Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland)2021; 10(8); 1038; doi: 10.3390/pathogens10081038

Summer Sores Secondary to a Hoof Crack in an Andalusian Stallion.

Abstract: Cutaneous habronemosis in horses is caused by larvae of the spirurid nematodes and . These lesions, also known as "summer sores'', are often severe and disfiguring. Although -caused lesions at the coronary grooves have been described, cases of hoof cracks with secondary summer sores have never been reported. The present case describes clinic-pathological and surgical features of a quarter crack case complicated by cutaneous habronemosis at the dermal layers. A 15-year-old, Andalusian stallion was referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Teramo because of a mass of the hoof and a severe lameness. The clinical examination revealed an exuberant granulation tissue protruding from a full thickness vertical quarter crack. The mass was surgically removed, and subjected to histopathological, microbiological, and parasitological analyses. A copromicroscopic examination was also performed. The feces scored PCR positive for , while the skin for both and , thus confirming the primary role of in causing the hoof mass. This is the first description of a hoof wall crack complicated by summer sores, with simultaneous gastric habronemosis. This case confirms that a prompt diagnosis during fly activity is imperative for an efficacious treatment and a timely prevention of disfiguring summer sores.
Publication Date: 2021-08-16 PubMed ID: 34451503PubMed Central: PMC8401743DOI: 10.3390/pathogens10081038Google Scholar: Lookup
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This research article outlines a unique case of an Andalusian stallion suffering from summer sores as large granulation tissue, which is an unusual consequence of a hoof crack. The underlying cause is confirmed as larvae of the spirurid nematodes, identified in both the skin and fecal matter of the horse, marking the first reported instance of such a case.

Background and Case Overview

  • The focus of this study is a 15-year-old Andalusian stallion who was brought to the University of Teramo’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital due to a hoof mass and severe lameness.
  • The clinical examination unveiled granulation tissue, a kind of new connective tissue and microscopic blood vessels, jutting out from a full thickness vertical quarter crack in the hoof.
  • No previous instances of hoof cracks leading to secondary summer sores had been documented, making this a pioneering case.

Surgical Procedure and Investigations

  • The mass on the horse’s hoof was surgically excised and subjected to further analysis. This included histopathological (study of the microscopic anatomy of diseased cells and tissues), microbiological (study of microorganisms), and parasitological (study of parasites and parasitism) investigations.
  • A copromicroscopic examination, a study of fecal matter under a microscope to identify and count parasites, was also carried out.

Key Findings and Implications

  • The findings from the parasitological and copromicroscopic analysis revealed the presence of spirurid nematode larvae in both the horse’s skin and feces. This confirmed these nematodes were the primary agents causing the hoof infection.
  • The case reinforces the importance of early diagnosis during fly activity to administer effective treatment and prevent the emergence of disfiguring summer sores.
  • The simultaneous gastric habronemosis (infestation by stomach worms) is also significant, suggesting that other systemic implications might be associated with this kind of parasitic invasion.

Cite This Article

Palozzo A, Traversa D, Marruchella G, Celani G, Morelli S, Petrizzi L. (2021). Summer Sores Secondary to a Hoof Crack in an Andalusian Stallion. Pathogens, 10(8), 1038.


ISSN: 2076-0817
NlmUniqueID: 101596317
Country: Switzerland
Language: English
Volume: 10
Issue: 8
PII: 1038

Researcher Affiliations

Palozzo, Adriana
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.
Traversa, Donato
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.
Marruchella, Giuseppe
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.
Celani, Gianluca
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.
Morelli, Simone
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.
Petrizzi, Lucio
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Piano d'Accio, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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