Seedy Toe

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'Seedy toe' is a condition where the hoof wall separates from deeper structures of the foot.


Any age, breed and signalment of horse may be affected. It is reported to be more common in horses where the toe has been allowed to grow long or as a sequlae to a mild chronic laminitis.

Clinical Signs

An enlargement of the toe which is caused by the development of a large cavity between the hoof wall and the pedal bone. If the hoof wall is tapped over the defect, a hollow sound is produced. Normally the condition does not cause lameness unless there is concurrent infection or there is severe instability of the hoof wall, which can cause inflammation of the laminae and pain. The area of the hoof affected is variable.


Visualisation of the lesion.


The separated horn should be removed, allowing the hoof wall to regrow normally.


Good with appropriate treatment.

Seedy Toe Learning Resources
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Test your knowledge using flashcard type questions
Equine Orthopaedics and Rheumatology Q&A 19


May, SA & McIlwraith, CW (1998) Equine Orthopaedics and Rheumatology Self-Assessment Colour Review Manson Publishing Ltd

Captain M. Horace Hays FRCVS Veterinary Notes for Horse Owners (Revised Edition), Stanley Paul

Merck & Co (2009) The Merck Veterinary Manual (Ninth Edition), Merial

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