This study aimed to evaluate the microstructure of the buffalo’s hoof capsule using hystomorphometry and computerized light microscopy. The length, thickness, gap and number of epidermal papillae and the morphology of the corneal tubules of the hoof were described in this paper. This study used 56 hoof capsules from hooves of 14 adults – age ranging from 24 to 60 months old – female buffaloes of the Jafarabadi breed; weighing around 650 kg. Fifty-six samples, 28 from thoracic limb and 28 from pelvic limbs, were analyzed, resulting in a total of 112 digits. Clinical specimens were collected at the coronary corium, laminar corium of the abaxial wall and pre-bulbar soles. The study concluded that the microstructure of the hoof capsule of buffalo hooves are made of epidermal papillae measuring 1,721.59 mm of length, 62.94 mm of thickness and 49.02 mm of gap between the papillae. This study determines that the coronary corium has more epidermal papillae than the laminar corium of the abaxial wall and pre-bulbar soles. The corneal tubules of the hoof capsules exhibit helical fashion and points to the possibility of applying this feature to the hooves of the biungulate species as well. In this research, we have been able to determine morphological parameters not yet described in scientific literature. These findings can be used in future comparative studies of healthy cattle and buffaloes and speculate evidence about the hooves’ vulnerability facing different hoof diseases.
KEY WORDS: Epidermal papillae; Histomorphometry; Horn tubules; Keratinocytes; melanocytes.