Inflammation and Hoof Health
Inflammation is a complex biological response that occurs in response to injury, infection, or
abnormal conditions within the body. In horses, inflammation in the area of the hoof can lead to
a condition known as founder. Founder is a painful and potentially debilitating condition causing significant pain and distress that affects the sensitive structures within the hoof, ultimately impacting the horse’s ability to move and causing significant pain and distress. The connection between internal hoof inflammation and horses' developing founder is indisputable. The following provides a comprehensive
understanding of the topic in both medical and layman's terms.
Hoof Anatomy: To comprehend how internal inflammation affects the hoof, it’s essential to
understand the basic anatomy of the horse’s hoof. The hoof consists of several structures,
including the coffin bone, the sensitive laminae, and the insensitive hoof wall. The sensitive
laminae act as a suspension system, connecting the coffin bone to the hoof wall, providing
stability and shock absorption.
Internal Inflammation: When a horse experiences internal inflammation, it means that there is
an abnormal immune response occurring within the body. A heightened immune response can
cause internal inflammation. Many conditions can cause this response such as diet imbalances
(excessive carbohydrate intake), infection, overexertion, prolonged stagnant weight bearing,
and many more.
Impact on the Hoof: Inflammation can have severe consequences for the horse’s hoof.
Inflammation disrupts the balance within the hoof, causing damage to the sensitive laminae that
connects the coffin bone to the hoof wall, which is commonly known as founder. The
inflammation compromises blood flow to the hoof, resulting in poor oxygen and nutrient supply
to the sensitive structures. This lack of blood flow can lead to pain, tissue damage, and
ultimately rotation and sinking of the coffin bone.
Signs and symptoms: Recognizing the signs and symptoms of founder is crucial for early
detection and intervention. Signs of founder may include increased pulse or throbbing in the
hoof, heat in the hoof area, reluctance to weight bear, and a specific stance known as “Founder
Stance” with the horse trying to relieve pain by shifting its weight backward.
Prevention and Solutions: Apply Greska’s Carbon-60 to help alleviate
inflammation, pain and promote recovery.