April 22, 2015

2MT - Case Study: How Bars can Affect the Equine Foot

The bars are an extension of the hoof wall, they are made of keratin just like the hoof wall. The bars have a lamina like the hoof wall and can distort as hoof wall can. After the bars leave the point of origin they can bend, roll over or even meld into the sole in a wet climate. There are some feet that have no distinct bar visible. A case such as this is where the bar has melded into the sole and is pressuring the horny sole. In many cases it will have an under lying corn and when loaded and will cause pain.

In the top photo the lines show where the bars ended up after 12 weeks. The moisture level in the hoof was high and added to the bars ability to grow into the toe. After the bars are move back closer to where they should be you can see how they are in a straight line from just inside the seat of corn down to the center of articulation.

In the toe of the trimmed foot you can see where the bars laying on the sole have caused trauma to the sole. This grew out with no deep bruising but had it been left alone any longer it would have taken several trims to get the damaged sole back to normal. 

If you have a hoof that has this kind of tendency, stay with a 5 - 6 week trim schedule just to keep things where they belong.