Thermographic readings revealed slightly lower temperatures in the walls of the hooves and soles of shoeed horses to help treat podotrochosis (also known as canoe syndrome or disease) and tendinopathy (tendon injuries). While this may indicate that such shoes can reduce blood flow to the foot, the results are still inconclusive, said Dr. Marta Myszkowska, of the Department of Surgery, Radiology and Allied Clinic at the University of Warmia and Mazury, in Olsztyn, Poland. .
Investigating if False Horses Get Cold Feet
Myskowska said she saw amateur thermal images of horses’ hooves with and without shoes and heard stories of shivering feet that were “too cold” to the touch. However, she never noticed the coldness of the shivering feet. So I decided to check the hoof temperatures using thermography.
Myszkowska and colleagues took thermal images of the hooves of 16 horses diagnosed with either podotrochleosis or deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) injury in one front foot, once barefoot and once after wearing a medicated egg bar or wedge shoe on both front feet. Month. The team focused only on a healthy front hoof to avoid any temperature changes associated with disease processes. She said they conducted the study indoors in a relatively constant, controlled environment.
The researchers found that when the horses were wearing white-barred shoes, their palmar surfaces (the areas of the heel) experienced a statistically significant decrease in minimum temperature compared to when they were barefoot, she said.
Horses wearing wedge pads experienced a slight decrease in the minimum temperature in the distal, palmar part of the hoof.
And a veterinarian said, “I do not disapprove of the use of shoes in orthopedic disorders.” But I’ve been following the topic, and I’ve come across theories that point to limited circulation in shoddy hooves. These have not been supported in scientific publications, and our study did not show significant changes in hoof temperature after wearing shoes.”
She added that this may be partly related to the hoof shape in her study population. Her team only accepted study horses with properly balanced hoof capsules. “In our experience – and this is supported by Doppler tests – an incorrectly shaped hoof capsule can itself induce significant changes in blood supply and be a cause of increased vascular resistance.”
More research could help determine how different types of footwear affect the temperature — and possibly blood flow — in horses’ feet, Myskowska said. In the meantime, owners, vets, and trains have to weigh the benefits and risks of choosing a boot for their horses.
“Of course, there are situations where a pair of boots turns out to be the best option,” she said, adding that a balanced trim before putting on boots is crucial.
The study, “Effect of shoeing horses with egg-bar shoes and shoes with wedge pads on horses’ distal limb thermography outcomes,” was published in the journal. the animals in 2021.