Miniature horse hoof boots are not considered a permanent solution for chronic laminitis, but they can certainly relieve the pain and provide customized support. For those who are not really into this, let's clarify what is laminitis. It is actually a failure or separation of laminae, which connect the hoof wall to the coffin bone within. This leads to structural changes in the foot of the animal and a lot of pain. In some cases, the coffin bone can rotate or sink downwards puncturing the sole which can also be uncomfortable and very painful. This is the situation where hoof boots come to the rescue. The first widely used boots were unveiled back in 1970 which means they are not new to the market. But the things is, today there are a lot of manufacturers producing a wide range of miniature horse hoof boots styles and sizes.
One of the reasons these devices are highly recommended from farriers, veterinarians and even experienced horse owners is that they are a perfect tool for improving the comfort of the horse. Keep in mind that these boots can help the horse to relive the pain and feel better but the structural changes inside are still existing so do not rely on the boots only. Make sure you discuss with your veterinarian for additional treatments and medications. Another thing is that these boots are available in a range of styles and sizes. This means not all horses can benefit from wearing the same size or style of hoof boots. Wearing the wrong type of boots can cause inflammation, sores and rubs making the condition even worst. In this case, you need to remove boots immediately and check the damaged area. So if you need to buy a pair of hoof boots, make sure you consult with your veterinarian first.
There are some situations where hoof boots can be used as a temporary treatment but this requires a very diligent and dedicated owner who is willing to manage the horse's environment and the boots. So if you want to manage a horse with chronic laminitis using hoof boots, here are some quick tips to keep in mind.
- Environment – Anytime you need to use the boots make sure your horse has dry footing. Also, if you want to make your horse feel more comfortable while you are doing your job let him have a company for instance.
- Baby powder – The hooves and pasterns may become very wet from the sweat accumulation. In this situation, baby powder will save your day. The next time you need to change the boots does not forget to sprinkle a couple of teaspoons inside the dry boot. This will help absorb the moisture.
- Socks – Applying socks under the boots can help protect the straps and keep the boots in place. They also will work as a receptacle for the baby powder maintaining healthy skin by pulling moisture away.
As a bottom line, hoof boots are a great option for customized support and pain relief but they work only as a permanent solution. Once the causes of disease are addressed, the horse will be transitioned into therapeutic shoes.