Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Canker: hypertrophic pododermatitis - chronic

Contributor(s): Helen Herinckx, Ellen Singer, Beatrice Funiciello

Introduction

  • A chronic condition resulting in hypertrophy of the horn-producing tissues of the frog and adjacent structures. It generally affects the frog first, but can spread to the sole, the bars and the hoof wall.
  • Cause: a definitive etiology is not confirmed yet. Micro-organisms such as Fusobacterium necrophorumBacteroides spp and Spirochaetes spp have been identified in diseased hooves, as the presence of bovine papillomavirus DNA. In one case report an (auto-) immune reaction was hypothesized.
  • Signs: moisture, exudation, foul odor, masses or epithelial proliferations, inflammation, pain and lameness. One foot or multiple feet may present the condition. It is more represented in the hind feet (often with the worst form), but is also common in the front feet.
  • Diagnosis: characteristic clinical signs even if in the early stages may be misdiagnosed as thrush   Foot: thrush  . Biopsy can confirm the diagnosis.
  • Treatment: debridement, topical medication and hygiene.
  • Prognosis: poor to good.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Caring for your horse's feet and Thrush and canker to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • A definitive etiology has not been confirmed yet.
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum Fusobacterium necrophorum,Bacteroides spp and Spirochaetes have been identified in diseased hooves as the presence of bovine papillomavirus DNA. In one case report an (auto-) immune reaction was hypothesized.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Moist unhygienic environment.
  • Poor hoof care.

Pathophysiology

  • Moist environment facilitating growth of anaerobicFusobacterium necrophorum with/withoutBacteroidesspp.
  • Moist environment and poor hoof care facilitating growth of anaerobicFusobacterium necrophorumwith/withoutBacteroidesspp, that infect thestratum germinativumof the epidermis.
  • Possible role ofSpirochaetesand bovine papillomavirus.
  • Proliferation of the corium and epithelium that progresses to stop horn production with abnormal epithelium, hyperkeratosis and acanthosis.
  • Infection of deeper corium and absence of normal horn    →    pain and lameness.

Timecourse

  • Treatment required from weeks to many months.
  • High recurrence risk.

Epidemiology

  • More reported in heavy breeds in the past; now all breeds affected.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Apprich V & Licka T (2013) Equine hoof canker: a clinical trial of topical cisplatin chemotherapy. Vet Rec 172 (9), 238 PubMed.
  • Oosterlinck M et al (2011) Retrospective study on 30 horses with chronic proliferative pododermatitis (canker). Equine Vet Educ 23 (9), 466-471 VetMedResource.
  • Milner P & Rowley-Neale C (2011) Case report: Surgical treatment of canker of a horse's foot. UK Vet 16, 10-12 WileyOnline.
  • Brandt S et al (2011) Consistent detection of bovine papillomavirus in lesions, intact skin and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of horses affected by hoof canker. Equine Vet J 43 (2), 202-209 PubMed.
  • Wilson D G, Mays M B & Colahan P T (1989) Treatment of canker in horses. JAVMA 194 (12), 1721-1723 PubMed.
  • Prescott C S (1970) Canker in the hoof of a horse. Aust Vet J 46 (9), 449-451 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Furst a e & Lischer C J (2012) Foot. In: Equine Surgery IV. Eds: Auer J A & Stick J A. Saunders, USA. pp 1264-1299.
  • Knottenbelt D C (2009) Injuries and diseases of the Hoof. In: Pascoe's Principles and Practice of Equine Dermatology II. Saunders, USA. pp 361-375.
  • Booth L & White D (2007) Pathologic Conditions of the External Hoof Capsule. In: Equine Podiatry. Eds: Floyd A E & Mansmann R A. Saunders, USA. pp 224-252.
  • Wilson D G (1997) Equine Canker. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine IV. W B Saunders, USA. pp 127-128.
  • Pollitt C C (1995) Colour Atlas of the Horse's Foot. Mosby-Wolfe, UK. pp 150-153.
  • Wilson D G (1994) Topical Metronidazole in the Treatment of Equine Canker. In: Proc 40th Annual Convention AAEP. pp 49-50.
  • Turner T (1988) Treatment of Equine Canker. In: Proc 34th Annual Convention AAEP. pp 307-310.
  • Steckel R R (1987) Puncture Wounds, Abscesses, Thrush and Canker. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine IV. W B Saunders, USA. pp 226-271.


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