Keratoma Case Report: Trail Riding Horse

Team approach and addressing sound shoeing principles help horse recover from keratoma



“Avery,” a 12-year-old Suffolk Punch gelding used for trail riding, was referred to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) Large Animal Teaching Hospital on June 27, 2018, for further evaluation of a suspected keratoma. Avery had a history of reoccurring sub-solar abscesses and rapidly-progressive lameness on his right thoracic hoof.

Farrier Takeaways

  • There are various options for the surgery team and farrier to approach a keratoma, depending on the case.
  • Your shoeing solution for a keratoma should consider ease of access for the owner in aftercare.
  • Concern for the contralateral shoeing is critical in a keratoma case to help prevent laminitis.

Under physical examination, Avery presented with a 4/5 (American Association of Equine Practitioners grading scale) lameness on his right thoracic limb. He had an increased digital pulse in this foot, while all other digital pulses were within normal limits. Avery was negative to hoof testers in all limbs, except for the affected limb. He had a distinct defect as well as multiple draining tracts in his sole and around the defect of the affected hoof. Paring out this area revealed grey, odoriferous exudate (Figure 1). A palmar digital nerve block was preformed to facilitate probing of the tract.

Following the initial examination, radiographs were obtained. Radiographic examination of the right thoracic hoof and distal phalanx included 0° lateral-medial, 0° dorsopalmar, 65° proximodorsal-palmarodistal oblique, dorsal 65° proximal 45° lateral-palmaromedial oblique, and dorsal 65° proximal 45° medial-palmarolateral oblique. A dorsopalmar 65° oblique radiograph of the left thoracic distal phalanx…

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Daniel watson ihcs 2020

Daniel Watson

Daniel Watson is a farrier in Middleburg, Va. After beginning his career in Tennessee, he worked at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Podiatry Department in Blacksburg, Va.

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