Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Shelly hoof  (Read 6730 times)


  • Joined Apr 2011
Shelly hoof
« on: October 13, 2013, 03:49:50 pm »
Hello .
This is probably going to be a daft question, but here goes anyway.
One of my sheep has what appears to be Shelly hoof. There is now a gap big enough for my finger between his toes and his hoof wall. I've dug out the muck and sprayed it, but I'm not sure if I should have cut the separated hoof bit off completely???
I assume if not it will keep filling with dirt? But if I pare  it right back I'm worried  it'll expose his foot more? That's the daft question, sorry.
And is there anything else I should be doing to help it heal and grow back?
And to prevent it happening again? ( we don't use a foot vaccination or a foot bath or anything)
Joanne xxxx


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 06:37:00 pm »
Youv'e answered your own question yes it will just fill up again , you will find that when you  cut it back that areaof the toe exposed to dirt will already have hardened  slightly so shouln't be raw  . You can buy licks with zinc to harden the hoof but it may not help


  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 07:13:28 pm »
Thank you for your reply xxxx
I'll have a look at the mineral licks.
I wasn't sure if foot bathing had any effect on Shelly hoof, but I think not.
Thanks again
Joanne xxxx

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 07:49:15 pm »
I recommend trimming back only if the hoof is actually curling around under the clee, making a sideways pocket as well as an upward one.   I have heard that cleaning it out thoroughly and filling the pocket with hoof putty (cattle variety) can help.  Our sheep have had it occasionally but if you can keep them off muddy ground it grows out in about three months.  More likely to be a problem in summer, when can attract flies to lay.


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 10:00:24 pm »
With a foot being constantly exposed to damp and muddy ground you'd be constantly unclogging the gap of dirt if you don't trim or exposing the softer sole to the sheep equivalent of athletes foot (scald)if you do. I'd trim back the hoof wall as if there was no gap firstly, then scrape out as much icky pooey muddy stuf as you can with the point of a foot trimming knife. Get a bucket of water inc antiseptic disinfectant and a kitchen washing up brush and clean out the gap thoroughly (think nail brushes and fingernails-get right in there) then stand your sheep on dry bedding to allow hoof to dry, then spray with terramycin/alamycin (antibiotic) spray which should treat any potential infection (it has a drying out effect too) and greatly protect against nasties getting in and doing their worst.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 10:58:30 pm »
I had this last year with one of my sheep limping on and off. Eventually I followed advice and trimmed the hoof wall right back so there was no cavity for dirt, rather than my usual, timid, just the easy-to-trim of bits, and she was right as rain the next day and had no further trouble.


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 11:39:26 pm »
Took my goats for CAE testing last week (left a bit too late as usual) and while there I asked about this very thing. the goat was limping slightly and I'd started to trim wall right back but chickened out, worried I was overtrimming. Vet said the obvious, I had been doing right, if I didn't trim the wall right up, just more and more dirt would be forced up into the cavity, making it worse. I'd used a plastic scrubbing brush, but that didn't get far enough up the gap.
There is a thread somewhere which mentions copper, depending on whether you're on copper deficient land I believe even sheep need some? (hope sheep keepers will come back about this).


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 08:13:01 am »
Hmm I've been scared of the hard trim too. Good to hear a vet okaying it. Does the foot not suffer with boggy ground conditions though being exposed like that? Have to add, any flappy bits of hoof wall (sometimes it happens wih sheepy feet like it does with our fingernails) get readily removed and the foot doesn't appear to suffer. Think I've just answered my own question there..........

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Shelly hoof
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 05:08:41 pm »
If you keep the lower blade of the footshears flat against the sole the cut will always be proud of the sole and you won't go too deep. 


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