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


Red Discoloration Visible on a Pale Hoof Wall


In cases in which there is direct impact to the hoof wall, or to the coronet, bleeding may occur under the hoof wall. in horses with un-pigmented lower limbs and pale hoof walls this bruising appears as a red discoloration of the pale hoof wall. Horses with laminitis may also bleed under the wall, and show this discoloration.

Generally, these bruises are not of great concern. They gradually grow out and disappear. However, if accompanied by lameness, an obvious digital pulse, or heat in the hoof the injury may be more significant. They can also indicate interference or other limb contact.

  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If you notice any lameness or have any other concern.
  • Code Green

    Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources
    • If you do not notice lameness.

your role


What To Do

Assess the affected hoof for digital pulse, heat or swelling above the coronet band. Assess the horse for lameness and contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

your vet's role

Your vet will be involved if there is lameness or limb contact is occurring and is the cause.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Do you notice any lameness?
  • Do you notice a digital pulse or heat in the foot?
  • Is the horse performing to your expectation under saddle?
  • Is there limb to limb contact in movement (interference)?
  • What is the status of your horse's hoof care and shoeing?

Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

Very Common
Less Common
more diagnoses

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP