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Shoeing of horses' hooves is essential but unfortunately not without risks. Accurate placement of the nails is essential. Not only to ensure a firm hold within the wall of the hoof but that the nail does not penetrate too deep as it can irritate sensitive structures beneath, primarily the sensitive laminae.
When the shoeing nail has been placed too close to the sensitive laminae this is called "nail bind" and if the nail has penetrated the sensitive laminae this is called "nail prick".
The first sign of a problem is lameness. This usually does not occur immediately but will be seen over the following few days after shoeing. Application of hoof testers or tapping the hoof around the nail will elicit pain. Also if removal of the nail is attempted the horse may resent it. There is an increased digital pulse in the palmar digital arteries, which are located on the side, or lateral, aspect of the fetlock and can be felt by placing a finger over them.
Regular attention from a competent farrier will ensure that your horse's feet are in optimal condition. Specific supplements are also available which can aid in hoof health, advice on the best treatment for your horse can be obtained form your veterinary surgeon.