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Treating Hoof Puncture Wounds

You bring your horse in from the field and notice he is lame at the walk. You quickly run your hands over his leg, looking for signs of serious injury, and don’t find anything abnormal. Then you pick up his foot and find a nail sticking directly into the sole. The first instinct is to immediately pull the nail from the foot to provide your horse with relief from the foreign object; however, this is something vets caution against. There are many important structures within the hoof that can become compromised or infected if the foreign object penetrates into that area, and if you pull the nail before radiographs are taken, it is difficult to know if the injury requires referral to a hospital or if it can be treated on the farm. Because the hoof acts as a barrier to protect those structures, it is very difficult to access…

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