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3.1. Coffin bone distal descent

                  1. Author of texts and photos:  Miloslav Kreps, CE-F

                   Place of work:   Stud Farm Měník

               2. Literary overview:   Podkovářství, Schvácené kopyto, ISBN: 978-80-7490-052-5,  Tisk Pálka 2015

               3. Data of the patient No. 3.1.

                   Breed:                  Czech warmblood

                   Sex:                      Broodmare (had 10 foals)

                   Age:                     Born 27.3.2013

                   Color:                   Chestnut

                   Discipline:            Breeding 

  • Potíže, na které si majitel stěžuje – Reason why the owner complain: Klisna vykazuje bolestivost hrudních končetin, nekomfortní pohyb zejména na nerovném a tvrdém povrchu.

  • Doba trvání potíží – Length of the problems: Klisna se v pohybu během posledního roku výrazně zhoršila

  • Ustájení – Stabling conditions: V boxu

  • Stelivo Bedding: Sláma

  • Povrch po kterém se kůň pohybuje: travnatý výběh

  • Frekvence úpravy kopyt – Frequency of the hoof care: Korektura kopyt v pravidelném intervalu každých osm týdnů.

  • Typ kování – Type of shoeing: bez podkování

  • Kulhání, případná diagnóza – Lameness and diagnosis: Klisna se pohybuje hůře na zpevnělém nebo nerovném povrchu i v kroku

  • Reason why the owner complain: Mare shows pain in her forelimbs, uncomfortable movement especially on uneven and hard surface

  • Length of the problems:  Movement of the mare significatly worsened over the past year.

  • Stabling conditions: Box stall.

  • Bedding: Straw.

  • Surface, on which horse moves most often: Grassy field.

  • Frequency of the hoof care: Trimming regularly every 8 weeks.

  • Type of shoeing: Barefoot.

  • Lameness and diagnosis: Mare moves worse on uneven and hard surface, even in walk


Fig.1.: Forelimbs camped out.  

4. History:

  • Characterisation of the changes:

While standing on a hard surface, forelimbs are slightly camped out and mare likes to relieve by shifting the weight between legs. At presentation, mare shows pain in the impact and loading phase. The impact phase is cautious and loading phase shortened. The mare is lame in trot. Due to higher heel growth, double impact is evident in movement.

Videos No. 1. and 2.: Double impact is evident in movement.


Fig. 2. - 4.: Palapation was slightly positive in front of the tip of the frog in both forelimbs. 

  • Conformation:


Fig. 5. a 6.: Mare’s stance from the front: the limbs have deviations in the horizontal plane - slight outward rotation of the limbs and toed in hooves.

  • Shape of the hoof and pathologic changes:

Both hooves have lower angle from side view, with higher heels and concavely bent dorsal hoof wall. Due to toed in phalanxs, the hooves have inner diagonal deviation. From frontal view, the hooves are broken in. White line is deep around the whole bearing edge and heavily damged. Heels are long and underrun, frogs are strong but affected by thrush. 


Fig. 7. - 9.: Right front hoof before trim from side, back and bottom view.


Fig. 10. - 12.: Left front hoof before trim from side, back and bottom view.

  • Evaluation of the trim and of the type of shoeing:

Hooves were slightly neglected, bearing edge of both hooves was extensively broken out in the outer toe quarter, in the direction of breakover. The mare was barefoot.

  • Examination results:

Sinking coffin bones diagnosis was cinfirmed by RTG examination. On lateromedial images the coffin bones show rotation of11,8 and 12,6°, and descent 18 and 19 mm. Palmar angles are 13 and 12,3°. Solar thinckness below the tips of the coffin bones is only 8 mm, which can be considered insufficient due to the flat feet and the weight of the mare. This is demonstrated by damage to the coffin bones, especially on the right limb 

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lp geo.jpg

Fig. 13. - 14.: From left: Right and left front hoof before trim lateromedial image

5. Problem description

  • Trimming:

By lowering the heels and leveling the bearing edge of the hoof, we achieve lowering of the palmar angle of the coffin bones. Simultaneously, by leveling the dorsal wall of the hoof capsule with the dorsal surface of the coffin bone, we get closer to the ideal dorsopalmal balance of the hoof. This trim respects the position of the coffin bone in the hoof capsule.


Fig. 13. - 14.: Straightening of the dorsal hoof wall with dorsal coffin bone surface - dorsopalamar balance.


Fig. 15. - 16.: By lowering the heels and leveling the bearing edge of the hoof, we achieve reduction of the palmar angles of the coffin bones.

  • Shoe preparation: 

For shoeing we have chosen Mustad Libero front shoe with side clips and welded Mercedes bar. Front edge of the shoe was hammered round, which ,together with setting the shoe back, ensured easier brakover. Fig. 21, 22.


Fig. 17. - 18.: Prepared left front shoe Mustad Libero with welded Mercedes bar

  • Shoeing:

Shoes were shaped so the front edge was set behing the edge of the hoof. Nails were driven into rear holes. 


Fig. 19. - 21.: Shod right front hoof from the front, top and bottom view.


Fig. 22. - 24.: Shod right front hoof from the front, top and bottom view.

  • Other treatment:


Fig. 25. - 28.:  For the support of the sole will be used Luwex M15 hoof packing.

  • Rules of the further care:

Most importnat is regular shoeing to maintain good dorsopalmar balance, strengthening of the sole and growth of straight dorsal hoof wall.

6. Choisen solutions

  • Trimming effect:

The first trim ensured, in particular, a good balance of the hoof capsule with respect to the position of the coffin bone. This resulted in improved shape of the hooves. The control X-ray images of the hooves after trim show a significant improvement in the position of the coffin bones.  The front surfaces of the hoof walls are almost parallel to the dorsal surface of the coffin bones and the palmar angles of the coffin bones have been reduced by half by treatment.

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Fig.  29. - 32.:  Right front hoof before and after trim, including lateromedial X-ray images.

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Fig. 33. - 36.:  Right front hoof before and after trim, including lateromedial X-ray images.

  • Changes in shoe choice and shoeing:

The mare was barefoot and the shoes were chosen in order to  maximally improve the hoof balance and protect thin and sensitive soles.

  • Treatment effect:

A good balance of hooves and lightening of dorsal walls ensured better growth and strengthening of the coffin bones. The Mercedes bar in combination with the hoof packing protected the sensitive soles while supporting the solar surface of the coffin bones against further descent.

  • Result of the care:

A few days after shoeing, the comfort of the mare's movement improved rapidly even on hard and uneven surfaces, and after a week the lameness in the trot disappeared.

8. Follow up – Development of changes)

Reshoeing and follow up is recommended in six weeks. Based on the evaluation of the results of the first shoeing, I recommend to suggest further steps.  In my opinion, the damage is not so extensive and in the future will be possible to gradually use a simpler type of shoeing.

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10. Conclusion (take home message).

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