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RE: [RC] Toe Length - Karen Standefer

Any deviation in the dorsal hoof wall (viewed laterally) indicates pathology. And, actually, if it is more toward the lower third of the hoof wall, the worry is less than if it's at the top portion. There is not much attachment to the coffin bone in the lower 1/3 of the hoof wall, but the top 2/3 should be tightly attached to the coffin bone. So, if there is flaring/deviation in the top 2/3 of the hoof wall, it is indicative of trouble that needs to be fixed immediately.

Typically, when the top 1/2" or so of the hoof wall is at a steeper angle than the lower portion of the hoof wall, it indicates that the coffin bone is sunken (distance from the extensor process to the hairline has increased) which means the laminae are stretched and/or torn. That is not to say that you can't have a sunken coffin bone without this deviation, but most of the time if you have this deviation, you have a dropped coffin bone with laminar inflammation and possibly worse..

Here is a link to a sight that shows how to assess the health of the hoof using x-ray parameters.



Referenced Post:
Why do you say the 1/2" of new growth at the coronet band is indicative of hoof wall separation? This statement does not make sense to me. And of course there should be no deviation of the angle of growth when viewing the dorsal hoof wall BUT there very often is, especially in shod horses.

Looking at the top 1/2 ", as stated in my post, is not the only criteria to use - however, for most people who don't know anything about the hoof, this is a way to do a quick check. Certainly if you see a deviation of the angle at the bottom of the hoof wall you know you have a problem.


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