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Heel problems in horses can manifest with a variety of characteristics, including underrun heels, heel bruising and heel cracks. These problems often contribute to chronic or refractory lameness.
While a number of effective techniques for treating heel bruising and structural hoof wall failure have been described in the literature (2 to 8), many of these techniques require considerable skill and/or time to execute. This paper describes the assembly and use of a two-component, glue-on shoe to treat chronic heel problems using a heel cushioning technique. This system is simple to use and, in many cases, is highly effective as an augmentation or substitution for hoof repair or reconstruction.
Glue-on shoes provide a mechanism to attach shoes to the horse’s hoof in a non-destructive, non-invasive manner. Several different glue-on shoes are available commercially, and a method for attaching conventional aluminum shoes directly to the ventral surface of the hoof has been described.
In addition to minimizing the damage done to the hoof wall, adhesive bonding of horseshoes allows the load of the attachment system to be spread over a significantly greater area than conventional nail-on shoes, providing a significant decrease in the load of shoe attachment per unit area on the hoof wall.
Glue-on shoes have been used successfully for the treatment of a variety of problems involving structural hoof wall failure in horses. They are also often used prophylactically with healthy hoofed animals to maintain hoof wall integrity for highly competitive horses that are…