Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cadaver Dissection

A farrier friend and I recently spent a very interesting afternoon, cutting into horse body parts. That is gruesomely fascinating to me and I learn a great deal every time I cut into a hoof. This was an exceptional experience because we didn’t just limit our dissection to the hoof, but instead went up the leg to the knee and did some serious investigation of the tendons and ligaments. We took lots of pictures and clips of the how the tendons activate the leg and hoof. Good stuff! Allen’s specimen was from a healthy horse with lovely pale pink laminae. He meticulously took it dissected the hoof and leg and that was so interesting to watch. My hoof, however, was from a foundered horse and his laminae was extremely red. After we removed the navicular bones, I found a hole in the bottom of the N. bone from my hoof, which was about the size of a nail head. I looked for information about this condition and could only find it described in a farrier text book and it is termed Street Nail Syndrome or Collar Button Disease. Old terms with no explanation of what causes the ulcer. But I’m sure it’s painful and often goes undetected because we think we’re dealing with founder issues only. I cannot stress enough how importance of x-raying the bones of lame horses, even if we think we know that the problem is, we need to get those x-rays and have them taken by a vet who really understands the hoof. They’re may be underlying causes of severe pain that cannot fix with trims, diet or environment. We can work miracles with our natural trimming techniques, but we cannot fix a dead horse and we shouldn’t try. More stuff to learn about these amazing hooves! It just never stops!

No comments: