Sport Horse Medicine.com
focus: Equine Podiatry
Sponsored by Richard Mansmann, VMD, PhD of
 Equine Podiatry & Rehabilitation 
Mobile Practice of North Carolina 
Hospital Plates

A hospital plate is a metal plate bolted to the bottom of a shoe to protect the sole. It is needed when there is some sole damage that might require long term (greater than a week) bandaging. 

Richard A. Mansmann, VMD and Kurt vom Orde

Consensus of constructing a good hospital plate (Farrier Rounds, November 2000):
o use 16-gauge sheet metal 
ouse four screws, one at each "corner" of the shoe/plate, for stability when the horse places the foot
oafter nailing on the shoe, file the nail heads level with the shoe so that the overlying plate fits snugly against shoe
oif necessary to keep out dirt and moisture, apply a thin bead of caulk between shoe and plate
omake sure the screws are only 1/2" or 3/8" in length; any longer and they may screw into the hoof
ouse a lock washer as a spacer between plate and screw head for added security and to help keep the screw tip clear of the hoof
oapply a lubricant such as WD-40 to the screw thread or hole before replacing the screw

How to keep the screw heads from wearing out and/or breaking off?
o use screws that are Grade 9 or greater 
omelt a small blob of borium onto the screw heads 

The following is a case of a post-laminitis toe sole seroma.

Fig 1: These cases can present as extremely painful but with proper evaluation and care can do very well.
Fig 2:  A Grand Circuit “t” shoe was chosen to allow for breakover to be palmar to the tip of P-3.
Fig 3: Kurt vom Orde is tapping the future bolt holes. Aluminum is more difficult to work than steel for drilling and tapping.
Fig 4: The shoe is applied with breakover behind the tip of P-3.  For external landmarks use the dorsal most coronet band with a visual line drawn down to the bearing surface.
Fig 5:  The 4 bolts are in place with the hospital plate.
Fig 6:  How to set up an area needing daily dressing changes. Dental impression material is placed for support in the palmar/plantar-most portion of this foot with toe lesions. Then the dressing can be placed forward over the lesion and changed as often as necessary.
Always change hospital plates on solid, dirt-free ground so tapped holes do not fill with dirt!
Return to Sport Horse Medicine homepage