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Wall Seperation

Q:  I’ve recently been called to trim a horse and noticed that the hoof on the off-side front has separated from the coronet front by about 3 inches. After pointing out this problem to the owners, they told me that the horse was totally lame about a week prior and it’s now sound and putting full weight on the foot. There’s no sign of infection, and during trimming the horse shows no signs of discomfort. There’s a lot of movement in the separation opening and you can see a sensitive area that appears to be healthy.

I’ve told the owners that I may not be qualified to handle this type of problem, but they are an older couple and can’t afford extensive veterinary or farrier bills. Can someone offer me any suggestions on this problem?

—Mark Freeman

A:  Without viewing the foot it would be hard to tell, but it sounds like it may be a “gravel” or could have been a disruption of the corneal band. If it’s just a gravel, then there should be good hoof that will begin to appear above the damaged area and the opening will eventually grow out. This may take 6 to 8 months, depending on the horse. 

Once the opening is away from the hairline it may be a good idea to sand the hoof wall down with a medium-coarse sanding pad. This prompts the perioplic ring to produce more periople to cover the outside hoof wall and diminish the outer rim…

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