السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Do Horseshoes Affect the Foot Skeleton?

موقع أيام نيوز

Every day thousands of horses are shod as part of normal maintenance of foot care. But have you ever wondered whether the placement of a horseshoe affects foot skeleton stress in racehorses and performance horses?
At Australias University of Queensland School of Biomedical Sciences research team leader Dr. Olga Panagiotopoulou says that musculoskeletal injury is one of the main animal welfare concerns in the racehorse industry.
The research team from the University of Queensland The Royal Veterinary College in the UK and Brown University in the USA has now harnessed a new approach to studying the hoof interior that combines 3D Xray imaging technology with computer simulations and models of the forces exerted on bones.
This novel combination has enabled us to study the effect of a stainless steel horseshoe on skeletal stresses within the forefoot in a live racehorse she says. This is the first time this combination of techniques has been used in large live animals such as horses.

In their report published in the Open Access biological and medical sciences Panagiotopoulou writes that horse racing is a multibillion dollar worldwide industry in which the welfare of horses is of paramount importance. 
Musculoskeletal injuries are both a common cause of economic loss within the industry and a major welfare concern due to the resulting morbidity and mortality.
The causes of injuries may be the result of a variety of factors including preexisting pathologies increased speeds and track surfaces.
Hooves have the natural ability to minutely change during locomotion putting minute stresses on the foot skeleton. The team sought to do a biomechanical study to measure the precise effect of horseshoes on those stresses.
Farriery horseshoe design approaches in both domestic and racehorses have been used since the domestication of horses to protect hooves from wear and to allow manipulation of the shape of the foot to improve performance and enhance biomechanical function Panagiotopoulou writes in the report. Nevertheless different horseshoe materials have varying effects on horses feet due to their wide range of weight toe angle frictional and damping properties and their interaction with foot trimming.
She writes that while no biomechanical study to date has quantified bone stresses of the horse forefoot in the shod and unshod conditions in a live horse it has been hypothesized in the past that increased loading due to farriery can increase stresses on the foot and lead to injuries. Other studies have recorded significant increases in the strain of