Long-term outcome of treatment of a squamous cell carcinoma of the foot by amputation of the distal limb in a pony

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This report describes a rare case of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in a 10-year-old Shetland pony. The pony was presented for evaluation of a chronic, ulcerating mass of the foot associated with a nonweightbearing lameness of the right forelimb. Foot radiographs revealed an aggressive bone lesion with severe osteolysis of the distal phalanx. Amputation of the digit was performed under general anaesthesia at the level of the metacarpophalangeal joint using a palmar flap technique and a transfixation cast for protection of the stump. Avascular necrosis, infection and dehiscence of the stump occurred 3 weeks later and a second amputation was performed at the level of the proximal third of the third metacarpal bone. Histopathology revealed a squamous cell carcinoma. After healing of the stump, a prosthesis was fitted to the limb for improved ambulation of the pony. Two years after the amputation, telephone follow-up with the referring veterinarian and the owner, revealed that the pony was healthy and able to go out daily in a paddock with its prosthesis. SCC represents an unusual indication for limb amputation. Successful outcome is rarely reported in horses.

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