Laceration Treatment to the Horse's Hoof Wall

July 17, 2006 (published) | November 21, 2016 (revised)

One of the common injuries we see in horses is one to the hoof wall, in which the hoof wall is detached from the underneath tissue; this is correctly called an avulsion of the hoof wall.  Some of these injuries involve only the hoof wall but others also involve the coronary band.  If the hoof wall has become detached from the underneath tissue, it must be removed surgically.  If the coronary band is involved, sometimes it can be sutured.  It is important to have your veterinarian examine any wound to the foot as there are a lot of serious structures in the hoot that can be deadly if involved.  Your veterinarian will check to make sure that no joints or tendon sheaths are involved, and will also clean and flush the area well. 

The hoof will likely have to be numbed with local anesthetic to carefully examine the area; if no other structures are involved, skin and coronary band tissue can be sutured and the hoof wall that has become detached can be removed.  The hoof is then bandaged after applying antibiotic medication.  In some cases, the hoof wall can become completely unattached and has to be surgically removed.  Even in this case, the horse can survive if the wound is treated properly although a long period of treatment is involved.  Failure to treat these hoof wall injuries will certainly lead to a defect in the hoof wall, and those usually lead to lameness. 

If your horse has an injury to the hoof wall or any area on the lower leg, again these wounds in this area can be deadly.  It is important to have all of these wounds examined immediately by your veterinarian as delaying treatment of foot and lower leg wounds can be very serious.  If you have other questions about treating a hoof wall injury, contact me at  

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