Farriers' Roundtable

Q: What impact does urine in a stall have on hoof quality, and how do you treat urine-damaged hooves?

—Alabama Farrier

A: I don’t know if I could look at a hoof and say that it’s been damaged by urine or uric acid. It could look like the horse was just standing too often and too long in wet conditions.

Still, I would look at the frog and check for the central sulcus being eaten away, and I’d talk to owners about where the horse stands all day. I think you’d have to get scientific about it before you could say that uric acid is actually eating away the frog. It could be just a wet environment that’s conducive to organisms that cause that kind of problem.

Either way, the solution is really a combination of things. It’s correcting the environment, plus you have to get the horse on a regular schedule of hoof care and you have to have the owners clean the foot and expose it to the air on a regular basis.

If possible, have the owner change the stall so the horse isn’t standing in a bad spot. Maybe put the feed bucket in a place where the drainage is better.

And there are floor systems made for this problem, such as graded plastic sheeting raised off the floor, with the gaps filled with sand or some kind of drainage material.


Pat Quinn

If you have a frog that’s shedding out and capturing muck and dirt…

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