Puncture wounds of the equine hoof are potentially serious injuries and are diagnosed frequently in equine practice. Although most penetrating solar injuries are superficial and respond well to conservative treatment, deeper penetration of the foot, especially in the frog (cuneus ungulae) region, can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications. In cases where the penetration is relatively superficial, an abscess can develop between the solar horn and corium, but generally does not cause damage to the underlying structures. However, deeper penetration can result in damage to vital underlying structures such as the distal phalanx, deep digital flexor tendon sheath, navicular bursa, and distal interphalangeal joint.1 Several studies2,3 have emphasized the importance of prompt recognition and aggressive treatment of deep puncture wounds to the foot involving synovial structures. To avoid these potentially life-threatening complications, careful physical examination and radiologic evaluation of the injured foot to decide the best course of treatment and management are essential.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the records of equids with a penetrating injury to the central region of the foot and to determine the clinical findings, treatment, complications, and outcome associated with this injury and the factors that may affect treatment and outcome.
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