of early detection of a quarter crack cannot be overemphasized. The longer a tear is left untreated, the more likely it will reach the coronary band. This may cause permanent damage to the horn-producing cells resulting in a chronic condition. Cracks also expose the hoof to possible infection.
That means a patch should be placed on the crack as soon as possible. By treating a crack early, a horse can remain active. This will result in increased blood supply to the coronary band and will encourage the crack to grow out faster. The patch does not cure the crack, but allows the hoof to grow out while arresting any additional tearing of the wall.
The ideal patch for a quarter crack should be easy to place, rigid enough to stabilize the crack while allowing for normal expansion of the hoof wall and not require the use of screws. Metal patches with screws have some built-in disadvantages. Metal is too rigid for use in the quarters because it restricts normal hoof expansion. Screws weaken the wall structure and can impose on the sensitive laminae. On the other hand, very flexible patches are far from ideal as well. They act more like a bandage, providing little — if any — needed rigidity to immobilize the crack. This can lead to additional tearing of the wall.
READY QUICKLY. (Left) The resin patch is…