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What to do about hoof cracks?

This is a discussion on What to do about hoof cracks? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Quarter cracked hooves
  • What to do about cracks in horses hooves

 
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    10-13-2009, 08:48 AM
  #11
Trained
I agree that hooves tend to look nicer when oiled, but it doesn't really have a positive effect on their health. They don't tend to need topicals, but to be fed right from the inside. A *good* complete supp that's appropriate for your area/feed and possibly extra biotin if he doesn't get much green forage is a great start, but what's his diet like? Does it change much over the year?

I can't tell too much from just that one pic, don't know how long post trim it was. Need more info. Looks perhaps a little long at the toe, but more so at the quarters, as is evidenced by the flaring. Can't tell if there's any flaring at the toe. Perhaps a bit high in the heel? But overall I'm guessing possibly not bad trim job, just a little overdue. I would be putting a strong 'mustang roll' on them too, especially the quarters. It appears there's a sort of bit of one just at the crack. It needs to continue around the hoof basically like that.

The crack looks like a minor one, likely caused by walls getting overlong & under too much pressure. But it probably has an infection which is eating away at the weak area, undermining strong growth above. I'd be treating the infection & ensuring the horse *remained* well trimmed. Depending on how long since the last trim & what it looked like then, what the rest of it looks like, you might want to go to a 4-6 week schedule. 8 weeks is generally too long for most horses, esp. Bare.

Regarding him being sore on gravel, this is unfortunately common & likely due to heel pain. This can be due to weak digital cushions, due to bad trimming, lack of exercise, etc. and thrush, which can make frogs very sensitive. While heels may be too high & contracted, just lowering them & making the horse exercise on such ground is likely to just cause the horse to 'tippy toe' & avoid landing on his heels properly & the heels will stay sensitive & out of use. I would use boots on surfaces he isn't comfortable in, and perhaps leave the heels a little high for now & use frog support pads to enable him to *comfortably* get some frog stimulation, begin using his feet properly & strengthening them.
     
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    10-13-2009, 10:03 PM
  #12
Weanling
Get a oil named "worlds best hoof oil", it doesnt dry out the hooves is expecsive but amazing. And also, jsut a note, horizontal lines above the crack do not help and can make them worse
     
    10-13-2009, 11:03 PM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I agree that hooves tend to look nicer when oiled, but it doesn't really have a positive effect on their health. They don't tend to need topicals, but to be fed right from the inside. A *good* complete supp that's appropriate for your area/feed and possibly extra biotin if he doesn't get much green forage is a great start, but what's his diet like? Does it change much over the year?

I can't tell too much from just that one pic, don't know how long post trim it was. Need more info. Looks perhaps a little long at the toe, but more so at the quarters, as is evidenced by the flaring. Can't tell if there's any flaring at the toe. Perhaps a bit high in the heel? But overall I'm guessing possibly not bad trim job, just a little overdue. I would be putting a strong 'mustang roll' on them too, especially the quarters. It appears there's a sort of bit of one just at the crack. It needs to continue around the hoof basically like that.

The crack looks like a minor one, likely caused by walls getting overlong & under too much pressure. But it probably has an infection which is eating away at the weak area, undermining strong growth above. I'd be treating the infection & ensuring the horse *remained* well trimmed. Depending on how long since the last trim & what it looked like then, what the rest of it looks like, you might want to go to a 4-6 week schedule. 8 weeks is generally too long for most horses, esp. Bare.

Regarding him being sore on gravel, this is unfortunately common & likely due to heel pain. This can be due to weak digital cushions, due to bad trimming, lack of exercise, etc. and thrush, which can make frogs very sensitive. While heels may be too high & contracted, just lowering them & making the horse exercise on such ground is likely to just cause the horse to 'tippy toe' & avoid landing on his heels properly & the heels will stay sensitive & out of use. I would use boots on surfaces he isn't comfortable in, and perhaps leave the heels a little high for now & use frog support pads to enable him to *comfortably* get some frog stimulation, begin using his feet properly & strengthening them.
That picture wasn't of him - I just posted it to show you what his crack looked like and where it was located.

He is getting a small amount of 12% pellets (probably 3 cups), 2 scoops of orchid/alfalfa cubes (I think the scoops are 3 quarts), and one small scoop (about 1/4 cup) of an all-around supplement (incl. Biotin) twice a day. He also gets a handful of flaxseed once a day. He's turned out on grass for at least 14 hours a day. He's been on the same feeding schedule for over a year and a half. The only thing I changed was adding the flaxseed, which I did about 6 months ago.

I'll switch him to a 4-6 week trimming schedule. Thank you for the help.
     
    10-15-2009, 11:08 AM
  #14
Foal
Does his supplement contain zinc? I had a draft x with terrible hoof problems. I had him on a supplement with biotin, which helped, but someone suggested adding zinc and it ended up working really well! It's definitely not an instant fix, but the results were worth it to me!
     
    10-15-2009, 11:50 AM
  #15
Foal
If you use a hoof supplement don't expect to see a change for a long time 8-10 months, because you will be feeding the top of the hoof so you won't see alot of change till it grows out.
     
    10-15-2009, 03:26 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Making sure his toe stays short will help prevent the crack from being too painful or worsening, it takes the pressure from the hoof wall, a good mustang roll will help as well. Proper trimming, no shoes( seeing as they restrict blood flow (which aids in the growth of a healthy hoof), and a good supplement should have the hoof fixing itself and growing out properly a bit quicker.Oh yeah and plenty of exercise on nice soft sand or grass to get the blood a pumpin!
     
    10-15-2009, 06:45 PM
  #17
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by edozier1    
Does his supplement contain zinc? I had a draft x with terrible hoof problems. I had him on a supplement with biotin, which helped, but someone suggested adding zinc and it ended up working really well! It's definitely not an instant fix, but the results were worth it to me!
It does have zinc. Here's what's in it...

"Flax Seed, Flax Oil, Rice Bran, Lactose Free Whey Protein Concentrate, Sunflower Seed, Soy Flour, Cane Molasses, Performance Minerals™, Osteon™ (Natural Zeolite), Calcium Carbonate, Bio-Sponge™, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Glucosamine Sulfate 2KCl, Chromium Yeast, Selenium Yeast, L-Carnitine Tartrate, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Citrate, Manganese Citrate, Copper Gluconate, Cobalt Chelate, L-Lysine, L-Glutamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Iodine Chelate, dl-Methionine, Choline Bitartrate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Aloe Vera Concentrate,Vitamin B12, Thiamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid."

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterbuggies    
If you use a hoof supplement don't expect to see a change for a long time 8-10 months, because you will be feeding the top of the hoof so you won't see alot of change till it grows out.
He's been on the biotin for about a year and a half now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeysuga    
Making sure his toe stays short will help prevent the crack from being too painful or worsening, it takes the pressure from the hoof wall, a good mustang roll will help as well. Proper trimming, no shoes( seeing as they restrict blood flow (which aids in the growth of a healthy hoof), and a good supplement should have the hoof fixing itself and growing out properly a bit quicker.Oh yeah and plenty of exercise on nice soft sand or grass to get the blood a pumpin!
Okay, thanks : ]
     
    10-15-2009, 11:03 PM
  #18
Weanling
First, hoof oils can exaccerbate hoof cracks. Most horses are actually suffering from too much moisture, not too little. Lack of exercise can limit the circulation in the feet, which carries those hoof supplements to the foot, but also the moisture. Topicals can trap fungi and bacteria IN and allow them to eat away more hoof, so at best, they aren't helping, and could actually make it worse.

Ditto on more frequent trims (see my website under Case Studies and click on Jake QH Toe Crack to see a prime example.

Also, just having the nutrients in a supplement, doesn't mean they are utilized. Other nutrients can block absorbtion, or enhance it, depending more on the proportions than actual quantity. You can feed a perfectly balanced supplement, but when it interacts with the grass he eats, or hay, grain or even the minerals in his water, it can make it very unbalanced. Have his hay and pasture analyzed to see if you are feeding the right supplement.

In the mean time, makes sure he's on as dry of footing as possible, and you might even look at hoof SEALANT instead of moisturizers, after you have thorougly disinfected it.

Good luck!
     
    10-15-2009, 11:59 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterbuggies    
How offen are you having him trimmed? The longer you go between trims the more they will split. Maybe have him trimmed a couple of weeks earlier, and if your working him more he's going to have more cracks than if he's just messing around in the field.
I second this, also, see if your farrier can rasp those flares out better, as that adds extra tension on his foot, and the cracks themselves...kind of 'helps' the splitting along, because of the added pressure from the outside of the foot, when it should be 'equal' all around.

I would try to get your farrier to come out more often; like if you are currently having him out 8 weeks, try 6 weeks, and if that doesn't help so much, then try 4 weeks; he may not have 'much' there to get off, but if the farrier can keep up with the rasping, the better off your horse will be.

My new mare came with pretty cracked up feet, and had decent sized flares (not extreme, but enough to be causing extra pressure to the foot), and getting rid of the flares, extra growth, and rasping as much of the excess cracking as I could without getting into hoof wall, she is much better, and the cracks have stopped 'growing'. Filing can do wonders on the hooves!
     

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