by Dr. Hiltrud Strasser

Arthritis can be cured through proper hoofcare, since it is originally caused by an incorrect distribution of weight on the effected joints. If, however, in addition to the one-sided strain on the tendons (as caused, for example, through poor conformation) the hoof's shock absorbing mechanism is disabled (through shoeing), the arthritis will continue to become worse.

The wearing surfaces of the joints must be reshaped by the action of movement. Depending on the age of the horse, it will take about two years (with a smaller degree of misalignment, eventually less) until the conformation is corrected.

Consequent treatment is essential.

In Dr. Strasser's hoof clinic, the change in alignment is initially begun with daily corrections (only small amounts each time), usually over a period of 2-3 months, depending on the degree of change.

Following this, the horse owner or caretaker, under supervision, continues with weekly trimming, aided by a hoofcare specialist once a month.

Once the surfaces of the joints have regained their physiological alignment and proper weight distribution, arthritic changes will no longer cause pain. The horse can once again be worked, within limits, and a continuation of this ailment is prevented.

Copyright Dr. vet. med. H. Strasser
Blaihofstr. 42/1, 72074 Tuebingen, Germany
Tel/Fax: (011) 49-7071-87572
Ed. & Canadian contact: Sabine Kells at email: textorder @

©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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