Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hoof Wall Avulsion

Synonyms: Hoof Fracture, Wound or Tear

Wounds to the coronet (coronary band) region may tear into the hoof, and may pull part of the hoof free. A severe force to the hoof may tear loose a chunk of hoof. Hoof avulsion refers to a fracture or tearing of the hoof wall that accompanies trauma. In rare cases, the entire hoof capsule is pulled off. An avulsion is different from a hoof wall crack.

The most common cause is probably hoof to hoof contact (over-reaching with a shoe) but any blow or wound to the lower limb can cause hoof avulsion. Horses ripping their shoes off (over-reach or catching on object) may pull off hoof wall along with it. Severely overgrown hoof acts as a lever and may tear loose a large piece of hoof.

Diagnosis requires veterinary exam, exploration of the wound, and usually x-ray to rule out bony injury.

Treatment depends on the nature of the wound. In some cases, the hoof may need to be removed and in other cases, stabilized. Since the coronary band generates the hoof wall (as a human cuticle does), it is important that wounds to the coronet are repaired as well as possible, to preserve it’s function and for normal hoof wall growth in the future.


  • Can anything be done to repair the coronet band, to ensure long-term normal hoof wall growth?

    Horses that tend to over-reach or interfere should wear lower limb protection (bell boots). Proper hoof care is an obvious part of prevention.

    Helpful Outside ResourcesCredible Equine Health Information on the Internet

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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