Changes in hoof conformation and balance in relation to routine farrier treatment.

Kerry Kuznik (Speaker), Lesniak, K. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference

Description

Introduction There has been limited attention paid to understanding how hoof conformation is linked with the posture of the limb (Ducro et al, 2009). To support this, there have been anecdotal reports linking hoof conformation to limb alterations, but the effects on balance of the foot is still poorly understood. Recent research on hoof balance has only assessed the effects on relatively unrealistic heel and toe wedges (Moleman et al, 2006). Therefore, the assessment of how balance changes during a shoeing interval is necessary, to understand the relationship between hoof conformation and shoeing practises (Labens et al, 2013). The objectives of this study were to determine and measure the effects of the change of the left forelimb hoof conformation during a shoeing interval, and whether these changes altered limb posture and hoof balance. MethodologyLateral and anterior digital photographic images were obtained from twenty six horses by using three digital cameras (Panasonic DMC-FZ45) to capture 17 measurements of the hoof and distal limb at one week before and one week after routine farrier treatment, dorsal hoof wall length, weight bearing length lateral view, coronary band length, dorsal hoof wall angle, heel angle, dorsal coronary band height, palmer coronary band height, weight bearing length dorsal view, coronary band width, medial dorsal hoof wall length, central dorsal hoof wall length, lateral dorsal hoof wall length, medial hoof angle, lateral hoof angle, hoof angle displacement, fetlock joint angle and vertical displacement. Using the software programme Dartfish 7, these measurements were measured and calculated respectively. The results of pre and post groups were analysed in the statistical package SPSS version 20, with P<0.05 indicating significance ResultsStatistical analysis observed 10 of the 17 pre and post measurements had a significant difference (p≤0.05 to p≤0.001). Mean dorsal hoof wall angle, heel angle, dorsal coronary band height, palmer coronary band height, central dorsal hoof wall length, medial dorsal hoof wall length, lateral dorsal hoof wall length, medial hoof angle and fetlock joint angle increased following farrier treatment. Mean dorsal hoof wall length, weight bearing length lateral view, coronary band length, coronary band width, weight bearing length dorsal view, lateral hoof angle, hoof angle displacement and vertical displacement decreased following farrier treatment. DiscussionThe main finding from the present study was that the foot became more mediolaterally imbalanced following farrier treatment. As observed the lateral hoof angle decreases, potentially increasing disproportionate wear across the weight bearing surface and altering the forces applied to the foot. This highlights conformational changes to the hoof during a shoeing interval does influence hoof balance. Interestingly to note, farrier treatment does improve the alignment of the hoof pastern axis, but it also increases mediolateral hoof imbalance. The findings may be helpful in further research to provide justifications on how hoof conformation influences alterations of the balance and posture of the forelimb. List of References Ducro, B., Gorissen, B., Van Eldik, P. and Back, W. (2009) Influence of foot conformation on duration of competitive life in a Dutch Warmblood horse population. Equine Veterinary Journal. 41 (2), pp. 144-148. Labens, R., Redding, W., Desai, K., Vom Orde, K., Mansmann, R. and Blikslager, A. (2013) Validation of a photogrammetric technique for computing equine hoof volume. The Veterinary Journal. 197 (3), pp. 625-630. Moleman, M., Van Heel, M., Van Weeren, P. and Back, W. (2006) Hoof growth between two shoeing sessions leads to a substantial increase of the moment about the distal but not the proximal, interphalangeal joint. Equine Veterinary Journal. 38 (2), pp. 170-174.
Period14 Apr 2014
Held at4th Alltech Hartpury Student Conference
Event typeConference
LocationGloucester, United Kingdom