Approaching the fetlock-joint, the examiner will note whether or not the animal has been "unnerved". Evidence of the operation should be sought on either side of the limb a little in front of the back tendons and about 3 inches above the joint (high operation), or in the same situation midway between the fetlock and the coronet (low operation). (See pp. 161-166 of this volume.) Here the scars resulting from the incisions will be found attended with more or less thickening of the skin, and the divided ends of the nerves will be felt as small nodules beneath the skin. If the skin of the heel be pricked with a pin there will be no flinching, the division of the nerves having deprived the part of all sensibility.
In passing the hand over the fetlock-joint the examiner will recognize any enlargement in front, and then, coming to the long pastern, will sometimes find small bony excrescences in front and at the side, and their importance will depend upon their relations to the tendons and ligaments thereabout. An ossific growth beneath the tendon of the extensor pedis, or beneath the branches of the suspensory ligament, as they proceed over the pastern to join it, would be more likely to produce lameness than one occurring in either of the triangular spaces situated between them, and which are covered over by skin alone. Lower down we come to the short pastern, the common seat of ring-bone, which is characterized by a full firm bony growth spread over the front and sides of the bone, and may pass upward over the lower end of the long pastern, or downward to the os pedis or foot-bone, or to both. Its encroachment on important structures, whose action it impedes, renders the formation an unsoundness of the worst form. The fact, however, must not be overlooked, that great differences are found to exist in the natural conformation of the pasterns of different horses, and especially towards the sides, where the tubercles to which the lateral ligaments are attached are sometimes extremely developed, and give the pasterns a prominence and coarseness which it is difficult to differentiate from disease. Any scars and thickenings of the skin and underlying parts about the coronet should be carefully noted. Such conditions may be the remains of a former quittor or carbunculous disease of the coronary band, both of which may return, with the worst consequences.