SAND CRACK. This complaint is most general among horses whose hoofs are of a dry and fragile substance, on which account the horn at the upper part of the inner quarter is liable to break and crack. These sand cracks in most cases affect the sensible portions of the foot. The crack or cleft should, in the first instance, be opened with a drawing knife, and all the hollow portions of the horn, as far as they extend under the crust, should be thoroughly cut out; also every portion of horn detached from the sensible parts must be cut off. Some tow steeped in a solution of blue vitriol should then be applied, and the hollow parts afterwards with tar ointment. When the foot appears lame and inflamed, it must be poulticed for about seven or eight days; after this it would be well to send the animal to grass for a month, when a small portion of new hoof will be seen growing above the sand crack. The whole of the crack should be laid over with tar ointment, and the part where the crack appears should be reduced as much as possible by the use of the rasp. By attention to these instructions, sand cracks are not unfrequently cured without much trouble. When the animal is taken out from grass, the soles must be pared thin, the foot stuffed with tar ointment, and a wide easy shoe put on. In some time after, when the horse improves, a smaller shoe can be substituted in its stead. If the feet be unusually hot, apply wet cloths constantly to them until the heat be removed. The frog should be kept well pared or rasped, and overlaid with tar ointment, which should also be applied to the coronet and the heels of the frog, if dry or cracked. In very bad cases of sand crack, the cautery, or burning iron, is sometimes used successfully; a blister on the coronet above the sand crack has also produced beneficial results.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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