Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Drainage from Coronet above Hoof Wall

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If there is severe lameness accompanying this sign.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If you do not notice lameness.

The coronet band is essentially the cuticle of the hoof, from which the hoof wall is generated.

Drainage from under the hoof wall at the coronet occurs most often when a foot abscess (that cannot drain through the hard tissues of the hoof) tracks upwards and breaks out at the coronet band. Other possible causes of drainage here include puncture wounds and embedded foreign bodies. These can be serious injuries because damage to the coronet may compromise your horse’s hoof wall. Horses with severe acute laminitis may have changes to the appearance of the coronet band, and some drainage. Infected collateral cartilage (Quittor), can also cause drainage near the coronet.

There are other critical structures under the coronet band that could be involved in injuries here. These include the coffin joint and flexor tendon sheath.

WHAT TO DO

Assess lameness at the walk. Horses that are very lame at the walk usually have a closed infection like an abscess, a fracture or infection of joint or tendon sheath. Determine whether the drainage seems to be coming from the skin in contact with the hoof wall or originates away from the coronet itself. Promptly contact your vet with your findings and concerns. Photos may be useful to describe the situation.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet must quickly determine whether this problem is serious. The coronet band is a sensitive and important area and there are critical structures right under the skin. Failure to promptly diagnose and treat a problem in this location appropriately could result in severe and permanent lameness.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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