Lindsay Cotterell DAEP, Dip.IAZ

An Unhealthy Hoof - Deformed Hoof Syndrome

This hoof will be scored as a 2 on the Spectrum of Usability This horse until recently was shod but due to lack of structures the shoes will not stay on and as a consequence can no longer be ridden. It is turned out on pasture 24 hours a day in the summer and during the winter stabled at night.


This is a very vulnerable hoof, demonstrating a very significant level of fungal infection and structural deterioration, but not an uncommon sight, and would require a major change in living conditions and a high level of owner commitment and participation to restore it back to health.


It has been rated with such a low score for the following reasons:


The frog is poor, small and withered, with severe and chronic fungal infection affecting the central sulcus, frog spine and up into and splitting the heel bulbs, it's frog spine is weak and ineffective.


The whole hoof is very contracted with atrophied ungular cartilages and digital cushion


The wall matrix is virtually lost and cannot protect internal structures from trauma upon impact.


The white/golden line is barely visible and there is little surface area at the angle of the bar.


The whole hoof capsule has migrated forward from where the widest part of the frog should be and every structure is weak and lacks surface area.


The toes are very long and the sole lacks concavity and exfoliation.


Being the front hoof it should appear round rather than long and narrow.


This horse is experiencing a high level of unhealthy structures and is highly vulnerable.

2Unhealthy hoof
3 Unhealthy hoof

Copyright (c) Lindsay Cotterell DAEP 2020