Research Journal

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

New Technique Measures Hoof Symmetry

Despite the recognized importance and frequent discussion of hoof size, shape and balance, few techniques have been well described to measure and describe the hoof capsule.

This report clearly presented a new three dimensional coordinate system for measuring solar size, shape and symmetry as applied to the left front hoof of 20 Thoroughbred racehorses. Some 200 measurements were taken directly on fresh cadaver specimens from horses that died for reasons unrelated to the study. Comparisons were made to assess reproducibility of the measurements as well as symmetry of the solar surface.

The hoof was wider with a larger radius laterally than medially. Mediolateral asymmetry of solar depth was not generally observed, however the sole at the periphery was deeper in the dorsal medial and palmar lateral regions. More symmetry was noted for structures in the center of the solar surface compared with the periphery. Reproducibility of the technique was good with the magnitude of most measurement errors below that considered clinically relevant.

The technique described should be a valuable analytic tool for describing the size, shape and balance of hooves .

Effects of Wedge, Egg Bar Shoes Evaluated

The experimental trial reported here compared the effects of wedge, egg bar and plain shoes on the magnitude and distribution of pressure under the hoof with six clinically sound warm blood mares standing…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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