What’s your diagnosis?

A 3 year old Mustang presented to the SVEC surgical service with a history of an unresolved right front hoof abscess. She had only been off the range for 6 months.

What is your diagnosis and next steps/treatments?



The Saginaw Valley Equine Answer

Pre-surgical radiographs revealed a sequestrum was in the dorso-lateral aspect of the coffin bone. A sequestrum is a piece of dead bone that has separated from the healthy bone. If not removed it can delay healing and cause abscessation or draining tracts. During surgery the RF was clipped to mid cannon bone and a tourniquet was placed mid-pastern to the fetlock to control blood flow to the foot. The distal limb and hoof were scrubbed in a sterile manner. A hoof knife was used to cut into the sole of the RF foot at the lateral toe aspect of the sole. A hoof paring tool was used to dig into the affected area. Bone curettes and a scalpel were used once inside the hoof to scrape away the affected parts of the sole and coffin bone. The site was flushed with Betadine solution mixed with saline after paring. Roll gauze dipped in Betadine solution/saline was packed into the site, gauze was applied to the bottom of the foot, and it was wrapped in vet wrap followed by duct tape. A distal limb bandage was also placed on the limb to help secure the foot bandage in place during recovery.

After recovery, a hospital plate was applied. A hospital plate is a flat piece of metal that protects the sole of the foot. It can easily be removed to treat areas of the foot while leaving the original shoe in place. This one is held on by four bolts. It is pictured above.

Treatment post surgery includes packing the surgical site with a paste of metronidazole and aspirin. This mixture should be changed every 72 hours. She also will be on bute for five days and antibiotics for 5-6 weeks. Stall rest is necessary until the re-check at 5 – 6 weeks post surgery.