Definition. - That condition of the wall in which, owing to the softness of the horn and the oblique direction of the horn fibres, the heels are unable properly to bear the body-weight, and, as a consequence, curve in beneath the sole. We give the condition first mention, not because of its greater importance, but for the reason that it is frequently the forerunner of the condition to be next described - namely, contracted feet.
Symptoms. - The extreme point of the heel is not affected unless the foot has been greatly neglected, and the condition allowed to develop. Where, however, the foot has been uncared for, curving in of the wall takes place to an alarming degree, and the heels curl underneath the foot to such an extent as to grow over the sole and the bars. By the pressure they exert on the sole corns result, and the animal is lamed.
Causes. - In the main this defect is hereditary. It is seen commonly in connection with flat-foot, and where the horn of the wall is thin and shelly.
Treatment. - In the case of weak or 'turned in' heels no suitable bearing is offered for the shoe in the posterior half of the foot. Any attempt to induce the heels to bear weight is immediately followed by their bending in. It follows from this that the best shoe to be used here is one in which the bearing is confined to the anterior half of the wall, the heels being relieved by being sufficiently pared. As might be expected, this bearing on the anterior half only of the foot is insufficient; pressure must be given the frog. This latter end is best gained by a bar shoe (Fig. 68). With it the anterior portions of the wall, the whole of the bars, and the whole of the frog may be in contact, and the heels only so pared as to take no bearing at all. A few such shoeings sees the defect remedied. In every instance paring of the sole should be discouraged, as it serves but to increase the deformity.