Veterinarian's Roundtable

 Q. What’s the best advice to a farrier for stabilizing the hoof capsule for P3 fractures?

A: For most P3 fractures, we try to turn the hoof capsule into a cast. The best way to do that is with the foot off the ground so it’s in its neutral position. When the foot is loaded, it expands. So with the foot off the ground, we draw a couple of large clips, medially and laterally, to prevent the foot from expanding at the quarters and heel areas when the horse puts its foot on the ground.

We could do the same thing with a full rim shoe. The full rim is even better for this than clips, but the clips work quite well in most cases.

In addition, I like to put a very firm packing over the sole of the foot. A polyurethane packing works great. We fill in the whole sole so the bottom of the foot becomes solid and keeps the sole from dropping.

This procedure does a good job of stabilizing most P3 fractures and allows the bone to heal. This works because the hoof capsule and the P3 are in effect one and the same.

It would be best for the farrier to work with a veterinarian on this. They’ll want to set up a schedule for getting new X-rays and resetting the foot during the healing. The biggest thing during the healing will be the horse’s comfort. It might need pain medication. It’s surprising how…

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