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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What on Earth Is This?

These photos illustrate the same condition, although these two horses had different ways of displaying it.

Do you know what this is? I didn't, until I read the new book Hoof Problems by Rob Van Nassau. The European answer to Chris Pollitt's Color Atlas of the Horse's Foot has finally been translated into English.

And would you trim it off with your nippers? Obviously some farriers didn't want to touch these growths.

How appropriate that this book should arrive at "back to school" time. It certainly jump-started my curiosity for the odd and unusual problems that affect hooves. All I can think of is that the author haunts the slaughterhouses looking for worst-case scenario hoof problems. And he found them.

This first US copy of Hoof Problems arrived today and I went right to the page where these photos can be found. I had been puzzling over them in the Dutch version and I could finally read the captions so I know what Rob Van Nassau says caused this. Do you?

Hoofcare and Lameness Journal will give a copy of the book to the person who writes the best, most plausible explanation of these photos that is closest to Rob Van Nassau's account...or that makes an argument for another cause. Send your description to by September 15. (Be sure to put your name on it so I can contact you.)

If you are stumped, as I was, and just want a copy of the book, send $45 plus $6 post by email (Visa/MasterCard) or by check to Hoofcare, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930. Fax orders to 978 283 8775. Postage outside the USA is $12 to most countries. The books are due here in the next month or so.

Book specs: 225 pages, 1000 photos, all color, indexed, hardcover, 8x11" approx; foreword by Simon Curtis.


Nellie said...

Now, *that* is what I call a hangnail!

Seriously, though, to provoke an answer, as I'd like to know, I'll take a stab at it... if I understand horse anatomy correctly, the hoof is soft tissue (externally / visibly), though.

However my guess would be that this is a situation where some form of trauma happened and that instead of the normal process of resorbing the damaged tissue, for some reason the body decided to reject it and through healing force the damaged bits to the surface? It looks like it continued to grow, though, which would imply an interrupted blood supply, which throws me off and makes me think there's a pathological cause behind it rather than it being just a healing "glitch". I've seen something similar in two healed femoral fractures (bone remodelled around a displaced fragment in a rather awkward fashion), although I would imagine that the soft tissue grew around it, so it may not have been obvious in life.

Handride said...

I'm going with a hangnail? am i close?

Handride said...

ok somehow nellie beat me to the hangnail, so I'm going to say it's a evolutionary leftover. Like a thumb for a hoof.