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Horse hoof


Hoof inflammation is a painful, debilitating and inflamed condition of the hoof. The leg bone in the hoof passes into a tissue called a thin plate, and this tissue is stretched during inflammation. After that, the leg bone will no longer hold in place and will hang down, clinging to the sole. In severe cases, the weight of the horse can pierce the bone of the leg through the sole of the hoof, which is extremely serious. To help your horse recover from hoof inflammation, treat yourself first, then try to control the cause.

Features of the structure of the horse's hoof

Having studied in detail the structure and evolutionary development of horses, scientists came to the conclusion that the hoof is actually an altered finger of the animal. In the ancient ancestors of horses, the bones of the paws ended in five rays. But due to the special distribution of body weight, the greatest load fell on the middle finger. As a result of this, it developed more in the animal than the rest. Moreover, with each new generation, the development of the third finger depressed the development of all the others, which gradually atrophied.

In order to compensate for the absence of neighboring fingers, the middle one was overgrown with strong horn tissue, which also served to protect the limbs from damage and compensate for shock loads. Despite the appearance of unpopularity, the structure of the horse's hoof is quite complex. It consists of two main parts:

  1. Inner. It includes cartilage, blood vessels, nerves and muscles that surround the leg bone. Their main goal is the nutrition of the stratum corneum of the animal.
  2. Outer, which is also called the "shoe". It is represented by horn tissue that protects the internal sensitive part.

The external part, in turn, consists of the following components:

  1. Border. It is a strip of soft horn tissue. It is a transition line between the skin of the foot and the shoe. Its task is to reduce pressure on the skin of the limb.
  2. Corolla. It differs in a semicircular shape and connects the border with the walls of the hoof. In this part, the bulk of the horn tissue of the walls is formed. In addition, the whisk compensates for the shock load when the legs touch the ground.
  3. Wall. Protects the horse's hoof (its inside) from damage from the side. Consists of two layers: epidermis and skin base. It is divided into a sock, side and calcaneal parts.
  4. Sole. Such a formation involves a horn plate curved upward with a thickness of up to 2 cm. It provides protection for bones, cartilage and ligaments from below. At the transition point of the sole to the capsule wall, a special white line passes.
  5. Crumb. It consists of a special more elastic horn tissue located in the heel of the foot. Responsible for traction. It is combined with an arrow that extinguishes most of the blows to the ground.

It is also worth noting that the horse's hoof assumes a specific size and shape, which may vary slightly depending on the breed of the animal.

The shape of a horse’s hoof depends on a number of factors:

  • breed affiliation of the animal,
  • weight and exterior
  • accommodations,
  • the most typical loads for a horse.

The first two points suggest a particularly strong influence on the form. So, in purebred racehorses, the hoof is narrow, has an elongated shape and is strongly beveled. Heavy trucks are characterized by a wide, straight and more rounded horn capsule.

They also affect the parameters of the shoe and the climatic conditions of the region. If rainy, humid weather prevails in the area, the horn wall of the capsule is thicker and grows faster. In the arid regions, the horses have hooves, and their wall is thinner.

The size of the hoof is also influenced by the breed and the conditions of the animal. In addition, hoof capsules of the front and rear legs differ in size. The rear hoof is much narrower and smaller than the front. In this case, the sole is concave inward. The front shoes with a straight sole are much wider than the rear. In addition, they differ among themselves and the degree of inclination of the hook part to the surface line. On the hind limbs, this figure varies between 55-60 degrees. For the front, it is 45-50 degrees.

Hoofed horn

Ungulate horn tissue is represented by three main layers: two layers of superficial skin cells and the skin base. The surface cells of the horn are divided into two types:

Due to this structure, horn cells are reliably linked to the skin base. This is what ensures the strength of the hoof.

Leaf and papillary cells constantly die and are again produced by the body. Thus, over a period of 12-14 months, the tissue of the hoof capsule is completely renewed. This is also the reason for the growth of cracks in the hoof.

Signs of a Healthy Hoof

Every experienced horse owner knows that any damage to the hoof can lead to serious complications for the animal. Therefore, you should regularly inspect the hoofed horn. And in order to timely identify the beginning pathology, it is necessary to clearly know what a healthy hoof looks like.

The following points are signs of a horn capsule's health:

  • the shoe wall is covered with an intact thin layer of a stronger horn tissue, on which there are no cracks and potholes,
  • the sole of the hoof is slightly bent inward and has a uniform color over the entire surface without red and yellow spots (capes),
  • the horn arrow assumes the original shape with sharp edges and no cracks,
  • the whisk in the lower part is rounded and smoothly connects to the crumb,
  • there are no cracks or signs of damage on the crumb,
  • there is no pronounced separation between the sole and the edges of the wall.

The foot during the stroke is in contact with the surface of the soil over its entire area. If a slight separation is noticeable in the calcaneal part, the hoof is most likely deformed and requires correction.

2) Hooves with flabby or urine horny substance

which, when pulled up, do not hold nails and sprawl, and horses often lose their horseshoes. The reason for this is too dirty keeping and constant stay of horses on manurein excessive dampness. To avoid the fragility of hooves, it is necessary to wash them daily with water, and if the disease is already making itself felt, then you need to relax horseand put her hooves for 2 - 3 days in a bag (sack) with a thick clay dough, while the upper end of this bag is tied near the put joint. The horse should be at rest all this time. It is also useful to lubricate the hooves (from the sides and from the side of the arrow) with petroleum jelly, which protects the hoof from brittleness and brittleness. Horses with scabbard (flabby) hooves must be moved out of the dirty room and not kept on manure.

3) Splits and cracks of hooves

come in the middle and on the sides of the hoof. They come from the constant dryness of the hooves (when they are not washed with water), from forging with hot horseshoes, from sawing off the outside of the hoof shoe during forging, from too heavy horseshoes and large nails during forging.

In order for the cleavage (crack) not to increase, it is necessary to make it on the hoof, with a special hoof knife, on the hoof, with a special hoofed knife, transverse, shallow cuts. With deeper cracks, special, small, iron or copper plates are applied, which are screwed onto the hoof shoe with small screws, as directed by a veterinarian or paramedic.

Cracked hooves need to be softened by washing with water or placed, from time to time, in bags (sacks) with clay dough, as indicated above. Perfect overgrowing of cracks is very rare, and therefore such horses are considered vicious - defective.

How to determine the pathology of the hooves yourself?

Experienced breeders know that in the absence of proper care, excessive workloads, and also with improper distribution of the weight of the disease, hooves in horses develop extremely quickly. Moreover, such a process is complicated by the fact that it is difficult to detect a deformation or the initial stage of an ailment even for an experienced specialist, and the animal itself does not give any signals.

But since the timely detection of the disease is the key to its successful treatment, the beginnings of the pathology must be able to identify independently. Do this in accordance with the algorithm:

  1. During the inspection, compare the hoof with the healthy standard described above.
  2. Observe how the horse is standing. If he leans a little forward, the limbs deviate from the vertical axis, this may be a sign of inflammation of the calcaneal part of the hoof.
  3. Evaluate the nature of the horse’s gait and the staging of its legs while walking A healthy horse puts the foot first on the heel, and then on the whole foot. Horses with a sick hoof first lower the sock and only then only the foot.
  4. Examine the musculature of the animal in the area of ​​the shoulder blades. If the muscles here grow full, without a characteristic deepening, then, most likely, this is a sign of an uneven distribution of body weight due to deformation of the hooves. An excessively thick neck also attests to this.

Attention! All these signs are a good reason to contact a veterinarian. He will be able to conduct a more detailed examination and make a suitable diagnosis.

4) Hoofing

- this is inflammation of any part of the sole of the hoof, resulting from pressure on a solid object (pebble, etc.) that has fallen between the horseshoe and the sole, or from walking an unshod horse on a rocky road. Names are often found in hooves that are dry, forged on short and narrow horseshoes, and also when blacksmiths cut the sole too much when clearing and forging.

When treating hoofed hoofs, the horse needs to be unchained, and on the sole where there is naming (when pressing the spot with special ticks, the horse feels pain), carefully cut off the horny substance of the meat sole with a hoof knife to release the accumulated pus, then introduce a piece of soft tow into the wound or cotton wool, or lint soaked in carbolic oil (2 tablespoons of purified carbolic acid are taken for 1 bottle of any vegetable or machine oil), washing the affected areas with two percent also has a good effect th creosote solution.

Hoof Care - Cleaning and Trimming

Constant care of the horse's hooves helps maintain their health and prevent developing pathologies in time. Basic care procedures include proper cleaning and trimming. Spend them once every 1-2 months.

Implement pruning very carefully so as not to damage the limb. Moreover, in the process follow this instruction:

  1. The hoof is pre-soaked in water for 2-3 minutes. Further, the animal is fixed with straps in the machine.
  2. With a special brush and a hook, they clean away adhering dirt and debris, first from the horn wall, and then from the side of the sole.
  3. Special attention is paid to the recesses and areas of the arrow. Dirt is cleaned from the heel area towards the hook.
  4. The performer tightly clamps the foot of the horse between his legs. Then, with excess forceps, excessively overgrown sections of the horn wall are evenly cut off with forceps.
  5. Using a rasp, grind all burrs and bumps. After that, smoothly level the sole and grind the hoof. Do this from the heel to the toe.

It is worth noting that although the procedure is simple, it is best to entrust it to an experienced specialist if possible.

5) Hoofing

there is a wound to the meat wall with horseshoe nails while nailing the horseshoe to the hoof. Reasons: negligence and ineptitude of a blacksmith, too large nails, a horseshoe not made from a hoof, and also fragments of nails from the previous forging that remained in the hoof.

During treatment, it is necessary to find and pull out the nail that caused the wound, and then, if it has recently been chained, wrap the hoof with cold compresses (rags soaked in cold water, changing them so as not to get warm), but if pus has already formed, then do so same as indicated on captions.

6) Serif hooves

- this is a wound to the skin higher than the hoof (hoofed corolla), resulting from the detection (impact) of the horseshoe of one leg on the other. The reasons are different: congenital incorrect positioning of the legs, with which the horse's hooves are too close, improper forging, shoeing on horseshoes that are too wide or thick and heavy, too high thorns, especially if they are very pointed, as a result of which the horse, stumbling, often catches a hoof of a hoof, sometimes serifs occur from lesions inflicted by a neighboring horse or by accident with some sharp object — dung forks, etc.

Small superficial and fresh serifs heal, quite soon, if proper treatment is applied, deep and neglected serifs are very difficult to treat and leave undesirable consequences, such as horny growths on the corolla, its thickening and fistula of the hoof cartilage, why disfiguration of the hoof and horse limp. Especially dangerous serifs, accompanied by purulent inflammation of the hoof joint.

Serif treatment in mild cases, i.e. when there is only one swelling and slight wound to the skin of the corolla, it is possible to apply cold lotions, a bag of snow or ice, in all severe cases, when the horn of the hoof wall has already come off, and there is a wound and inflammation of the meat whisk, then you can’t do it with home remedies , but you need to contact your nearest veterinarian or paramedic, because in such cases it is necessary to use the surgical method of treatment (cutting backward horns, removing thawed corolla tissue, etc.), which is done in the home way cannot be done.

Horses that need to be spotted should be fitted with horseshoes so that they cannot track their legs, for. serif warnings put on special horses' legs (sold ready-made in surgical stores) metal rings or leather pads on the feet of such horses.

7) Rotting arrow arrows

most often occurs on the hind hooves. The causes of this disease: dirty maintenance and poor hoof care, excessive cutting of the arrow during forging, as well as horseshoes on too high spikes.

During treatment, carefully cut off all the lagged and rotten parts of the arrow with a hoofed knife, and then apply a lint or soft tow soaked in a 5% aqueous solution of carbolic acid or 5% carbolic oil to the wound; it is also useful to sprinkle the wound with iodoform powder with Sabur (2 parts iodoform with 1 part sabour).

Such hooves need to be shod with a round horseshoe with a specially screwed plate made of sheet iron, which, without touching the sick arrow, covers and protects it from damage when walking a horse.

8) Rheumatic inflammation of the hooves

(or vernacularly - singing) happens when a horse heated and unreeling after work is immediately drunk with cold water. Shelter is more often on the front legs, and the animal has a fever, it is worried, breathing faster.

When the horse is fed, a distinctive alignment and extension of the front legs is noticed, while the hind legs are pulled under the torso in order to relieve their diseased front legs from the weight of the body.

During treatment, the horse needs to be unchained, the hooves cleared, and continuously put little balls or rags with snow or ice on them until the heat and pain cease in them. Inside give laxatives from 3/4 f. up to 1 pound of glauber or Epsom salt in two to three bottles of warm, boiled water. The litter should be soft.

If the heat and pain in the hooves does not go away from such treatment, then this indicates that pus has already formed in the sick hooves, and then you need to replace the snow and ice with the application of poultices (it is best warmed flaxseed in bags), and then clean the hoof and in place of pus formation, carefully cut through the sole of the hoof with a hoof knife and release pus, then rinse the wound with warm water and put in it a piece of soft, clean tow or cotton wool, or lint soaked in the above carbolic oil.

You can also wet tow go cotton wool in a mixture of lime water (sold ready-made in pharmacies) with some lean go machine oil (lime water 100 g, and oil 50 g). Hoop with the formation of pus in the hooves is a very dangerous disease, since after it the hooves become ugly, enlarged and ringed, sometimes, on the contrary, the hooves become smaller and narrower than before the disease, which is also undesirable. A horse with such hooves is incapable of work, and therefore is considered a “marriage”.

How to treat

Treating rheumatic inflammation of the horse's hooves is fairly easy, but it takes a long time. First of all, you should bring the horse to the stall with clay or sand floor. If this is not the case, then the legs affected by the disease are wrapped with a special cloth, and clay is placed under it. Do not forget about hygiene. Before applying the clay, the hoof needs to be washed and cleaned.

The horse is kept with bandaged hooves or in another stall for about three days. During this time, you should work out the horse’s diet in detail and change it. In this case, all grain feeds are excluded. This should be done, because nutrition can also affect the onset of the disease.

the horse lies on the ground

All the steps given in the article should be performed exactly, then the outcome will be extremely positive and the horse will return to the usual pace of work.

How to shoe a horse correctly?

Эффективным средством защиты копыт от износа и повреждений выступают подковы. Такой элемент значительно усиливает прочность башмака и предотвращает появление трещин от ударов о твердые поверхности.

Ковку в домашних условиях проводят следующим образом:

  1. The hoof is cleaned and cut off the excess parts of the wall and sole. Further, using a rasp, level the surface.
  2. A horseshoe is applied to the cleaned sole and look at size matching. If the horseshoe does not fit, it is corrected to the desired size with a hammer and anvil.
  3. A fitted horseshoe is fixed with sniffles (special nails), driving them strictly perpendicularly.
  4. The ends of the nails are bent and cut off with forceps. Then they are carefully riveted with a hammer.
  5. Using a rasp, the bulging remains of nails and horn tissue are ground.

Important! Also, the procedure is carried out for all other limbs. It should be remembered that until the age of 5 horses are not horseshoe.

Horse hoof disease

The list of possible diseases of the horse's hoof is quite extensive. But the following are among the main ones:

  1. Corn. It develops with strong pressure on the hoofed capsule or when using low-quality horseshoes. It is a seal of the horn tissue on the sole near the wall. In the absence of urgent measures, an infection develops against the background of the corns.
  2. Osteitis. The disease involves inflammation of the bone. A sign of its appearance is a special manner of movement of the animal, which shuffles its legs, feeling pain. There is an ailment with severe bruising of the limb or against the background of laminitis. In the absence of proper measures, the animal may stop walking or die at all.
  3. Laminitis. This disease involves inflammation of a particular pterygoid cartilage of the hoof. It develops as a result of unbalanced nutrition, problems with blood vessels in the hoof or with a strong concussion.
  4. Squamous disease. It is a deformation of the bone to which the ligament of the leg flexor is attached. From this, the animal feels severe pain and limps. Over time, lameness becomes constant. Researchers believe that such an ailment is congenital. But as its prevention, it is recommended not to give the load to the horse on asphalt and other hard surfaces.

Attention! If signs of each of these diseases are identified, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Otherwise, the disease will be complicated, which can greatly harm the animal.

The hoof plays a large role in protecting the horse's limbs. Moreover, even the slightest damage to this part of the body can cause serious diseases that are fraught for the animal with severe torment and even a lifelong limp. Therefore, it is extremely important to properly care for the horse's hoof, as well as be able to timely identify signs of a developing disease.

9) Pumping backs and withers of horses

. Quite often, from a poorly fitting or poorly made saddle, saddle or collar, horses on the back, withers or shoulders develop tumors of various sizes, such tumors are called pressure. Occasionally, pumping occurs from the long, one-sided pressure of the saddle when the rider sits long and obliquely in the saddle.

Horses with a sharp withers or goat chest, or a staggering, uneven gait, as well as excessively thin, or, conversely, very obese, are more often subjected to pressure. This disease is an inflammation of the skin, subcutaneous tissue (fiber), sometimes even the muscles and bones located in these places.

Injections constitute an extremely serious disease and require careful and proper treatment. Improper treatment of injections usually leads to the development of a disease in which treatment becomes either impossible or so long that its cost exceeds the cost of a sick animal. Therefore, at each pump, you need to seek medical help.

The treatment undertaken by the owner of the animal should be reduced to eliminating the causes that caused the formation of pressure. To do this, you need to carefully inspect the harness (saddle, clamp, saddle and the like) and find out what is the reason that caused the pump. After this, it is necessary to fix the incorrectly fitted or arranged thing, and then give the animal complete rest and apply the appropriate treatment.

If the pressure is insignificant, and according to the conditions of the farm, the animal cannot be freed from work, then it is necessary to redo the harness so that it does not press on the affected area of ​​the skin. Of the remedies for fresh pressure, cold is used for inflammatory tumors. The best way to apply the cold is to attach blisters (rubber or animals) that are pre-filled with finely chopped ice or snow to the blasts.

Such ice bubbles are left to lie on the inflamed area of ​​the skin for no more than one hour, after which they are removed, the sore spot is massaged with the hand, and after an hour's break, cold is applied again. In the absence of a bubble, a canvas is placed on the sore spot, between which folds pure snow is laid.

When pumping, it is necessary to avoid the rinsing of passages with creoline solutions or other disinfection fluids, which is well-liked by some doctors. Such washings contribute to the formation of sagging and further contamination of the wound and infection with pyogenic microbes. Treatment should be surgical, carried out according to the strict prescription of a doctor.

10) Horse sprain

. Most often, stretching of the put joint in horses, as well as stretching of the shoulder joint. A characteristic feature of joint sprains is the fact that lameness is especially noticeable at the beginning of movement, when the horse was at rest before it. During movement, lameness often disappears.

Painful joints usually swell, are hot to the touch and when pressed on the joint. painful. Often, an animal at rest almost does not rely on a sick limb. Joint sprains usually occur when driving fast on rough roads. When stopping quickly at high speed and when cornering too steeply. If the joint sprain is of recent origin, it is first necessary to give the animal complete rest.

During rest, it is best to apply cold in the form of a thick coating of the diseased joint with clay. As the clay dries on the diseased joint, the lubrication with clay is repeated. If the joint has been stretched for several days, then it is necessary to apply heat in the form of a warming compress.

The warming compress is put in this way: they take a clean canvas rag, moisten it with water and, after pressing it out, put it tightly on the sore joint. On top of a damp rag, put a piece of leather or a piece of paper soaked in some vegetable oil. A wool rag is placed on top of the skin or oiled paper.

If such a compress is applied correctly, then after another 4 hours when removing the compress, the canvas rag will be wet. In persistent cases, when suffering cannot be cured of applying a cold or warming compress, you should definitely contact a veterinarian.

11) Horse Shoulder Lameness

It is caused not only by a sprain of the shoulder joint, but also by a number of other diseases of the joint and muscles surrounding this joint. If shoulder lameness occurs, first of all it is necessary to give the horse a complete new charge and apply cold.

If lameness does not pass from the use of cold, then immediately you need to contact a veterinarian, who, having determined the cause of lameness, will apply the appropriate treatment. If the disease is started, then it takes a long time to cure.

12) Horse Squats

are mainly in the put bend of the limbs. The reason is their careless and dirty content of the horse's legs. Squats are dry and skinny (gangrenous). With strong development, the squats can cause lameness and quite significant.

With dry squats, when cracks are formed on the skin in the bend of the diseased limb, often covered with crusts, it is enough to lubricate this diseased skin surface with zinc or lead ointment sold in pharmacies.

After each ride it is necessary to wipe the put fold skin with a clean cloth and sprinkle the diseased skin surface with a powder consisting of equal parts by volume of talc and crushed birch charcoal. In persistent cases, iodine or a 14% solution of pyoctanine can be lubricated.

If the sod is skinny, that is, if the skin of the back surface of the putrid fold of the swelling is painful, and the horse is limping, then such a horse must be given complete rest and a warm compress (see joint sprains) from creolin water should be applied to the sore joint.

After the dead skin in the form of a rod is separated and a wound similar to an open mouth is formed, treatment with compresses continues, alternating the use of compresses with powders of one part by weight of alum and 4 parts by weight of naphthalene. Since this suffering is extremely serious, it is best to contact a veterinarian in a timely manner.