Veterinarians' Roundtable

Q: How long can it take lameness to show up from a blind quicking? Is it likely that a possible quicking could be the cause of lameness that shows up 27 days later?

A: It’s not likely, but it can happen. There is a possibility that a quicking interrupted the integument of the sensitive laminae. That makes it possible for bacteria or other infective agents to enter through the hoof wall and establish themselves inside the hoof.

As time goes by, the bacteria multiply and become an abscess. That puts pressure on the sensitive laminae, causing pain for the horse.

I wouldn’t be too quick to blame the farrier, but everyone wants to point fingers and have an absolute answer. And in truth, this could result in lameness.

—Leroy Howell, DVM Noble, Okla.

A: I’d be really doubtful about a claim like that. That’s an awfully long time. The longest I’ve seen in my experience is a week to 10 days before the lameness shows up. And that isn’t really a quicking, it’s more of a high nail. The movement of the foot makes the nail similar to a rock in a shoe that leads to a blister.

I expect any problems from a quicking to show up pretty quickly. Seven to 10 days would be the longest. Most of those problems show up in 3 to 4 days. But after 27 days, a quicking would be really low on my list of suspects for lameness.

I would use hoof…

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