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When examining a hoof, mentally split the foot from front to back and from the medial to lateral side. Check all the normally healthy areas first and then remember the areas of concern.
Don’t jump to any conclusions at this point, even if you are convinced that the horse has an abscess or other problem. Listen to the complaint, learn the animal’s history and try to keep the discussion brief by asking only important questions. Most owners and trainers will not be aware of what is important and will bend your ear for hours if you let them.
—Ric Redden, Versailles, Ky.
The distal forelimb undergoes very high stress during locomotion, particularly during uneven foot bearing. The distal interphalangeal joint is the joint that is most influenced by hoof placement and orientation and the joint that is most directly manipulated by hoof trimming and shoeing.
—J.M. Denoix, Ecole National Veterinary D’Alfort, Maisons-Alfort, France
Cases that reach equine referral podiatry hospitals are many times chronic and confusing. Attempting to make a diagnosis based on immediate findings, without good diagnostic material from the referring veterinarian and farrier, can lead to a misdiagnosis of the primary causal mechanisms.
—A.M. Floyd, Serenity Equine Advanced Lower Limb And Laminitis Center, Evington, Va.
In a Bureau of Land Management study in Nevada, wild foals had extensive packing of gravel under their soles and several appeared to have migration of gravel along the laminae with discharge at the coronary band at the heel and along the hoof…