Wednesday 20 April 2011

Hooves and symmetry - x-ray comparison

I posted photos of Lucy's hooves, and the fact that they are changing enormously, earlier in the week.  I also took photos of her hooves from the front - the dorso-palmar angle - and the change in her hooves was equally dramatic.   I've also posted a lot previously about wall deviations, and the fact that they can be essential for hoof balance even when they appear asymmetrical to the human eye.

This is the RF, and as you can see from the angle change, there is a lot of rebalancing going on in her hooves. A lot of people would be horrified by the apparent asymmetry of the new hoof capsule (which is visible in the top band of growth).  I remember Wiola commenting that Kingsley's hooves looked "grotesque" when the new angles became apparent.
But - look at the x-ray of the same foot, and then suddenly the "grotesque", "asymmetric", "deviated" new hoof angle makes perfect sense. 
The x-ray of her hooves was taken just before she came here; its interesting that the difference in angles  - which I've highlighted on the x-ray - is now being mirrored in the new hoof angle.  
The red lines are the joint angles, the blue lines are the old hoof capsule.    This is the hoof imbalance that was causing her collateral ligament strain and it had failed to improve with shoeing to the x-rays.
In this photo, the red lines are the new growth - its fascinating how they match the joint angles more closely.  Of course, x-rays aren't always available, but its interesting to wonder whether, with other asymmetric hooves, there is far more going on internally than we sometimes realise, and thats why they don't benefit from "symmetric" trimming. 


jenj said...

Ok, now I want to go get the x-rays i have of Saga when I did the pre-purchase exam and compare it to his current hoof angles. Hm...

cptrayes said...

Wow, that was brilliant! It will be interesting to see if the bones come right-angle to the floor with the new foot, or if the foot will accommodate the off-centre bones?? My guess would be the first.

Jazz has produced a marked deviation in a front foot this spring which I am leaving well alone. This foot has a severe injury right across the right hand (inside) lateral cartilage and the cartilage feels like it has turned to bone as he has got older (he's nine this year). I was expecting trouble in this foot and I am hoping that the deviation in his hoof will allow him to compensate and stay sound.


Emily said...

Amazing how it all suddenly makes sense once you can see the internal workings. Makes you wonder how many horses have this kind of deviation but are being made to walk around on 'symmetrical' hooves. I'd love to be able to afford x-rays of all my guys, would be fascinating.