AFA Convention-Goers Get The Low-Down on Palmar Foot Pain

Equine veterinarian Tracy Turner shares thoughts on diagnosis and treatment of this serious footcare problem


Tracy Turner is well qualified to speak on the importance of cooperation between farriers and equine veterinarians. He’s played both roles.

Turner, who was scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the 2002 American Farrier’s Association convention in Lexington, Ky., during early March, has been around horses all of his life. He grew up on a small ranch in southwestern Colorado. He apprenticed with a farrier in 1972 and used his horseshoeing skills to help finance his education. He earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1978 and is currently professor of large animal surgery at the University of Minnesota.

At the AFA convention, Turner was to deliver a pair of lectures on diagnosing and treating palmar foot pain in horses. It’s an important topic, as he points out that lameness in the palmar region of the foot accounts for more than one-third of all chronic lamenesses in the horse. Turner maintains that corrective shoeing is often the most important aspect in treating such lamenesses, making it vital for farriers and veterinarians to work together.

Three Main Conditions

While palmar foot pain can have numerous causes, Turner says all of these conditions can be divided into three categories: Conditions of the hoof wall and horn-producing regions; conditions of the third phalanx (P3); and conditions of the podotrochlear region. Pain in the caudal area of the hoof is common to all of them.

Hoof problems include:

  1. Hoof-wall defects (cracks, clefts that reach the sensitive tissue).
  2. Laminar…
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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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