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Keratoma? Farriers etc. UPDATE post 10 -- laminitis?

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  • Keratoma? Farriers etc. UPDATE post 10 -- laminitis?

    hi all... Miss Mare went dead lame on the RF on Sunday. We're still working out exactly what is wrong, have ruled out abscesses or stone bruises and assuming some sort of injury higher up, but her RF hoof is kind of funky looking.

    The RF hoof has a flare, and my current farrier isn't doing enough about it and I've grown less satisfied with him in general, so I'm in the process of finding a new farrier.

    So... we've noticed that her RF hoof has a bit of a raised area, just outside the front midline, running from the coronary band about halfway down her hoof. Vet has suggested a keratoma as a possibility, though she says she usually sees them in horses with a history of abscesses... What can people tell me about these? I know hoof resection would be required to remove it, ugh, but am just trying to get more informed.

    Of course if anyone has other ideas about what this might be, let me know...
    Last edited by quietann; Nov. 1, 2012, 07:15 PM. Reason: update
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

  • #2
    Start by getting some rads.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
      Start by getting some rads.
      I have basic ones done Tuesday; the vet doesn't see anything of concern. May need to pursue this a bit further, though...

      Potential new farrier and vet will both see her next Thursday and I am crossing my fingers they are both there at the same time!
      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


      • #4
        I dealt with a keratoma last year, my suggestion would be to address the problem asap (it sounds like this is what your are doing).
        My mare's keratoma went undiagnosed by two vets for over a year, but the third one found it right away. Unfortunately it had grown very large before I found out what it was. I think the surgery would have been more successful if I had taken her to that vet earlier. I'm sending big jingles your way.


        • #5




          • Original Poster

            Thank you so much! If she has a keratoma, it would be roughly like the one shown in the second article. I really hope she doesn't, though, because I have a strong, involuntary reaction to blood (e.g. got lightheaded just looking at the photos in those articles!) and I'd have to find someone else to take care of her hoof...

            There wasn't anything super-obvious on the X-ray, but the vet told me X-rays won't always pick up a keratoma...

            A full hoof block did not eliminate her lameness, though it reduced it. Blocking the fetlock helped a bit more, and blocking (I think) just above the pastern helped a bit more, but she was still slightly off when jogged. She's nearly sound at the walk and has been since this happened. Of course this may be a keratoma *and* something else, sigh.

            It's definitely a mystery. Luckily, with a little Ace and hay to nibble on, she's tolerating stall rest well.
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


            • #7
              omgosh i wish i hadnt clicked on the second link.


              • #8
                I am two months post surgery with a horse who had a keratoma. I am killing time right now waiting for my horse to finish breakfast so we can hit the road, so this will be brief...will give more info, if needed, tonight.

                The keratoma got missed in an initial MRI (don't even get me started on this) 5 years ago. He had been more or less lame in those 5 years and treated for various things with varying degrees of success or failure. As a last ditch effort to get to the bottom of things, the owner had a different vet look at the horse. It was decided to do another MRI, in which the keratoma was found (then they read the initial one and found it there, also).

                Once we knew what was going on, we could see similar issues in his hoof capsule, as well. He had surgery in August. They actually took surprisingly little foot away, and he is now patched, and tack walking. He actually gets rechecked this coming week.

                Again, I am short on time, so being very vague. It has been a cool process, and I'm hoping, for everyone's sake, this is the answer, as this is a cool horse. I have pictures, but need to download.

                If you have questions about the process, I'll do my best to answer.


                • Original Poster

                  Well cr*p. A barn friend and COTH forum member who is an amateur trimmer (but she trims her own horse, keeps him barefoot, and competes at Prelim eventing with him... so she can't be that off the mark) looked at the mare's feet today. She was pretty horrified by the trim, or lack of trim. Lots of imbalances, contracted heels, too much toe, very asymmetric hooves, some separation where the flare is (which I expected to see, especially now that she's out of shoes), bars inadequately trimmed, etc.

                  Her idea was that if I get the mare's feet fixed first, she may get a lot more sound just from that. The mare could be a tough one just because of her leg conformation (toes in on both fronts, offset cannon bones on both but much worse on the right, over at the knee on the right.)

                  (Barn friend also really thinks the lump on the right front may be an abscess.)

                  So now I wait with baited breath for the potential new farrier on Thursday, to see what *he* says. He's trying to come at the same time as the vet, which raises my opinion of him already.
                  Last edited by quietann; Oct. 28, 2012, 01:11 AM.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                  • Original Poster

                    Update: laminitis???

                    OK, had the vet and (new, awesome) farrier out today. Mare is much less lame, no head-bobbing, just stiff as one would expect from an arthritic horse on stall rest. She flexed sound. The lump in her hoof is smaller so for the moment it doesn't appear she has a keratoma. Hairline fracture of her pastern has been ruled out but she may have a bone bruise.... No way to rule that out without MRI, and she really isnt lame enough to justify the expense.

                    Farrier noticed that especially when tracking right, she did NOT want to weight the inside of her right front. At All. (Lump was on outside...) She also had a very small, draining abscess with a little heat at the inside right front heel.

                    He looked at the X-rays from 8 days ago and agreed with the vet that they looked OK. But then... Vet redid X-rays, and it looked like there is very slight rotation of the coffin bone, only in the right front, just since the previous X-rays. He started to trim her hooves and the whole sole in the toe area is bruised. He thinks (if I understand correctly) that when she went suddenly lame, it may have been laminae detaching, and the bruising now seen is blood from that that has worked its way down.

                    Weird thing is: this looks pretty bad, but horse had hoof testers on her last week, by vet and old farrier, with no reactivity except a tiny bit in an area not currently bruised. This mare does have super tough soles so it may be hard to induce a pain reaction, though. And she is a real stoic, good Morgan that she is (BTW she is not IR.) This didn't present like laminitis ... but it appears that's what it is.

                    She now has a really nice trim, new shoes, and soft padding in both front frogs. She will get half-day turnout on dirt, handwalking for a few weeks and if she's doing OK, after that I can start walking her under saddle. She already has had her grain cut back to almost nothing (about a cup, twice per day, of Blue Seal Performance LS.) Barn normally feeds a mix of first and second cut hay, but she will only get first cut. Then recheck in 5 weeks (vet and farrier coordinated schedules -- how awesome is that?!)
                    Last edited by quietann; Nov. 1, 2012, 07:49 PM.
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                    • #11
                      Good grief! I hope this ends up working out on a good note.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
                        Good grief! I hope this ends up working out on a good note.
                        Thanks. So far, everything looks good. The mare is clearly more comfortable in her new shoeing setup, and at least at the walk is sound. She's a bit mad about the "no grazing, no treats" regimen, though

                        I've already said this, but I am displeased with the old farrier. He doesn't like anyone challenging his work, and guess what... the quality of his work declined after I asked him about the flare a few months ago, and mentioned that my vet had commented on it. (There is drama between old farrier and vet, and I've added to it now.)

                        New farrier was at the barn for 2 hours, asked and answered lots of questions *and* worked collaboratively with the vet, and charged only $20 more than the old guy did for just a basic trim and 4 new shoes.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                        • #13
                          How is this horse doing?