hoof problems

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by TSanders, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. TSanders

    TSanders New Member

    13
    Jun 6, 2011
    Michigan
    I have a Nigerian Dwarf, probably about 4 years old. His hooves grow unusually fast, and I have already trimmed them for the 3rd time this spring. Instead of the dark sole under the hoof I trimmed off, I am seeing the softer white type of material that should be only on his heel. I trimmed at it some with the shears, but don't see the sole. I don't see any sign of foot rot; between his "toes", or hoof-halves, is pink and healthy looking. But his heels blend right into the bottom of his feet, with that sort of "gumdrop-like" hard heel material. Should I call the vet?
     
  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Can you post a pic?
     

  3. TSanders

    TSanders New Member

    13
    Jun 6, 2011
    Michigan
    I would have to wrestle him down again to get a picture. I have had enough of goat wrestling for one day. If you know those candy orange slices, it is the same sort of texture, just no color.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  4. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Hmmm - it's difficult to interpret based on your description without a photo but the heel on a goat hoof connects to the sole or frog which runs the whole length of the foot between the harder hoof walls on the outside. That white material is normal as far as I can tell from your description. When the hoof walls get overgrown they can fold over and cover the frog. The frog and heel all tend to be the same softer gumdrop consistency that you are describing and that needs to be trimmed as well. However both the frog & heel can bleed if you trim too much so watch for pink. Maybe this helps?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. TSanders

    TSanders New Member

    13
    Jun 6, 2011
    Michigan
    Yes, that is a very nice diagram. It is the frog I mean. It does still need some trimming. His hooves are not shaped very well right now. We have had a very cool wet spring, and terrible winter last winter, and that is not helping. My other goat, a pygmy, has a dark and much firmer frog. So do my sheep.
     
  6. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Yep - some goat with very dark pigmentation and black skin will also have almost black soles/frogs so I can see why that was confusing!

    To help you get the correct shape: bring a small pair of scissors and a fat Sharpie marker to the fitting stand with you. Trim all the fur that hangs over the hoof away until you can see the connection of skin & hoof aka: coronary band. Then, an inch or so down from the band, take your Sharpie and draw a line exactly parallel to the band ( NOT parallel to the bottom of the hoof or ground!) I know this sounds like a ridiculous step but when you are trimming you want the bottom of the hoof to be parallel to that line and it is just easier to have the visual. I swear this really helps you learn how much to take off the toes and how to get the sole level!
     
  7. FarmerJen

    FarmerJen New Member

    718
    Oct 18, 2012
    Skagit County, WA
    I love the sharpie idea! Totally going to do this! I've been struggling since I got them to get my does' feet in correct shape and I am pretty sure their toes are still long. However, they're also quick to bleed - so I can't take much off at once. Now that the weather is nicer again, I think I'll start doing weekly trims till I can get them how they should be!
     
  8. Greybird

    Greybird New Member

    415
    May 14, 2014
    Shelton, WA
    The Sharpie is such a great idea! I will definitely need a visual aid.
    Thank You, Saltey Love!

    I've never trimmed any kind of hooves before and I think it's about time for my babies to get their first pedicure. Their hoof walls are already starting to curve in places, even though they're only 8 weeks old. Our ground is extremely soft so this will be an ongoing task and I need to grow up and master it.
    I've been playing with their feet and they feel so weird to me. The sole part feels very soft and alive and I shudder to think about making it bleed, but it is also getting pretty thick and it's making the bottoms of their feet a little bit curved, like small rockers.
    Is the sole material like a very thick callous? I ask because I've had to trim a callous before - hence it's a known evil.

    I'm just going to have to take a deep breath, go slow, and get it done, I guess.
    *gulp*
    (Will it show pink even on the ones with solid black feet?)
     
  9. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    It's not going to be that bad! Just trim a little at a time. 8 weeks is a great time to start!

    And if it does bleed a little - they will not keel over dead!

    I suppose the sole is a bit like trimming a thick callous - sometimes it is a bit hard to get with the trimmers. Some people use a Sureform (wood working tool) to shave off the sole rather than cut it with the same trimmers as the hoof wall.

    In most black feet you will be able to see a pinkish hue but it will definitely be a learning curve and more difficult than white feet.