Veterinarians Roundtable

Q: Can pedal bone roation be caused by incorrect shoeings? Please explain. 

A. If we start with a normal horse and we just do a poor job trimming and shoeing him, the answer is, “No.” If we don’t do the job badly enough to cause severe inflammatory changes — like trimming him down so much that he’s too sore to walk — we won’t cause coffin bone rotation.

But if you trim a hoof short enough that you create traumatic laminitis, that can cause a cascade of events that come into play just like any other source of laminitis. I have seen horses develop severe laminitis and severe rotation from having their feet trimmed way too short, and then the owner takes them out riding.

But if you have a horse with a history of laminitis, or a horse with chronic laminitis that has been well managed and is asymptomatic, and you shoe him poorly, you can set him back right where he started.

Remember, it’s not the trimming too short that directly causes the problem, it’s the subsequent severe foot inflammation that causes or allows the rotation.

We don’t have a clue to the underlying cause of laminitis. We know it can come from overeating in the feed room, or grazing on too much green grass, or a mare retaining her placenta without proper treatment, or having a foot trimmed way too short — all of these horses end up with the identical clinical picture, and we don’t know…

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