False quarter is the term applied to that condition of the horn of the quarter in which, owing to disease or injury of the coronet, the wall is grown in a manner that is incomplete.
Symptoms of false quarter
This condition of the foot appears as a gap or shallow indentation, narrow or wide, in the thickness of the wall, with its length in the direction of the horn fibres. By this we do not mean that the sensitive laminae are bared and exposed. Horn of a sort there is, and with this the sensitive structures are covered. Running down the centre of the incomplete horn is usually a narrow fissure marking the line of separation in the papillary layer of the coronary cushion, which, as we shall later see, is responsible for the malformation.
On either side of the indentation, as if wishing to aid further than ordinarily it should in bearing the body-weight, the horn takes on an increased growth, and stands above the level of the horn surrounding it. It may, as perhaps it really is, be regarded as a form of hypertrophy, brought about by the increased work that the loss of substance in the region of the false quarter puts upon it.
So long as the sensitive structures are protected the animal remains sound. Sometimes, however, from the effects of concussion or of the body-weight, a fissure appears in the narrow veneer of horn that covers them. Into this, which, of course, is but a form of sand-crack, gravel and dirt penetrate, and so set up inflammatory changes in the keratogenous membrane. As a result suppuration ensues, and the animal is lame.
Causes of false quarter
False quarter may result from any disease of the foot that involves destruction of a portion of the coronary cushion. It is from the papillae of this body that the horn tubules of the wall are secreted. Destruction of any portion of it necessarily results in a corresponding loss of horn in that position.
The disease occasioning this more often than any other is perhaps quittor. It may also result from suppurating corn, from a severe tread or overreach, or from the effects of a slowly progressing suppurating coronitis.