Penetration of the foot by a foreign object (eg, a nail or screw) is commonly seen in horses. Animals will present with varying degrees of lameness, depending on the location, depth and duration of the penetration. Wounds to any part of the sole within the limits of the white line have the potential to involve sensitive structures, but those penetrating the middle third of the sole may contact vital tendinous, synovial or osseous structures. The prognosis depends on a number of variables including the structures affected, the severity of the lesion and the delay in the onset of treatment. The first aid administered to a patient at the initial visit can have a serious impact on the outcome but also has financial implications. This article describes the diagnosis and treatment of superficial and deep penetrating injuries of the hoof in horses.
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