Research Journal: January/Febreuary 2016

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Hoof Balance Of Toed-In Horses

Veterinarians in Belgium examined the dorsopalmar and mediolateral hoof balance of five toed-in warmbloods that weren’t lame at the time of the study. They used a pressure plate to assess the symmetry of vertical ground reaction forces as a measure of hoof balance and limb loading symmetry at a walk. Their hypothesis was that toed-in conformation primarily affects mediolateral balance.

All the horses showed higher loading of the lateral hoof at impact, essentially equivalent loading at midstance and higher lateral loading at the end of the stance phase. This is similar to the pattern commonly seen for normal, clinically sound horses. Surprisingly, four of the horses examined showed higher toe loading at impact with one horse showing higher heel loading at impact of both front feet. Limb loading symmetry was lower than expected for non-lame horses. Both of these results, increased toe loading and limb loading asymmetry, suggest toed-in conformation may be associated with lameness of the hoof or lower limb.

— Oosterlinck et al. Eq Vet Sci 2015;35:606-610

Coffin Bone Fractures In Foals

Fractures of the palmar process of the coffin bone are not uncommon in foals, but there is limited detailed information on their occurrence. Researchers examined the prevalence of these fractures in the forefeet of 19 “normal” Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Arabian foals, and examined hoof conformation to identify factors that may predispose foals to hoof fractures.

The foals were radiographed at 2- to 3-month intervals during the first year of life…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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