A Place for Veterinarian-Farrier Teamwork

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re providing the hoof care an injured horse needs for recovery

Therapeutic shoeing refers to the various ways and methods that can be utilized to help a hoof recover from a medical problem, injury or some kind of functional impairment. In many situations, a veterinarian and farrier will be involved in working with a problem foot. Often there is need for accurate diagnosis of a medical problem before a specific trim/shoe can be prescribed to help a foot heal or come back to normal.

This is an area in which farriers and veterinarians often work together for the best interests of the horse, bringing their different areas of expertise to the table. Therapeutic shoeing covers a wide spectrum and there are multitudes of ways to help resolve a problem. If you find yourself dealing with a therapeutic situation, those with experience in the area say it’s important to know what you are doing.

Start With The Basics

Scott Morrison, DVM, head of the Podiatry section at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Ky., says the success of therapeutic shoeing depends on good basics.

“Some people diving into therapeutic shoeing don’t have a good foundation in normal shoeing,” he explains. That means farriers and veterinarians doing hoof repair work must first have good knowledge of, and experience in dealing with normal feet. That experience will also lead to increased speed and efficiency in your footcare work — another important factor.

“You need enough experience to be able to work efficiently around a horse,” says Morrison. “The last thing you want…

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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