Hoof wall balloons out, need answers.

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Hoof wall balloons out, need answers.

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  • Bulges in hoof wall
  • Bulge on outside of horse hoof

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    02-28-2011, 09:34 AM
Hoof wall balloons out, need answers.

I'm not sure if this is something I should be worried about or not. Is it the result of a bad trim job? Or is it just the way she uses that leg? She's never had it before but she's in a constant state of growth so I'm not sure if that could be a reason either.

It's only on her front right hoof, on the outside wall. It comes down straight about an 3/4 of an inch and balloons out the rest of the way down. I say ballon because it doesn't flare, it isn't flat. It actually "balloons".

Anyways, here are some pictures, it was extremely hard to get a decent one where you could see it.
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File Type: jpg DSC_0341.jpg (39.9 KB, 226 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0338.jpg (27.7 KB, 218 views)
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    02-28-2011, 09:39 AM
Do you have clean sole photos?
    02-28-2011, 09:45 AM
No, but I can get some for you this afternoon. In the meantime, do you have any suspicions?
    02-28-2011, 11:35 AM
Green Broke
Technically it is still a flare. Anytime the hoof wall separates from the laminae, no matter the shape or location, bottom line is it's still a flare and that's what you are dealing with. It could be caused by any number of things in the past including dietary imbalance or an old abscess that had formed under the hoof wall and is just now growing out. I can't really tell much from these pictures but if your farrier trims it and handles it like a standard flare it should grow out after a time.
    02-28-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks Indy, it's very hard to get a good picture of it so as long as it's not anything I should be urgently worried about I'm good with that answer. My farrier is due within the month, so I can discuss with him then.
    02-28-2011, 08:40 PM
Could be the farrier left her higher on the outside than the inside which caused flaring - more pressure put on the outside because she's not level/flat/even/balanced side to side.
    02-28-2011, 09:05 PM

Yes, some better pics, with a variety of angles would be helpful. Not a great deal can be told from what we've got. I suspect that while the hoof does look a bit high heeled & imbalanced, this problem may be more internal - perhaps a lami episode & that part of the hoof was under more strain, perhaps she bashed it & there's an abscess there.... The shelly, cracked look of her walls is another indication that diet/nutrition are quite possibly problems. You say she's in a 'constant state of growth'. What does that mean? Is this a growing filly?
    03-01-2011, 09:57 AM
She is 4 and still filling out, though I feel that the cracked nature of her hooves is a dryness issue as opposed to a diet issue. They are all superficial and I've been fighting them all winter(I've spoken with my farrier about the problem because its just her front hooves) and have been waiting for spring shots to see if the vet feels differently, as far as if adjustments to her current diet would be beneficial...so I'll keep that in mind.

Again, very hard to get pictures of this where it's visible but here is a clean sole one and one of the other ones.

Thanks so much!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 184761_1592029772810_1597860015_31251642_1932952_n.jpg (40.8 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0337.jpg (22.1 KB, 150 views)
    03-02-2011, 12:30 AM
From what can be gauged from that sole pic, it appears she likely has pretty good feet. It is clear that her heels, quarters & bars are quite overgrown and heels appear a bit forward of where they should be though. It appears that the the right side(in pic) heel *may* be slightly lower, indicating possible lateral imbalance, either due to farriery or the way she carries herself. If for eg it was an abscess that caused the bulge, she may have carried her weight on the other side for relief, so the outside heel grew longer since the last trim. Sorry I can't be any more definite or specific than that, but hope you appreciate that a couple of pics don't give an accurate enough idea. I didn't mean you necessarily had to have the bulge pictured in different angles, but different views of the entire hoof would give better ideas about balance probs, etc.

Re the cracks, unless you lived in a desert, I wouldn't suspect just dryness being an issue at all, especially over winter. Horses/hooves have evolved for semi arid environs and their hooves are meant to be dry on the outside. Painting stuff on the outside can be a culprit, as these preparations frequently make matters worse(although they can make the feet look prettier). There is moisture in the inner wall, but as the tubules migrate out, they lose their nuclii and dry up. This superficial cracking/shelliness is generally related to the nutrition of the hoof. That's also not just about diet, but if the feet are not functioning well for some reason, there will be less circulation to nourish the cells. So it's possible her back feet don't show this because they're generally functioning better(backs often tend to be better, for a variety of reasons)
    03-12-2011, 08:28 PM
Loosie, sorry for the late response! Thank you so much! I have no answers yet, my farrier will be out in about a week and a half so hopefully then. It doesn't seem to be troubling her as of yet, thankfully. :)

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