6.2.2. Club foot - correction of incorrect shoeing

1.Title of the article (Diagnosis): Club foot

 

Authors: Ing. Jindřich Vinčálek, CE-F

Place of work: Veeterinary clinic Heřmanův Městec

Literature overview:

Podkovářství, 38.4. Úprava a podkování špalkových kopyt, ISBN: 978-80-7490-052-5, Tisk Pálka 2015

Breed: Czech warmblood

Sex: Mare

Age: 7 y/o

Colour: Bay

Working discipline:  Showjumping

2. Data of the patient

Reason why the owner complains: Mare lies often, is reluctant to move, has irregular movement on a hard surface, even lame on the right front limb

 

Duration of the problems:   14 - 15 months

 

Stabling conditions:  

  • From birth to 18 months of age in deep bedding

  • At the age of 18 months the new owner was recommended box stabling with a hard flat surface

 

Bedding: At the age of 18 months after change of owner, a hard surface with a minimum of shawings

 

Surface on which the horse mainly moves: Sand riding arena

 

Frequency of the hoof care:  

  • every 6 - 8 weeks

 

Type of shoeing: During the period with problems, several different ways of shoeing took place

3. Anamnéza – History

Characterisation of the problems:

Long - term movement problems manifested by frequent lying of the mare, shortening of the steps mainly of the right limb, often on a hard surface even limping, especially in the stance phase - Video No. 1.

Video No. 1

The mare was presented in walk and trot on straight lines before shoeing. In both gaits, she showed a double impact on both front limbs, which was given by high heels and wedges at the ends of the shoe branches. The right club foot had a more pronounced double impact. The high heels and the long dorsal part of the hoof without rocker or rolled toe limited the length of the stride

Conformation:

In the frontal plane, only a slightly wide base stance. In the horizontal plane, a small inward rotation of the phalanx. In the sagittal plane the steep position of the phalanxs, on the right front flexion deformity in the coffin joint causes a 2-3 degree club foot.

Shape of the hoof and pathologic changes:

The left hoof is slightly steep and according to the X-ray, LM projection, the axis of the phalanx bones is not broken forward. The right hoof is typically a club foot with high heels, an offset coronary band, a curved dorsal hoof wall and a flat sole in the area in front of the point of the frog.

Evaluation of hoof care and of the type of shoeing:

 

Both front hooves were probably very poorly trimmed for a long time. Especially on the right front limb, the principles of club foot trimming were not respected. The result are high heels, the coronary band pushed into a high arch, and dorsal wall concavely curved and offset under coronary band.

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Fig. No. 1. - 3 .: From the left - Left front hoof when viewed from the front, from the side and from the back before the 1st trim - evaluation of the old shoeing.

The hoof was shod with a Mustad Libero 22 x 8 size 2 shoe with metal wedges welded to the ground surface of the shoe branches. The horseshoe was straight without rocker in the dorsal part. The clip was only touching the hoof wall in the front part and the edge of the shoe protruded over the bearing edge of the hoof.

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Fig. No. 4 and 5: From the left - Left front hoof when viewed from behind and from below before the 1st trim - evaluation of the old shoeing.

 

The shoeing method extended the front half of the hoof to a negative anteroposterior ratio of 60/40. A short and eccentrically placed shoe and a higher inner heel also contributed to the poor balance of the hoof.

Examination results

The mare was presented in walk and trot on straight lines before shoeing. In both gaits, it showed a double impact on both front limbs, which was caused by high heels and wedges at the ends of the horseshoe branches. The right club foot had a more pronounced double impact. High heels and a long dorsal part of the hoof without rocker or rolled toe limited the length of the stride - see. video No. 1

 

X-rays were shown as further examination of the mare. The image of the right limb clearly shows the forward broken axis of the phalanx bones in the coffin joint and the position of the coffin bone in the hoof capsule at an angle of 60 °. The position of the coffin bone is closely related to the large palmar angle of the coffin bone, which is 14.9 °. The dorsal hoof wall is concavely curved and its direction is different from the direction of the dorsal surface of the coffin bone. The tip of the coffin bone is already damaged - see. Fig. No. 6. The placement of the individual bones of the phalanx in the limb is shown in Fig. No. 7.

 

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Fig. No. 6 .: X-ray image of the hoof before trim

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Fig. No.7 .: Illustration of the placement of the phalanx bones in the limb

4. Problem description

5. Chosen solutions

Trim at the age of 18 months:

When trimming the hooves, we had to take into account that by removing the shoes with wedges, we had already reduced the heels by 8 mm. Due to the long-term growth of the heels, the deep digital flexor tendon was certainly shortened and too excessive one-time trim of the heels would lead to its significant strain. This would not be appropriate due to a damaged coffin bone connection in the dorsal portion of the hoof capsule. The heels were reduced by 2 cm during the trim and only about 8 mm of the horn was removed in the dorsal part of the bearing edge. The concave curvature of the dorsal wall was straightened from the coronary band to the bearing edge. A long rocker was rasped on the bearing edge and the edge of the hoof was rounded to a white line. The rest of the bearing edge to the heels was trimmed to a slight banana rocker (see Fig. 8 - 11).

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Fig. No. 8 and 11 .: From the left - Left front hoof when viewed from the front, from the side, from the back on the raised limb and from below after the 1st trim

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Fig. No. 12 .: After trimming the hoof, an X-ray was taken, which confirmed the improvement in the position of the coffin bone relative to the hoof capsule. The axis of the phalanx was almost aligned and the dorsal wall was parallel to the coffin bone. The palmar angle of the coffin bone decreased by 4 °.

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Fig. No. 13: The placement of the individual bones of the phalanx in the limb

Shoe preparation and shoening 

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Fig. No. 14 .: Equilibrium size 1 horseshoe was used for shoeing, the ends of the branches were lengthened and thinned by forging.

Fig. No. 15 - 16 .: From the left: Left front hoof after shoeing seen from the front and from the side

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Fig. No. 15 - 16 .: From the left: Left front hoof after shoeing seen from behind on the raised limb, from below and both limbs from behind.

The shoe follows the circumference of the hoof bearing edge and has a slight banana rocker shape. It was set on the hoof with its front edge at the transition of the white line and the sole. The horseshoe, thus fitted and nailed on a properly trimmed hoof, corrected the anteroposterior ratio to 40/60 in favor of the palmar part of the hoof.

Rules of the further care:

Regular shoeing at shortened intervals, gradual shortening of the heels until a regular impact is achieved.

6. Development of changes

Effect of the first selected hoof trim:

With the first trim of the hooves and shoeing, it was not possible to reduce the heels to a regular impact in the dorsopalmal direction, because there was a risk of damage to the deep digital flexor tendon, its check ligament and the coffin bone laminar connection.

 

Changes in the choice of horseshoes and shoeing:

Only a very slightly curved banana horseshoe improves the impact of the growing heels and, with its good breakover, reduces the pull of the deep digital flexor tendon.

 

Farriery treatment effect:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video # 2:

The double impact has improved by more than 50%. The mare's movement improved only a little after the first shoeing.  

 

Result of the care:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A positive result of the first trim and shoeing of the club foot was the correction of the position of the bones of the phalanx in the hoof capsule.

Video No. 1: Horse movement before shoeing

Video No.2: Movement of the horse after shoeing

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Fig .: No. 17-18: From left: Position of finger bones after incorrect shoeing and to the right after correct correction

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Fig .: No. 17-18: X-ray images. From left: Position of phalanx bones after incorrect shoeing and to the right after correct trim

7. Conclusion (take home message):

The correct trim and shoeing of the club foot is a farrier's expertise gained mainly through experience. Farriers who do not have sufficient experience should shoe club feet under the supervision of experienced farriers. The unprofessional work of farriers caused this bad condition of the mare's front limbs, which may not even be possible to correct