2. 'The case I am about to give you an account of, being one of rare occurrence, I thought would not prove uninteresting to the members of the Veterinary Medical Association. It is an instance of complete removal of the hoof by mechanical force.

'Our patient was a brown mare, five years old, the property of Messrs. Crawshaw and Co., railway contractors on the Sheffield and Manchester line.

'On June 20 the mare was, as usual, working on the line, drawing one of the waggons for the removal of soil from one place to another, and, as was the custom, the pace is generally increased at about the distance of from sixty to eighty yards from where the unloading takes place, in order to add to the velocity, so that the contents of the waggons might roll down so great a precipice. It was at this increased action, when the mare was being removed from the waggon, that she stepped between the ends of two iron rails, sufficiently apart to admit the foot only, when one end of the rail inserted itself between the sole and toe of the shoe, the other at the top and in front of the crust.

'The mare, finding herself fixed, endeavoured to disengage herself, and, in doing so, got in front of the waggon, which, coming at a great pace, forced her down into the pit, leaving behind the off fore-hoof, which was only removed from its situation between the two rails by a large hammer, it being so firmly wedged in. The shoe and hoof were bent in a very peculiar manner, as the accompanying cuts will show, the inside heel being completely raised from above the level of the frog, not one of the nails being unclenched, or in the slightest degree having given way to so large an amount of force imposed upon them, although the toe of the shoe was raised from the sole by the rail being immediately under it (see Fig. 114). The mare had been shod the day before, and, having a good sound foot, the shoe was firmly put on.

'Being a mile from home, she was with some difficulty made to travel that distance. On her arrival, my preceptor, Mr. Taylor, was immediately sent for, who found her, as I have before stated, with the off fore-foot hoofless.

'Proceeding to examine the foot, he ascertained that it had bled considerably, which, however, was stopped by bandages to the foot and a ligature round the coronet. The laminae on one side and a small portion of the sensitive sole, though not to any great extent, were lacerated. The coffin-bone was not at all injured. The bleeding having nearly ceased, she was put into slings, the foot carefully washed with warm water, and immediately bound up with pledgets of tow saturated with the simple tincture of myrrh and tincture of opium, of each equal parts.

Fig. 114.   Hoof Torn From The Foot By Accident

Fig. 114. - Hoof Torn From The Foot By Accident.

'The dressing was ordered to be allowed to remain on all night, and on the following morning to be removed. The foot was then bathed, as before, in warm water, and the application of the tinctures repeated night and morning. The medicine internally given was castor oil, with tinct. opium, and this, in a diminished dose, was ordered the next morning. Blood was also abstracted from the jugular vein, to the amount of 6 quarts, so as to allay the inflammatory fever set up. The food consisted of bran and linseed, with small portions of hay and water. The mare being in a highly excited state, and suffering such severe pain, the opinion Mr. Taylor gave was that, should she get over the first four days (which appeared quite uncertain), he had no doubt of her ultimately getting well, and also that she would have a perfect hoof formed. It was now left for the owners' consideration, whether they thought the mare worth her keep till such took place, the time mentioned by Mr. Taylor being four or five months. She was seen again the fourth day after the accident, and was then found to be perfectly tranquil and feeding well; her pulse, which at the first visit could not be counted, was now not more than 65 beats in the minute. On removing the dressings, the foot presented a very favourable appearance, the treatment therefore varied only in the application of a linseed-meal poultice over the former dressings of tinctures of opium and myrrh, confining the whole in a soft leather boot. Diet as before, in addition to which give a few oats. Should the bowels become constipated, repeat the castor oil without the opium.

'June 28. - The animal was again seen, and appeared to be going on very favourably. The poultices were directed to be discontinued, and the parts dressed every other day with sol. sulph. cupri, as the granulations were getting rather luxuriant.

'July 6. - To-day she was found to have gone on so well, having two days before been removed from the slings, that it was thought justifiable to turn her out, protecting the foot with a boot, and ordering the dressings to be repeated.

'July 23. - She was seen by me in the field, where I had the boot removed, and so much had she improved, that not less than 2 inches of crust, proceeding from the coronary ring, had been formed, and the foot looked remarkably healthy.

'It will be seen that the accident occurred on June 20, a fortnight after which time I observed the horny crust to be forming from the coronet, and the insensitive laminae at the same time, in which on every visit an increase of growth was perceptible, and it soon attained a thickness exceeding that of the other hoof, but which at the same time presented a more upright appearance. It was not until three weeks after our first visit that any formation of new sole or frog was to be seen. Of the two the sole was the first, being secreted by the sensitive sole, the growth proceeding from the heels. In like manner the insensitive frog was being produced by the sensitive.

Fig. 115.   Hoof Torn From The Foot By Accident

Fig. 115. - Hoof Torn From The Foot By Accident.

'During the last week in October the mare, having her foot protected with a bar shoe plated at the bottom, and so formed as to open without necessity of removing the shoe, in order to facilitate the applications of the tinctures, was put to light work, which has since been gradually increased, and she now performs her usual labour equal to any other horse.

'The growth of the wall or crust and insensitive laminae is not yet quite complete, nor is the sole, there being wanting about an inch of the horny substance of it, the entire completion of which I should rather doubt, as I mentioned in my former communication that the sensitive laminae and a small portion of the sole were lacerated, and it is in these parts that the imperfections exist.

'The yet imperfectly-formed wall not admitting of the insertion of nails all around it, the shoe is held on partly by nails and partly by a strap attached to it bound round the coronet.'[A]

[Footnote A: Veterinary Record, vol. iv., p. 182 (B. Cartledge).]

3. 'This case is related by Mr. A. Rogerson, F.R.C.V.S. It occurred to an animal regularly engaged in shunting, and happened through the corner of the shoe becoming "trapped" between a line of metal and the wheel of a truck. It is particularly interesting on account of the photograph accompanying it, and which we here reproduce in Fig. 115.

'The photograph shows plainly the manner in which the holding of the "clinches" on the left side of the hoof has resulted in drawing it off from the foot. Had these clinches, as Mr. Rogerson suggests, been left unfastened, then the accident in all probability would not have occurred. The animal was destroyed.'[A]

[Footnote A: Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 2.]