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Keratoma – A pain in the foot

June 22, 2021

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“Sally” recently came into CEC because her owner had noticed a right fore (off-side) lameness and recurring foot abscesses. Dr Robin Bell and Sports Medicine resident Emma Cox performed a lameness exam using nerve blocks to localise the lameness to her right forefoot. Subsequent radiographs revealed an irregularity in her pedal bone, so an MRI was performed, which confirmed the presence of a Keratoma.
Keratomas are benign tumours of the foot that cause pain and lameness as they grow and expand within the hoof. Sally’s owner went ahead with surgical removal of the keratoma, and a full-wall strip (see image) was performed by surgery specialists Dr Marta Wereszka and Dr Sara Biasutti with the assistance of equine intern Dr Ben Pratt.
Our final year veterinary students monitored anaesthesia with specialist anaesthetist Dr Eduado Uquillas. The Keratoma was removed successfully, and Sally recovered quickly from the surgery and was safely at home the same afternoon. The hoof wall will take approximately 6-9 months to grow back, and Sally will need specialised hoof care during recovery, but so far, thanks to the combined effort from the highly skilled surgeons and sports medicine specialists at Camden Equine Centre, she is on track.
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