Horse Toe and Quarter Cracks
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Horse Toe and Quarter Cracks

August 31, 2019


Hi, I’m Danvers, the Hoof Health Consultant
for SmartPak and we’re going to talk about hoof cracks today. We tend to talk about toe cracks, quarter
cracks – the nomenclature is almost endless. You have sand cracks, you have superating
cracks, and superficial cracks. The bottom line is, it’s a crack. And it needs to be
attended to and have some concern addressed to it. It may end up being nothing, it may
end up being routine, it may end up being that it’s superficial, it’s evironment or climate related,
but it needs to be looked at. You need to have sort of an idea of what should be a concern
and what shouldn’t. The two most common areas for cracks are at
the toe and in the quarter. And it’s actually quite interesting why that is. If you look
at a coffin bone – the inside, the third phalanx, whatever you want to call it, the inside of
that horse’s foot – you’ll see this dorsal notch at the toe. It’s a weak spot. Then the
quarter crack is usually consistent with the termination of that bony connection within
the hoof. And so, it occurs at the quarter. You can see that termination point is basically
where your quarter crack will occur. Whether it’s at the collateral cartilage connection
or whether it’s at the bony connection, it’s going to run with the horn tubules in this
area. And you can see a slight weakness here that you can see that line right here that
corresponds to this little disruption at the ground surface. So there’s a weak spot there.
The more this hoof is flared, the more that it’s not maintained, the more opportunistic
that is for it to crack at the bottom, and then follow up and that stress point weakens
all the way. The same at the toe. You’ve got the dorsal
notch that is in the coffin bone. And you can see that scoop, and again, that’s a weak
spot, and as that toe gets too long, if it flares and you have a toe flare, you have
excess toe, long toe, low heel, then that leverage creates an opportunity for it to
crack there. So these are faults where you lose the integrity of the hoof wall connections. You’ll see cracks elsewhere, but those are
your main areas – quarter and toe. Stay with us as we look at more hoof health concerns,
here at SmartPak.

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