Cracked Hoof - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Cracked Hoof

My gelding Cherokee has had a decent size crack on the outside of his hoof for awhile now, and I've been trying him on different supplements and I'm not seeing too much improvement. I currently have him on Horseshoer's Secret. He has been on it for about a month now.

I took these pictures with my cell phone so hopefully they turned out.


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post #2 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 11:08 PM
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Well, this is just from my knowledge base but I think the crack isn't healing for a couple of reasons.. first, the hoof will continue to crack until you relive the pressure on the crack itself. This has more to do with how your farrier trims your horse than the supplements you give. The hoof looks quite healthy, but you can't tell much from photos... so I would say give your farrier a call and get him/her to either shoe your horse or put some sort of pressure relief at the top so the crack doesn't keep moving up as the hoof grows out.

I hope that made sense. I'm not very good at explaining things in text.

Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are. - English Proverb
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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It made perfect sense! But as far as I know, Cherokee has NEVER had shoes on. I will call him and see what he says...but he's only 22 years old. I wish there was an older more experience farrier around but he's the only one!
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 11:32 PM
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Hmm... 22 is kinda young for him to have enough experience BUT you never know he might know exactly what to do. I would suggest you keep up with the supplements and at least shoe the front two feet. (I'm assuming here that the crack is on his front) The shoeing would relieve the pressure on the crack and hopefully prevent it from spreading up and into the coronet band which is where the hoof grows from. I would also be trying to find a farrier experienced in dealing with cracked hooves. Even if you have to talk to them over the phone to find out what to do that would be good enough. You don't want to let the crack get any further up as your horse could end up lame and that's definitely not a good thing.

Obviously the crack has been there when your farrier was out last so I'm also assuming that he really didn't know what to do about it... but these are assumptions so I don't know for sure.

If it was my horse I would definitely call up a more experienced farrier and/or a vet in the mean time the shoes should help prevent it from getting worse. You do realize also that it can take up to a year for a hoof to grow out completely right? It varies in each horse though... just so you're aware that it will take a while for the crack to grow out completely.

Show me your horse and I will tell you what you are. - English Proverb
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 11:37 PM
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It can be hard to fight a big crack like that. It takes about a year to grow out a hoof, from top to bottom, so any good your hoof supplement is doing will take a lot longer than a month to show any effect. Probably closer to a year! It will take nearly the same amount of time to get rid of that crack, if it were to magically quit growing today. That is because the hoof grows from the coronet band downwards.

It is probably fixable, but your farrier will need to get aggressive with the rasping to relieve pressure on the crack to keep it from spreading even more.

My mare has a bad quarter crack I fought for about 8 months. It looked great, like it was growing out and doing well. Then rainy season hit and boom, it cracked right open again. I've come to the conclusion she may have to live with it forever. Luckily it doesn't seem to cause any problems thus far.

Your guy's crack isn't all the way into the coronet band (yet anyway) so I think there is a good chance you can grow it out if the farrier gets really aggressive with relieving the wall pressure on the crack. But I would get it tended to ASAP, because if it goes up into the coronet band it will be harder to get rid of.

I don't think hoof supplements do harm, and they probably do some good, but the most important thing is to get him trimmed and rasped in such a way as to relieve the pressure from the crack so it will quit cracking. Otherwise all the hoof supplements in the world will not cure it.

Also, some cracks are more surface, and some go all the way through the hoof wall. No one can tell how bad it is from the photo. My mare's unfortunately goes all the way through the hoof wall, almost like it grows with a slight overlap. There are surgical fixes for really bad cracks, but I don't have the facilities to keep a hoof clean until it takes nearly a year to grow back out. They call those hoof resections. I don't think your guy is that bad, but don't let it get that bad if you can help it.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-17-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah 22 is young, and he JUST got out of horseshoeing school. I do trust him but I'm getting the idea he just knows how to trim them and not tell me anything about them. Yes I know it will take a while for it to grow out but I wish I would see just a LITTLE bit of improvement. I don't want this to end up being horrible for him in the long run. I will definitely call both my farrier and my vet tomorrow and see what they recommend. Maybe the vet can refer me to a more experience farrier. And yes, it is his front foot! Forgot to mention that!
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 04:52 AM
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Can you get a picture from the side on the ground, and a picture of the bottom of the foot?

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post #8 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 10:16 AM
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In my horse's case the farrier cleaned out the crack at the bottom then cut it into a clean upside down V. He then rounded the bottom edge of the V so there weren't sharp corners. He also put a good bevel on both front hooves. The V helped remove the pressure as the hoof wall expands and contracts. He just cut out the bottom chip, not the whole crack.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 10:21 AM
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Not sure how long you have had your horse on each supplement before deciding it is not doing anything but just a FYI, hoof supplements are not an over night fix. It takes many months to see if they are doing anything.

Has your farrier ever mentioned the idea of putting a mark at the top of the crack in a way of preventing it from easily cracking further?

Your horses toe does look long. Is he due for a trim?
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-18-2011, 01:06 PM
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Agreed, supplements are not going to fix a cracked hoof. It would be best advised to consult a Veterinarian about finding someone who can address the cracked hoof with some expertise. Putting shoes on would help give the hoof wall some support to prevent any further damage. Not to cause a scary scenerio if the crack is not taken care of, but sometimes a hoof wall has to be resectioned/part of it cut away to promote healthy hoof wall growth. This resectioning is usually done when the horse has Whiteline Disease.
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