Understanding the Anatomy of the Foot is Critical to Providing Correct Lameness Solutions
One of the best ways to understand the diseases that occur in the hoof is to first learn about basic hoof anatomy. There are a variety of causes of lameness that occur in a variety of areas around the hoof - some can be prevented with a footbath and others are better treated through nutritional adjustments. It is important to understand the source of hoof ailments, and where they are occurring on the hoof in order to provide the best solution to the lameness problem.
Figure 1: Claw Bones and Tendons
Coronary Band: The coronary band is normally soft and shiny and may be pink in color. Wall: The wall is smooth and shiny. Faint ridges run parallel to the coronary band. The wall consists of very tough tubular horn. Bulb: The bulb is continuous with the coronary band and is composed of soft, rubbery horn.
Figure 2. Cross Section of Claw
Coronary Cushion: Beneath the coronary band is the coronary cushion, a mass of elastic tissue and veins. When the animal exercises, the cushion pumps blood through the foot and back into the body. Lamellae: The lower part of the inside wall covers hundreds of tiny ridges to the coffin bone. Coffin Bone: The triangular bone at the end of the digit. Sole: The sole is thicker towards the heel, slopes away from the outside wall, and is concave. Digital Cushion: Inside the bulb is the digital cushion. The cushion functions as an elastic shock absorber. It also may work as a pump to force blood back up the limb as the animal walks.
Foot Diagrams Courtesy Of: Zinpro Corporation