Upturned hoof


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A nice example of ........, cos I cant remember the name.


Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
You get this with all hoofed animals - sheep and cattle as well. The hoof continues to grow continuously - just like your finger nails, but with animal they continually wear down. But if the ground is soft - ie it hasn't stopped raining for weeks then not much to wear them out.

With cattle and sheep you do need to trim their feet quite regularly otherwise if the toe nails grow too long the beast starts walking on its hocks and goes lame.


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Aladdin slippers. the why and where for.
A simple question but very difficult to answer without going into some detail. Have posted a reconstructed lower hind leg. Must be the only site member more interested in feet than heads :)


Forgot to put in extensor tendon on front of leg.
The bones are held together by various ligaments but the one of interest to us is the suspensory ligament. This allows the deer to stand using minimum muscle power. It also helps the bones make a semi-rigid lever for the tendons to work on.

The flexor tendons bend the lower leg backwards and the extensor tendon brings it forward. When the animal moves the leg is brought forward by the extensor muscles and tendon and the hoof bulb, soft cushion like hits the ground fractionally before the toe. On take off the toe digs into the ground and lifts the bulb off. The hoof describes an arc and the heel goes down again


What happens with aladdin slippers is the excessive growth of the hoof and the leverage on the toe by the motion forces it up. Due to pain the deer starts walking on the heel as much as possible. Eventually the toe grows upwards due to the rocking motion


The causes are many.
1. Abnormal bone growth.
2. Excess growth over wear.
3. Illness increases blood pressure hoof grows faster.
4 Infection in that leg increased blood supply hoof grows faster.
5. Diet leading to laminitis.
6. Injury to suspensory ligament.

In the photo submitted there has been excess growth in the accessory digit as well..
Would be interesting if other hooves affected .
Yes the animal would be in pain as stretching the suspensory ligament adopting abnormal posture and gait.
Hoof grows +/- 0.5 cms per month. Faster in the summer and autumn than winter. The slower growth in winter is due to the deer lowering their metabolic rate hence they eat less.
Hopefully made explanation clear.
If you need more info pm me. If you come across examples keep legs and pm me please ?
Interestingly I have noticed Lechwe and Sitatunga antelope have long feet. ?? Evolutionary and/or damp living conditions.


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I think the other hooves were ok. It was only that one that stood out. He did not look to be suffering in any way, but I dare say that it would only have been a matter of time.
I shot a hind a few years ago tthat was hobbling badly. I decided to remove her and she had a bad case of alladins slippers. By pure luck, she was also suffering from nasal bot fly, she showed no sign of bot fly infestation but I am glad she as removed as she must have been uncomfortable.

Thanks for your input Morena


Site Staff
I have to say that its is a really outstanding thread. I know of no other site where such an informative exhaustive answer would be given. The depth and quality of knowledge displayed is only equalled by the quality of the visual aid diagrams and reconstructions. We are really fortunate in having a member such as morena. I would like to thank you for the quality of your posts and the obvious time and effort you have put into them.



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I have spoken to Morena on numerous occasions about what he hopes to achieve with the Deer Welfare section.

If our members can send in good clear photographs and descriptions of deer deformities, diseases and parasites, Morena will be able to process them into an extensive data base for all our members to refer to.

We hope it will be the most comprehensive and up to date free guide of Deer ailments to be found anywhere on the web.
This is an onerous task and I hope the members of this site will join with me in thanking Morena for all his efforts and support him in compiling the required information.

Many thanks Steve.F


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hear hear

Well said Beowolf,

The reply that I got was comprehensive and well put together. He has also given me answers to my other post that was the same animal. I think that there is a large void when it comes to ailments in deer. There will be many things that amateur and professional stalkers alike will learn here.

Hopefully this will turn into an area where we can select the body part or organ under scrutiny to ease the search in the future. But that is a long term thought/suggestion for a great section. :lol:




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Hi Jingzy,
We have the people onboard to do this, its just a matter of time. The site is getting much better, we have many more members and they all have skills. I hope to get to meet Morena (Norman) soon and learn more from our resident vet. Hopefully we can all meet up at the CLA for a few beers and a chat.


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I saw this loads when l used to help out at a Sheep farm as a kid. I've turned thousands of sheep over to trim their toes! You'd be surprised what sheep can walk around on/and eventually not walk around on. It pains me to say that its really common with clay ground reared sheep - with domestic animals you'd be surprised at the amount that turn a blind eye until the animal is really lame - yet the first sign of lameness in deer we are on the ball!

Morena - amazing post - Thank you



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I would make this my first port of call in such matters, certainly before any of the so called deer societies/experts, Not often someone gives so freely of their knowledge. :)

Anson Deeley

Active Member
Dorset Sika Hoof

Here's a hoof of a Sika Stag I took in January in Dorset, and yes, it was in a soft ground area. Could this also be caused were the animal has a pre-existing injury and does not put much weight on this foot then over a period of time not wear the hoof down ?


  • Stag lame leg 2.JPG
    Stag lame leg 2.JPG
    396.5 KB · Views: 6


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I was speaking to roestalker at the midland show and he has a property he stalks with a high incidence of this which he puts down to soft ground conditions.