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Friday, June 1, 2012

Core Biopsy Please!!

The only way to know for sure would require a core biopsy. This procedure is quite simple to perform in the field and will save significant time with regards to treatment and resolution of clinical signs. The first image was treated unsuccessfully as a "summer sore" with medication that actually worsened the clinical signs. The biopsy results were consistent with Pythiosis and aggressive medial/surgical treatment was instituted. The prognosis for full recovery is not good once there has been significant disruption of the soft tissue structures and in a case that involves the lower pastern/coronary band area. Early diagnosis is key!

The case below was treated as a suspect "summer sore" with minimal improvement. Biopsy results indicated that it in fact it was a case of Habronemiasis that was not responsive to the treatment provided (systemic and topical ivermectin). Habronemiasis or "Summer Sores" is a condition that results from flies depositing larvae within the skin causing a significant allergic reaction. Treatment involves medication to kill any living fly larvae and most importantly medication to suppress the local allergic reaction. Treating with ivermectin systemically and topically is often not enough!! Yet that is how many try to treat this condition! For small lesions, topical treatment with concentrated cortisone can be effective, however, for more aggressive lesions, systemic administration with corticosteroids is necessary. Importantly, systemic treatment with corticosteroids is the treatment you definitely want to avoid if you are dealing with Pythiosis! Hence the importance of a core biopsy.


  1. That was interesting. I thought both were summer sores. I've never had a summer sore in 40 years of having horses in Florida. Luck or management? Jean

  2. Guessed this one straight and kunkers have a history, ask Mary about it :) Hope you're doing well, Jayne