Therapeutic Shoeing of Horses Discussed at AAEP

A Table Topic of veterinarians at the American Association of Equine Practitioners 2009 convention chose to discuss applications of the heart bar shoe; the Nolan Plate system, including what it is and how it works; shoeing after deep flexor ten

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Veterinarians attending a Table Topic at the American Association of Equine Practitioners 2009 convention chose to discuss applications of the heart bar shoe; the Nolan Plate system, including what it is and how it works; shoeing after deep flexor tenotomy; suggestions for shoeing horses with navicular syndrome, and quarter crack repair for refractory cracks.

Veterinarians in the audience were asked if they were using heart bars and if so, was it for lamintis or for other hoof conditions. They answered overwhelmingly that heart bars were being used commonly for a number of different problems. Chronic laminitis was the most common use, but others used the shoe for any number of issues where frog support would be helpful.

The next topic was the Nolan Plate system. The basic questions were: what is it, how does it work, and does it work? The Nolan Plate is a thin, perforated piece of metal that is applied over the dorsal hoof capsule from toe to quarters. The plate is suppose to relieve pressure on the laminar corium, improve circulation, and help re-establish the laminae/hoof capsule bond. The plate is attached to the hoof wall by multiple sheet metal screws. There were a few in the audience who had tried the plate, but all said they would not use the plate again and questioned its efficacy.

The third topic was shoeing after deep flexor tenotomy, which led immediately to a discussion of the purpose for a deep flexor tenotomy. Consensus agreed there were two reasons for performing a deep flexor tenotomy: to correct coffin bone rotation as a result of chronic laminitis, or to correct the hoof conformation associated with coffin joint flexural deformity. All agreed the surgery provided a window of opportunity to correct the hoof capsule deformities and place the coffin bone in a more normal position

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