Cadaver no. 3 & 4

Hi again, been a little while!

I have been working my socks off in the background for the last few months and have seriously neglected my blog! However, I am back with another Cadaver blog post! Annoyingly for Cadaver no.3 the only "before" shot I took was of the solar view, the other photographs are from when I had finished trimming it - so you can't really get the jist of what it looked like before. So to compensate I have mushed both hoof 3 and 4 together for this instalment.

Hoof No.3

Like all of the cadavers I trimmed during my Anglesey visit, this one was also pathological. There was a slight bull nose, the sole was pretty dull there was a lot of callusing of the sole as well, and had this been a live horse I would not have exfoliated as far as I did. If you can see on the finished solar view, the sole has a lot of "pitting" in it which is a sign that this foot had perhaps callused particularly in the toe/quarters area to handle the terrain/conditions in which this horse could have been living at the time. Of course, that is just a subjective observation but nevertheless, there was definitely something "off" about this foot in the way in which it had adapted. My guess is that it was stones creating this issue, this was on a previously shod horse so perhaps the hooves were not picked out regularly and the shoe had effectively created a bowl in which the grit collected..? Who knows, but it looks suspicious to me. [Please note: at the time I am writing this I am a year 1 Podiatry Student, so don't take everything I say as Gospel.]

However, I manged to obtain a relatively strong and adequately size heel purchase, the bars weren't the most crooked I had seen during the whole week. The frog was slightly contracted, but it was okay in size and with some time out of shoes I think this hoof would have rehabilitated well. See how the capsule almost curls a little? This hoof would have relaxed, expanded and probably increased in size over a few months out of shoes.

Hoof No.4


Another poorly hoof! There's significant flaring on this one; alongside a sole that has a scarily bluish tint to it, there appears to be prominent event lines and water damage and quarter cracking too. The hoof wall is really thin with significant stretch and a disconnection of the white line junction. The frog is flaccid, hard, small and contracted however, the bars looked okay... this is me foreshadowing... as I did ruin the bars... but lessons to be learnt!


I think I put a pretty weak and inconsistent bevel on this one, I also don't like how much sole exfoliation I did, and I think I went a bit too heavy with the bars; as I failed to put them at a gradual incline to meet with the heel. Had I done less in this area, I feel there would have been more integrity at the back of the foot as the heel purchase would have been a lot more rigid and therefore stronger. Removal of this much bar could cause the back of the foot to become too flexible and "flappy" especially under load.

When we did this trim course, we were given the freedom to explore what would happen if we did certain things. It was a great way of learning (through experimentation without injuring or causing harm to a living horse); allowing us to make mistakes, and assessing what this may have meant for the horse if they were alive. It definitely taught me to be more disciplined, that some hooves take a "less is more" approach. Podiatry is as much about patience as it is about creating the correct environment, hoof stimuli, diet and management.

The hoof wall was already pretty thin and weak to begin with, but I did manage to pull in some of that flaring and put the pedal bone more central left and right to the centre of the foot print. Now the hoof has been cleared up you can quite clearly see stretching at the toe, see how it is quite pointy and the tubules do literally look as though they've been pulled with the hoof wall. The colour of this sole is incredibly alarming, indicative of systemic inflammatory responses within the horses body.

In the next post, we will discuss cadaver no.5 I am most excited about this one as it was the most "dramatic" of them all. I made a lot of mistakes, but I did a lot of good too - so it will make for a good discussion.

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