by Dr. Hiltrud Strasser

Be it removal of shoes, conformational corrections, or the reduction of excessively long heels to allow contracted hooves to open--all of these result in a change in the stresses (pressures and tensions) within the hoof, associated ligaments and tendons, and/or joints. It stands to reason that the effected tissues will require some time to become accustomed to these.

Usually, every tissue of the body, every cell is replaced after a certain amount of time, depending in part on the rate of metabolism. However, when there is a change in the tissue, or a repair is necessary, sometimes the usual rate of metabolism is not sufficient. Increased circulation and increased blood supply become necessary--in other words, inflammation. Within the hoof, increased blood supply is painful because there is no room for the excess blood.

This is why, in many cases, with changes in the shape of the hoof, comes inflammation of the corium.
This is generally impossible to avoid, since the reshaping of the hoof toward its normal, physiologically sound form cannot take place without inflammation--which disappears as tissues and stresses once again harmonize.

The better the circulation and blood supply, the faster the change in the tissues, and the quicker the inflammation will be over. This is why exercise (using common sense) is necessary for quick healing. Immobilization of the hoof means less blood supply and circulation, and thereby slower healing.

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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