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Thursday, February 28, 2008

From the AFA Convention: Dr Scott Morrison on Hoof Capsule Injury/Distortion

Dr Scott Morrison of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY was the AFA convention's first speaker.

Predictors of a low turnout at this year's AFA Convention could not have been more wrong, if attendance at the convention's first lecture this morning is an indicator of how many people are here.

Kentucky is coated in snow/ice and I know some people were not able to get here, but many hundreds braved the elements!

I attended the kickoff lecture this morning, wedged into a crowded lecture hall. I was privileged to sit next to Blaine Chapman of Lubbock, Texas, son of the late-great heart bar expert farrier, Burney Chapman. Blaine's running commentary at a low whisper was approving as Dr Morrison sprinted through a 90-minute narrated slide show of interesting cases from the Podiatry Clinic at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital here in Lexington,Kentucky.

Cases that drew the most comments and questions were the ones where he showed correction of negative palmar angles with roller motion shoes and his preference for the use of hoof casts on hoof wall avulsion and heel bulb injuries.

Much of the wall/bulb injury lecture really was based on the encourage of new growth, what Dr Morrison calls the foot's ability to "epithelialize" (generate new epithelial tissue, as in skin; epithelial simply means cells that form the outer lining of an organ or body structure. Endothelium is the inner lining.).

He recommended using tissue-friendly antiseptics, rather than iodine "...and not kerosene" he added with a chuckle.

Inventing another verb, Morrison said he "domes" the foot surface of his foot casts. Under the casting padding on the wall is povidene creme or a similar antiseptic, covered with gauze, with carpet felt under the sole. He also "domed" a wet leather pad before shoeing, inserted hoof packing from a gun, so the pad bubbled outward, forming a domed ground surface.

While some criticize the use of casts, Morrison saw no problem with leaving them on, and was confident in the healthy growth that he would find what it was removed. He said that if the coronary band is not under pressure from weightbearing, the growth will be more rapid.

A big hit was his slide of a racehorse with an interference injury: the front shoe was imbeddedin the coronet of the hind foot. Also food for thought: he showed a severely neglected miniature horse with grossly overgrown hooves.After a cleanup trim, the horse required extension shoes to stand because the collateral ligaments of the coffin joint (and probably the fetlock joint as well), had been so stretched by the deformity.

At the end of the lecture, a line formed to ask questions.