Learning to monitor equine digital pulses provides you with a powerful tool to manage your horse’s health.
The digital pulse provides key information with regards to the health of your horse’s hooves. This is especially important for owners of Insulin Resistant (IR) or Cushing’s horses. Horses affected by IR or Cushing's often suffer from laminitis (swelling within the hoof capsule). Monitoring the pulses can be one of the most effective ways to manage the effectiveness of their care.
When taking pulses, you are feeling the blood flowing through the artery into the hooves. In a healthy horse the digital pulse is quite hard to find because the normal flow of blood is unrestricted.
However, when there is inflammation in the hoof, the blood flow is restricted and as a result backs up in the artery, making the pulse feel much stronger.
The artery pushes the blood into the hoof. When there is inflammation there is no longer enough 'room' within the hoof capsule. Essentially, the hoof pushes the blood back into the artery. This is what causes the bounding or bounce of the pulse.
The more inflammation there is in the hoof, the stronger the bounce.
In this photo the hoof and skin have been removed to show the inner structures.
The VAN (vein, artery, nerve) bundle runs down the back of the fetlock and pastern before entering the hoof.
The digital vein has been highlighted in blue, the artery in red, and the nerve in yellow.
Learning how to locate and take the digital pulse will enable you play a proactive role in effectively managing your horse's health.
Horse owners: discover how to take an active role in your horse's health
Hoof care professionals: great teaching tool for your clients
Equine students: familiarize yourself with the anatomy
The digital book is available for immediate download straight onto your computer/device. Click the button below to purchase the digital book: