Negative Plantar/Palmar Angles
Case Study:
17 year old APHA mare.  Diagnosed with navicular disease at 8 years old.  Chronic lameness on front feet.  Pain/stress induced laminitis brought on by chronic discomfort in feet, back and neck.  This mare was a show horse for much of her young years.  Turned out to raise foals at age 5, lameness issues apparant by age 8.
She was fed a high sugar/high protein diet of free choice alfalfa hay and 14% complete feed.  Evidence of laminitis present for several years.  Severe lameness the past 10 years.

Notice in the photos how this mare is trying to dig her toe into the ground to keep from bearing weight on the heel of her hoof.  Significant heel bruising is present.
7-24-10 Equine Digital Support System (EDDS) shoes were applied
(  First, the hooves were prepared using natural balance trimming techniques, then impression material was applied to the frog, collateral groove and bar area of the foot.  When the impression material set up, the excess was trimmed from her sensitive areas and the EDDS pad, frog support and shoe were installed.  At that point, the medium rails and frog support were added to the EDDS shoe.  The mare was evaluated for soundness at that point and displayed a 70% improvement immediately upon installing the EDDS system.

Please visit the above link for more information on the EDDS system and Gene Ovnicek.  We think you will agree, his approach to hoof care is revolutionary and just what the Dr. ordered for the equine industry!

Photos below are before installing the EDDS system.  Notice the bulge we discussed at the top of this page with the illustration.
Negative Plantar/Palmar angles is also known as negative plane.  In a normal hoof, the rear of the coffin bone should be higher than the front, resulting in a positive angle.  Negative plane is the opposite, the heel of the coffin bone is lower than the front, resulting in a negative angle.  To confirm coffin bone angle, an X ray is needed.  Outward appearance of negative plane hooves include a characteristic bulge on the toe area of the hoof.  See photo on left.  This condition causes discomfort for the horse and increased stress on the deep digital flexor tendon and the other connective tissues.
Photos below are after installing the EDDS system.
10 days post shoeing, this mare has displayed 90% soundness.  The next step in this mare's rehabilitation is to balance her teeth and temperomandibular joint (TMJ) and chiropractic work.  Her prognosis is excellent.  She should have many more productive years.

7-27-10 following dental work by Tommy Howell (the Tooth Fairy), Equine Dental Specialist, this mare is 95% sound.  She begins chiropractic treatments soon.  More information to follow.  This treatment was nothing short of a miracle for this mare!