AFA Certified Farrier by the
American Farrier's Association
 AFA Member # 7332

Farrier Art   by Chris Minick

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Hoof Canker (Cancer) at its Early Stage

A client was complaining that this normally well-behaved retired police horse had developed a behavior problem of constantly kicking the wall of his stall.  Well, I had worked on this horse, knew him well, and it just didn't make sense to me that he had a behavior problem.  I believed that his foot was hurting him.  I was right.  I picked up his right hind foot to discover that he had a nasty case of hoof canker developing.  We were really lucky to spot this early.  It can be particularly hard to eradicate after it's had a chance to fester a while.

I advised her that hoof canker is relatively rare and that some veterinarians have not seen it or have had any experience with it.  I was surprised to hear from her that her vet admitted that he was indeed not familiar with hoof canker and had never seen a case of it in his practice.  He agreed with me that this horse had to have shavings instead of straw and that he be kept indoors and stalled for a while to keep his feet clean.  Most horses defecate in one place in their stall and stand in another place.  This  gelding had a habit of standing in his own urine and droppings, which is probably why he developed the hoof canker in the first place.  You can see a more developed case of hoof canker at this link on my Website.

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