All Creatures Every Spine
Dr. Amy Hayek DVM, CAC, CVA
Dr. Bill Ormston DVM, CAC, DVETHOM
Gravity and the environment build motor function in the brain, which in turn develops strength in muscles that help in maintaining more effective reflexes and responses to other environmental stimuli. In humans 40% of all sensory information enters the brain via the nerve fibers that travel through the area of the temporal mandibular joint. In quadrupeds, much of this is still true, however, the amount may be greater as their use of auditory, and olfactory information is greater than that in humans. So, while much of the sensory information that enters the brain originates via the face, head and neck, much of it comes from the sense of touch. In humans, most touch sensory organs are concentrated in our fingertips. In horses and dogs, sensory nerves are in the heel and frog region of the hoof of the horse and in the digital pads of the dog. This sensory information helps to shape the motor cortex and develop learned behavior in terms of ambulation, movement and gait. This information is key to the most important job of the brain, and the most important sensory input to the brain: defying gravity. Maintaining normal balance against gravity depends upon a lot of input, much of which comes from and involves the foot. In domestic horses this is dependent upon normal hoof care. This can be altered by unbalanced hoof trimming, peripheral loading devices, and poor blood flow. If your dog’s toe nails make noise they are too long.
To see how to properly trim dog nails and horse hoofs take a look at these brochures.