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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2005 Jul;112(7):243-51.

[Verrucous pastern dermatitis syndrome in heavy draught horses. Part II: Clinical findings].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Pferde, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Deutschland.


In the present field study the skin of the feet of 37 heavy draught horses of different breeds showing verrucous pastern dermatitis was examined clinically. Included were the degree of severity of the disease and the prevalence of anatomically normal structures associated with the skin: fetlock tufts of hair ("feathering"), ergots, chestnuts, bulges in the pastern region, cannon circumference. Each horse was examined for Chorioptes sp. skin mites. Information was also collected on the development of the skin alterations and housing conditions and feeding. These individual data were correlated with the clinical degree of severity of verrucous pastern dermatitis, which was evaluated using a numerical code (scoring system). In addition, punch biopsies were taken from the diseased skin of the feet and from healthy skin of the neck for comparative patho-histological examination (see Part III). Verrucous pastern dermatitis is a chronic disease which can be divided into four groups: scaling (group I), hyperkeratotic and hyperplastic plaque-like lesions (group II), tuberous skin masses (group III), and verrucous skin lesions with rugged surfaces (group IV). No correlation was found between the clinical degree of severity of the skin lesions and sex, breed, amount of work, use of stallions for breeding, grooming condition of the hair, white markings in the foot region, or Chorioptes sp. infestation. In regard to feeding it was found that the amount of maize and oats fed had some influence on the clinical degree of severity. Statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between the clinical degree of severity and the age, the grooming condition of the hooves, and the mean cannon circumference. The prevalence of fetlock tufts of hair, chestnuts, ergots, and anatomically normal bulges in the pastern region also increased significantly with the clinical degree of severity. Furthermore the study revealed that the clinical degree of severity depended on the hygienic conditions of the stables and of the ground where the horses were kept outdoors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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