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Horse Hoof Problems

The horse's performance and overall health relies on proper care and treatment of their hooves. Several problems happen for several reasons.

Some hoof problems are as follows: Navicular mainly affects the front hooves and causes swelling in the navicular bursa, navicular tendon, or tendon destruction and bone deterioration. Holes start to form and appear on the hoof wall. The holes extend inward and outward and soon became large cavities. Acute cases cause rupture of the tendon and bone fractures. This is caused by your horse's diet and exercise; some cases may be caused by their lineage. In most cases navicular is not curable.

Founder is a disease that affects the coffin bone. Stress with your horse can cause the blood circulation to be disrupted. This disease can be transferred by generation to generation or by your horses diet.

Infections or abscesses of the hoof are found in the sole or white line area. Pus pockets form and find any opening for drainage. Abscesses occur from injuries, thrush or laminitis.

Bacteria stuck in the tissue of the hoof are on of the causes of thrush. A bacterial infection of the frog is known as thrush. Thrush has a strong foul odor and is black, gray or yellow in color. Thrush usually is cheesy in texture and appearance. Manure and dirt packed in the bottom of the hoof for a long period of time along with a dirty stable conditions cause thrush.

Vertical cracks along or in the hoof wall is known as sand cracks. It usually is found in the toe, quarter or heel. Sand cracks are caused by imbalance of the feet. If the feet are dry or brittle, they will crack more easily. Shoeing nails being place too closely to the outside will also make the hoof split.

Seedy toe extends around the hoof from quarter to quarter. Seedy toe creates a hollow toe.

When the frog base width is less than 2/3 of the width of the widest part of the hoof, it is known as contracted heel. It is a result of shoeing and trimming done poorly. Corns are soft spots or bruises in the sole of the foot.

Corns are from shoe heel caulks, over trimming of the hoof and uneven shoes.

Breakdown of protein and collagen in the hoof wall is called white line disease and is caused by bacteria and fungi living in the hoof wall.

All these hoof problems are painful to your horse. Using proper hoof care will prevent most of these hoof problems. Make sure to consult your veterinarian for the best options and treatments for you and your horse.