We will conclude this chapter with a few brief remarks on the growth of the hoof. That the rate of growth is slow is a well-known fact to every veterinarian, and it will serve for all practical purposes when we state that, roughly, the growth of the wall is about 1/4 inch per month. This rate is regular all round the coronet, from which it follows that the time taken for horn to grow from the coronary edge to the inferior margin will vary according as the toe, the quarters, or the heels are under consideration.
As might naturally be expected, the rate of growth will depend on various influences. Any stimulus to the secreting structures of the coronet, such as a blister, the application of the hot iron, or any other irritant, results in an increased growth. Growth is favoured by moisture and by the animal going unshod, as witness the effects of turning out to grass. Exercise, a state of good health, stimulating diets - in fact, anything tending to an increased circulation of healthy blood - all lead to increased production of horn. With the effects of bodily disease and of ill-formed legs and feet on the wear of the hoof, and the growth of horn, we shall be concerned in a future chapter.