1. Dirty hooves should be cleaned using a hard brush. Hooves which are too long at the toe should be ideally shortened. If the severity of the horse’s condition does not permit the horse shoe to be removed, the hele hoof cushion can be applied directly under the shoe.
2. Select the appropriate hoof cushion size. If necessary (as in abnormal hoof shapes) the hoof cushion can be trimmed using strong scissors or a hoof knife. The size of the cushion should never exceed the area of the sole of the hoof since the physiological forces acting on the hoof wall are extremely painful for laminitic horses.
3. In the case of tendon or accessory ligament lesions (contraindicated in the case of lesions of the suspensory ligament) the hoof cushion may support the weight bearing margin of the hoof. This provides immediate and maximum relief to the tendons and accessory ligaments until the horse can be fitted with an orthopaedic shoe. Lesions can then heal faster.
4. The foot is lifted up and the hele hoof cushion with the thin edge facing forward is at first affixed to the toe with three or four turns of the special tape. It is then fixed with three or four further diagonal turns at the heels and dorsal hoof wall. Finally it is important to cover any gaps which may remain in order to protect the space between the hoof cushion and the hoof from dirt (see the video).
5. No tape should be applied to the coronary band because of potential pressure necrosis. If the coronary band has been erroneously included in the bandage you can slit it open at the top and roll it down.
6. The single use hele hoof cushion should be left in place until clinical symptoms have subsided. It can stay in place for up to 4 weeks, depending on the horse’s temperament. Should the adhesive bandage be worn out after a few days (depending on the bedding, stall flooring and temperament of the horse) you can strengthen it without any further problems.
After the symptoms of laminitis have subsided, you can replace the hele hoof cushion with the conventional laminitis shoeing.