Moisture is your enemy when using adhesives on hoof wall. If moisture is present, your risk of failure skyrockets. So you want to make sure you’re completely prepared before applying the adhesive.

“The hoof is always trying to regulate its moisture content,” explains Frank Dugan, Vettec’s sales director. “If you prep the foot, dry it and then get all your adhesives ready to use, the hoof will have rehydrated itself. You always want to make sure you dry the foot and immediately come in with your adhesive before the foot can rehydrate.”

You can dry the hoof using a heat gun or hair dryer for a minute or so, depending on your location.

“If you’re in Florida or the Northeast in spring,” he says, “you might want to dry it for a minute and a half.”

Even if you are working on the foot in an arid climate such as Phoenix, Ariz., don’t assume the foot is dry.

“When you start cutting into the hoof wall, you’re releasing moisture,” Dugan says, noting a heat gun or hair dryer should be used even in arid climates. “The hoof wall is basically made up of tubuli, which are like straws. They’re sealed at the end, but when you cut them, it allows moisture to come out.”

For more tips on using adhesives, read “How Do Adhesives Affect Hoof Wall?” in the July/August issue of American Farriers Journal.