You may have heard of glue-on shoes for horses and today I am going to talk about some advantages and disadvantages of this technique. Gluing shoes on has an advantage over nails in some instances, especially if the hoof wall is poor quality and will not hold a nail. Also, nails can be traumatic and can lead to lameness if not placed properly. Adhesives used to place the shoes allow the farrier or vet to place them appropriately during a medical condition like founder when you may not be able to place the shoe correctly with nails.
There are several different kinds of glue-on shoes. Some have a cuff that is glued to the hoof wall and some have tabs that are glued to the hoof wall; also, there are materials with which you can glue a regular aluminum shoe directly onto the sole. Regardless of the method, there are some advantages as most of these methods have excellent wear of the shoes and most will remain on the foot for 5 to 6 weeks if applied properly.
Disadvantages are that the glue can have an effect on the hoof wall and so glue-on shoes are not recommended for long-term treatment but usually for short-term use for a specific problem. Also, the heat from the composite curing can cause some damage to the walls. Do not use glue-on shoes that completely cover the wall and sole if there is an infection unless a drain is used. Some of the glue-on shoes can restrict expansion of the hoof so should only be used short term. Regardless, glue-on shoes can be very effective in treating horses with low heels as the heel can be extended and support the back portion of the heel. So if you have a horse with hoof problems, ask your veterinarian if glue-on shoes might be helpful for your horse.