· Steeper hoof wall growth at the hairline when compared to the toe
· Stress or growth rings
· Divergent growth rings – closer at the toe than at the heel
· White line stretching and separation
· Flat soles
Here are a few photos of typical laminitic hooves displaying some of the characteristics listed above. Some are more obvious than others!
The picture below may not look as severe as the previous hooves, however the separation in these hooves is a serious problem for hoof function and stability.
The hoof above is showing severe quarter separation extending around to the toe, sometimes it can be seen at the toe only and may also be known as ‘Seedy Toe’ or ‘White line Disease’. Nothing you can do to the external part of this hoof will fix this problem. The fix needs to come from the inside – through proper diet and management – for this hoof to grow a better connection. It also will never ‘reattach’, instead the wall needs to ‘Grow in’ from the coronary band at the top.
Diet plays a pivotal role in the healthy growth of new hoof wall and laminar connection. Choose an excellent quality mineral mix such as Missy’s Bucket, provide a low sugar and starch diet and reduce Iron intake. Along with appropriate trimming and exercise, these steps will help your horse get through the dangers of Springtime Laminitis free.
In the next article we will be looking at a series of photos that clearly demonstrate how a hoof grows and see some examples of changes to hoof wall that mirror management changes. Learn how to ‘Read’ your horses hoof wall.
For more info on Laminitis including treatment, rehab and prevention, have a look at the book ‘What is Laminitis? – A Practical, Step by Step Guide to Recovery’ written by Rebecca Scott and Zoe Messina. Also available as an EBOOK on AMAZON HERE
‘If your horse has laminitis, this is the FIRST book you should read! A review by Linda Whitfield Cowles – Equine rehab specialist.