What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Wound to Coronary Band, Hairline of Hoof

Fetlock Joint Wound & Infected Fetlock Joint Treated with Joint Flushing


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.

  • 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.

your role


What To Do

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.

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.

your vet's role

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.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • When did this happen?
  • If the horse is lame, how lame?
  • Can you send a photo of the problem?
  • Do you notice lameness?
  • When did you first notice the wound?
  • How old do you think the wound is?
  • Where is the wound exactly?
  • How lame does the horse seem to you?

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP