Appaloosa Journal

SEP 2018

Appaloosa Journal is the official publication of the Appaloosa Horse Club, the international registry for the Appaloosa horse.

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farrier feature 16 Appaloosa Journal September 2018 A By Tabb Pigg keratoma is a rare condition that can develop in a horse's hoof. It's a benign tumor made of keratin, a fibrous protein, that grows on the coffin bone. Although uncommon, a kera- toma can lead to lameness, and sometimes, it may require sur- gery to remove the tumor if it becomes too big. If this happens, horses may need extra hoof support and comfort during the healing process, because it can be lengthy and painful. Pr viding C mf rt t rse After K erat ma Su rgery Removing a tumor creates a difficult recovery process, es- pecially in the hooves because they support a horse's entire body weight. After a horse has keratoma surgery, there's a hole- like wound in the hoof wall where the tumor used to be. It is extremely important for hoof care professionals to avoid trying to repair the missing hoof wall by pouring or packing material directly in the hole, because it can cause infection. This area needs to stay in an anaerobic environment, or absent of free oxygen, in order for the hoof wall to grow back. That being said, the hole in the hoof wall causes the coffin bone to hang unsupported when the horse is standing, so hors- es need something to hold the hoof together. Applying a heart bar shoe helps provide extra support while keeping the hoof in an anaerobic environment so that the coffin bone can heal properly. This technique applies pressure to the frog and helps push and hold the coffin bone back into its proper position. After hoof care professionals apply a heart bar shoe, the af- fected area from the surgery begins to heal and there is no longer high risk for infection, pour-in pad materials can then help to stabilize other parts of the coffin bone and provide the cushion a hoof needs to grow back properly. It is important to continue applying the material until the hoof wall fully grows back. Depending on how much of the hoof wall was removed during surgery, this can take anywhere from six months to a year, or possibly even longer to heal. Ch sing the Right P u r-in Pad Material The type of pour-in pad hoof care professionals should use depends on the environment a horse lives in. For horses spend- Road The to Keratoma Recovery

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