Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Wound to Coronary Band, Hairline of Hoof

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If lameness is noticeable at the walk.
  • If the wound occurred within the last 24 hours.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • Even if the horse does not appear to be lame to you.
  • If the wound occurred over 24 hours ago.

The health of the coronary band is extremely important to the health of the horse. The hoof wall grows from it as your finger nails grow from your cuticle, and a healthy hoof wall is critical to soundness. For this reason, any wound to the coronet must be handled well from the start.

For wounds that might involve the coronet band, a vet should be consulted immediately. In addition, important structures like the coffin joint lie near the coronary band, and could be involved in the wound, greatly complicating treatment and worsening the prognosis.


Protect the wound as well as possible until your vet arrives. Consider the severity of lameness at the walk. as this is a general indicator of severity of injury.

Gently clean the wound with saline, dab dry and cover with a light, clean bandage until your vet can assess the wound. Confine the horse to a clean stall to prevent excessive movement of the wound edges.


Your vet starts with a careful assessment of the structures involved and of the severity of coronary band damage. Once they have completed an exam, they will likely discuss options for treatment, and prognosis. In some cases, radiography and other diagnostics may be needed.

Early and meticulous care and repair of some coronet wounds provides the best possible outcome and can mean the difference between a chronic problem and a full recovery. Every attempt is made to make a perfect repair of these wounds through prompt wound suturing.

If there is tissue loss, this may not be possible. In that case, immobilization of the area with a cast may be considered, as well as a variety of other techniques in wound management, aimed at promoting healing and long term function of the coronary band.

What Not To Do

Do not apply antibiotic or other wound care products to the injury, unless advised to do so by your vet. Do not use harsh disinfectants on the wound.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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