Electrochemotherapy and surgery were used together to treat a rare case of hoof cancer in a 20-year-old mare.

According to Horsetalk.co.nz, a non-healing erosive lesion plagued the horse’s right hind hoof, which was operated on twice as a canker. Microscopic examination after the second operation diagnosed a squamous cell carcinoma, resulting in depression and lameness in the mare.

Veterinarians Encrico Pierluigi Spugnini, Carlo Bolaffio, Licia Scacco and Alfonso Baldi, penned a case report about the mare for the Open Veterinary Journal.

The group describes treating the horse, starting with electrochemotherapy in the lower limb. They performed a second session of surgery and electrochemotherapy after a month, which was followed by three monthly sessions.

Treating the horse involved overcoming several obstacles, including the aggressiveness of the cancer and a lack of soft tissue in the affected area. But, under the team’s expert care, the mare was in complete remission with an improved gate a year later.

The team notes that the treatment established a new standard.

“In light of its high efficacy and high tolerability with good cosmetic results, electrochemotherapy has been adopted at our hospital as the standard adjuvant therapy of incompletely excised solid tumors in horses,” they note in the Open Veterinary Journal.