Hoof care is one of the most important aspects of equine wellness. Horses, donkeys, mules, ponies, and everyone in between are dependant on four little cuticles for everything they do, and every day they live. While these are sturdy structures, we human helpers have found quite a few ways to help protect and strengthen the hoof, and Arrowhead has even created two customized products to make caring for a hoof easier, faster, and more complete.
The horse hoof is actually a lot like a fingernail. Incredibly, hooves grow from the inside (which can be softer and more at-risk for injuries) to harden and form the outer perimeter portion, called the hoof capsule. When a horse is shod, the farrier takes special care not to spike the inner portion of the hoof. However, with living tissue and bone in the inner portion of the hoof, infections and injuries need to be taken very seriously and prevented as much as possible.
So, next time you think about your horse moving around a field, a barn, or grounds, imagine trying to walk on just the tips of your fingers and toes!
What can go wrong?
Well, quite a few issues can arise from hoof injuries, illnesses, and even poor hoof care. Laminitis and navicular disease are two of the most serious and require immediate and extensive care. Thrush and white line disease, which are two bacterial infections of the hoof, can become serious if left untreated. Hoof abscesses are one of the most common illnesses that can cause lameness due. Quiltor, an infection of the lower leg that can travel into and under the hoof, which can also arise in some species. No matter what, please seek professional animal health care from a licensed provider if you have any concerns about your horse’s hoof health.
Hooves can also be damaged by use or accident. Cracks in an out hoof wall can be caused by poor horseshoeing or poor horse care, but can also happen naturally due to the formation and shape of a hoof conformation. This can also happen if the hoof is injured.
Minis - A Special Group, and a Unique Situation
Mini species include mini horses, donkeys, and ponies. They have a special situation and a challenge for farriers and owners alike: tiny hooves!! Where a full-sized horse hoof could have a 11-13” diameter hoof, a mini can be as small as 3” wide! As a result, many mini species cannot wear horseshoes.
Why does this matter? Horseshoes are all about protecting the hoof and the hoofbed in the center of the leg, and without shoes, minis can get hoof damage very easily especially when they are walking on gravel or asphalt. Minis can quickly wear through their hooves, requiring cleaning and trimming and sometimes even requiring time spent laid up to wait for the nails to recover.
How can Arrowhead Help?
Arrowhead Animal Health continues its stride in offering progressive animal health & wellness products with the release of their latest equine support product, the Hoof Pad for full-size horses. We manufacture this hoof pad specifically to provide extreme durability with a trusted and safe adhesive. It is pre-cut to make application easy and consistent every time, with a soft but strong fiber bottom to prevent slipping without altering the natural gait of the animal. The Hoof Pad is designed to provide a softer and more clear pre-cut alternative to alleviate application restrictions.
“Arrowhead’s answer to this common concern amongst the horse racing community is brought forward through extensive research and development and to bring our dedicated community an effective solution that improves the veterinarian’s efficiency in the field,” said Jonathan McEuen, Vice President of Business Development at Arrowhead Animal Health.
Arrowhead Animal Health also has a new product in development: a high-strength protective tape pad for mini horses, mini ponies, donkeys and other small-hooved species. Our mini-hoof pad is a unique die-cut tape product designed to fit the smaller mini breeds. While only a few inches wide, our mini hoof pad is the perfect solution for minis, and it's made in the USA.
About Arrowhead Animal Health
Arrowhead’s animal health product line is made in an FDA-registered facility and ranges from cohesive tapes, self-stick vet wraps, to adhesive stretch tapes and cotton sports tapes, all designed to the highest demands of durability and performance. From small canine to working animals to large equines, Arrowhead products are ideal for vet clinics, stables, kennel facilities, farms, and zoos. Arrowhead Animal Health has over 35 years of experience crafting premium tapes and wraps, which it sells in the athletic industry as Arrowhead Athletics, and in different industrial markets as Shawsheen Coating and Converting.
We partner with those who are responsible for the care of large and small mammals. Arrowhead designs and manufactures high-quality, dependable cohesive and adhesive tapes and wraps to aid in the comfort, protection, and healing of animals. For more information about Arrowhead, please contact us!