hoof grows down instead of out - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-26-2009, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question hoof grows down instead of out

hi every one. i have a horse, chucky. His hooves dont grow out like they should, they grow straight down. I was just wondering if any one else has a horse whos hooves grow down. if so, has anything come of it? How old is your horse and is it ridable? have you ever had any health problem hoof wise with it? soory about all the questions haha. I asked the vet about it when he was getting X-rays and she said that it is cause by a very slight (nothing to worry about) rotation of the hoof bone. would love to hear experiences and opinions.

also, do you think that this would make him more prone to hoof defects/illnesses/diseases/problems?

Also, he had corronitis about 5 months ago, does this mean he is prone to it in future? thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 18 Old 03-26-2009, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by happygoose123 View Post
hi every one. i have a horse, chucky. His hooves dont grow out like they should, they grow straight down. I was just wondering if any one else has a horse whos hooves grow down. if so, has anything come of it?
It is called club footed and is a conformational and genetic fault. Horses can be ridden without any major problems but it can also cause some horses to be unridable, just a matter of how severe the angle is.

Horses with this fault can have a stilted or short choppy gait but again it is also a matter of how the individual horse handles it.

These horses should not be bred from.
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-26-2009, 08:34 AM
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Pictures would really help. It could be a club foot problem as spyder said or it could just be how they are put together. Do all 4 grow the same way or only 1 or 2 of them? My mustang Dobe's back hooves grow down instead of out but he is just what I call "mule footed" on the back. He has never had any soundness issues, it just looks a little funny.
Do they look anything like this? (sorry for the bad pic, it was the only one I could find to crop and the date is in the way but I hope you get the idea)
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File Type: jpg Dobe feet.jpg (61.6 KB, 225 views)

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post #4 of 18 Old 03-26-2009, 08:29 PM
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Hard to know what you mean without pictures.
I would treat any rotation as a red flag. Could be a poor trim, could be a metabolic issue, or an infection in the white line, but any rotation is not right and may coincide with easily bruised sole or at least tenderness.
Or did she mean that it wasn't a big deal as in," easily fixed", not as in "Don't do anything different because he's totally fine" ? So is it truely rotated or just pointed down steeper compared to the other feet? There's a lot of gray area here, but a rotation should mean that the coffin bone is not firmly connected to the hoof wall and is pressing down on the sole more than usual, which is a pathology.
AN upright foot is sometimes not fixable,but many times, if done properly, can be lowered to the appropriate height, if it's simply a trimming issue (farriers tend to want to make the feet look exactly the same, and a club foot can be the result, but if allowed to be "different' the hoof will happily take on it's intended shape. Sometimes a club foot is indicateing lameness or stiffness elsewhere in the body, like the shoulder, and if so, isn't fixable without fixing the cause.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-27-2009, 02:59 PM
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Hi.. Is this a new problem or did they always grow that way?.. did you just get the horse?..
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-27-2009, 03:27 PM
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My friend has a horse with hooves like that and he has no problems what so ever. He is a barrel horse. I guess it just depends, pictures would be helpful. If the vet says hes ok, then i wouldnt worry about it.

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post #7 of 18 Old 03-28-2009, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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his feet have been like it for as long as i have had him which is nearly 3 years. they dont look like the pic above, they look fairly normal. they just look like little pony feet. it is a rotation of the bone but only very very slight and my vet said it was nothing to worry about as in there is nothing you can do about it but nothing will come of it, so im guessing its nothing to worry about. she is a really good vet as well! he never had any problems before he got corronitis at all. it wasnt until he went to the vet before we knew his feet werent even normal! all four of his feet are the same. ill have to get a pic tomorrow for you all to see. the diameter of his hoof never changes, they just grow straight down. im just wondering if it would make him prone to more hoof problems or not, its a hard question to answer i know. he does have bad confirmation, not overly so its a problem but though. when i could ride him i could do anything and everything woth him. i guess its nothing to worry about but i wanted to see what others had to say. ill show you some pics tomorrow! thanks for everyones replies! i wud love to hear more!

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post #8 of 18 Old 03-28-2009, 11:18 AM
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Perhaps your vet is using the term rotation to decsribe that he has really upright coffin bones (and sounds like contracted feet), but without actually separating, so he's not truely "rotated" at all. I'm assuming, because descriptions on the internet can be easily misunderstood, but I'm going to go with that.

It sounds like your horse has vey contracted feet, which to answer your question of whether it could lead to lamness down the road; YES, it can. Contracted heels are a sign that he's not landing heel first and utilizing the shock absorbing properties of his foot, and his body is getting the full concusive force when he's working, He's at a higher risk of Navicular syndrome (esp since his coffin bone is tipped downward) and developing arthritis. It may be a genetic predispostion, as in conformation makes it more likely for him to have upright shoulders and move in a way to promote his hooves to be this way, but many times early trimming in foals is skipped and they are kept in stalls to protect them and the foal misses the opportunity to develop the back of the foot properly.
Regardless if it's not bothering him now, the coffin bone should not be considered "okay" as is. There should be some effort to promote heel first landing and correcting the angle to preserve his soundness for the future. It may not need to be anything dramatic, but subtle changes can help. He may have issues higher in his body that also limit his ability to land heel first if he's compensating, so his whole body should be examined and considered when trimming him. It's rare that all four feet would be exactly the same, the fronts and hinds are usually at different angles. Unless he's a mule, but even they must land heel first with the coffin bone landing flat, not on it's tip. Too many toe first landings can actually damage the coffin bone and erode the tip in bad cases. I would get a second opinion from a qualified farrier and maybe have another vet check out thos xray films, personally. Contracted feet can lead to serious lameness, and the coffin bone should never be allowed to stay "rotated" and be acceptable.
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-29-2009, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. firstly ive had 3 vets look at the x-rays and him and another vet to just look at him, so ive had 4 vets look at him since he has been sick! all i know is that my vet (and 2 others) said that he has a tiny tiny very slight rotation of the bone but there is nothing to worry anbout it and nothing we can do cause he has most likely been like it all him life. and they also said that is wont effect him, thats all i know cause thats all i was told. I was worried that is was rotating! but im listening to the vets.

he doesnt land heal first he lands toe first, i checked. without spending thousands of dollars (on top of the $1000 we jsut spent getting him better) there is nothing we can do. the only thing we can do is get corrective shoes (like braces for teeth :) ) but all 4 vets said it wasnt really nessecary. his hooves are the same as in they all grow down, not just the front or back hooves. here are some pics of his hooves. the pic with 2 hooves is his back and the other is his front. please no comments on how bad they look. they look a million times better than what they did. they are comming along well! its hard to see the true shape of his hooves cause they are bad at the moment but you might get the idea. Once his hooves are better i was planning on showing all of you his process in his hooves healing! :) thanks for everyones help so far!!!

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post #10 of 18 Old 03-29-2009, 03:28 AM
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Thumbs up

WOW!your horses hooves look great to what I expected!I have a 2 year old pony who's hooves grow really fast!you know how they say that a horses hoof grows as fast as our nails do, well my pony's hooves 3 or 4,5 times faster then my nails,but I guess it's only because hes young ,his body is still forming.Anyway see ya later.

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Last edited by Chestnut Eventer; 03-29-2009 at 03:31 AM. Reason: I left out a word
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