By: Dr. Lydia Gray

What is it?

Sidebone is hardening of the cartilages on either side of the coffin bone in the hoof. Experts arenÕt sure why these usually springy tissues calcify, or turn to bone, but theories include genetics, hoof concussion or trauma, poor hoof and limb conformation, and poor trimming and shoeing. Sidebone is primarily seen in heavier breeds such as draft horses, warmbloods and cob-type ponies.

What can be done about it?

Because Sidebone itself is not believed to be a significant cause of lameness but an accidental finding on X-ray of the foot, no specific treatment is necessary. However, fracture of these cartilages or damage to nearby ligaments may be an issue when lameness is localized to the foot. Ultrasound, nuclear scintigraphy or advanced techniques such as MRI or CT may help determine how active the Sidebone is in a horse and if any inflammation is present.

What else do I need to know?

The cartilage tissue involved in Sidebone is specifically known as the collateral cartilages. Some references use the term ÒungularÓ cartilages. Quittor is the name of condition when the cartilages in the hoof actually become infected. This can be a significant cause of lameness and should be promptly diagnosed and treated to prevent further tissue damage.

About Dr. Lydia Gray

Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Brittany and Nate
Ever since I was the girl with 1,000 breyer horses and the raggity braid in her hair, I was always obsessed. In second grade I moved into a town with a barn right down the street, which is when I started taking lessons...

Learn more »

Recipe: Homemade Carrot and Oat Treats
It has been such a cold and snowy winter here in Massachusetts for the past few months. I look for any excuse to fire up my oven. Prior to visiting my horse Bug last weekend I decided to make her

Read More »

Download our mobile apps

Put SmartPak in your pocket with these awesome apps!

Check It Out »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Out
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

SmartPak Equine™ is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-888-339-9695. © Copyright 2014 by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.