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Expert Equine Podiatry Care in Gresham, Oregon

Equine podiatry combines the art of farriery with the medicine of the veterinary profession. Columbia Equine Hospital, in partnership with your farrier, takes equine podiatry seriously.

Our new podiatry center allows our veterinarians to work more efficiently with your farrier. Our podiatry room enables veterinarians and farriers to work side by side while accessing state-of-the-art digital radiography and the most up-to-date treatment modalities to care for our patients.

Preventative & Corrective Podiatry

equine Podiatry Care From The Staff at Columbia Equine HospitalHoof Landmark Evaluation & Trimming Strategy is an individual look at several factors affecting your horse foot as well as all of its supporting structures. Through a combination of physical exam, hoof measurements & radiographs, your veterinarian & farrier will come up with a consistent, reproducible trimming and/or shoeing plan in a manner that considers:

  • the hoof-pastern axis (HPA)
  • the center of articulation
  • the extension of the heels to the base of the frog
  • coffin bone angle

Other than being used for routine farriery, these guidelines can also be used to modify existing hoof conformation when necessary as well as improve hoof capsule distortions and landing patterns of the foot. This service is usually done with your farrier present.

Therapeutic Podiatry

Comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of a variety of foot-related issues include:

  • Hoof injury
  • Infection
  • Abnormalities
  • Wounds
  • Foot-related lameness

Some of the conditions treated at the podiatry center include:


Equine laminitis remains the most difficult problem we encounter in the horse. There are many different causes for the disease and it can be difficult to determine the cause in an individual case. The disease affects the lamina which connects the inside of the hoof wall to the underling bone. The lamina has a unique and elaborate structure that works like magic in the normal horse but when diseased it is very difficult to heal and return to normal function. Early recognition and treatment of acute laminitis is vital to successful outcomes. Treatments are varied but the initial treatment always involves anti-inflammatory medication, ice, support of the coffin bone, exercise restriction, vascular perfusion support ETC.

Shoeing the chronically laminitic horse requires special attention and radiographs of the hoof are essential to determine the location of the coffin bone and the best way to trim the hoof and set the shoe.

Cornet Band Wounds That Include The Hoof Wall

Trauma to the coronet band and laceration are painful and can lead to permanent damage to the hoof wall. Injury in this area should be evaluated for joint penetration, lateral cartilage damage and coronary band laceration. Heel bulb lacerations are common and should be sutured and stabilized. All wounds to this area should be treated and evaluated aggressively.

Cracks And Separations

Cracks in the hoof wall are most commonly at the quarter of the hoof. The cause of the hoof crack is most likely abnormal weight bearing of the hoof wall due to conformation of the hoof and excessive loading of the hoof. Underrun and or sheared heels are common conformation problems that can lead to quarter cracks. Balanced shoeing and stabilization of the crack are critical to resolving these cracks. Hoof patches and mechanical stabilization are accomplished with lacing the crack and patching the defect with composite material that bonds to the hoof and lacing.

Separations of the hoof wall at the lamina are common and can be extensive. This separation occurs at the white line and hence the name "White Line Disease" The white line becomes stressed and stretched and this allows for an infection of the lamina that grows into the lamellar space creating a hollow area between the hoof wall and the underlying lamina. Treatment of whiteline disease involves hoof wall resection over the affected area and stabilization of the remaining hoof.


A keratoma is a benign keratin-containing mass that develops between the hoof wall and the underlying distal phalanx. Keratomas result from proliferation of cornified tissue on the inner surface of the hoof wall, which often originates near the coronary band. Keratomas can cause lameness and chronic intermittent abscessing as well as hoof cracks. The keratoma must be completely removed to prevent regrowth. A keratoma can be removed in a standing patient but general anesthesia is recommended.

Foot Abscess

The most common cause of a sudden onset of a severe lameness is a foot abscess. These are very painful for the horse and often mistaken as a broken leg. There is minimal swelling but the hoof is hot and the digital pulse is elevated. The abscess is usually located in the white line of the hoof and can be drained from the bottom of the hoof. Occasionally the abscess will rupture at the coronet band and relieve the pressure. Once the abscess is drained the horse should gain relief and lameness should resolve. Hot soaking the hoof is a tried and true method to soften the hoof and help the abscess localize.

Frog Infections

Thrush is common in the Northwest with our wet environment. The frog can become infected with a mixed bacterial population. Treatment involves debridement and trimming of the frog as well as topical drying and disinfecting solutions.

"Street Nail" Surgery

The seriousness of the case depends on the position and depth of the foreign body penetration. The deeper the penetration of the foreign body and the more central the location in the foot the more serious the prognosis is for the horse. The most common injury involves a nail to the bottom of the foot. I the nail penetrates the vital structures of the foot and if those structures become infected the horse may be permanently lame or euthanized. Imaging techniques can be helpful in determining the extent of the damage as well as joint fluid evaluations. Treatment involves debridement and drainage. Systemic and local antibiotics are part of the therapy.


“Competent and helpful.”

“Professional and compassionate.”

“I have been using CEH for years, and I have 100% faith in them.”

“I always have a great experience with them.”

“I recommend them for all your horses medical needs.”

“We always have a good visit when we take our horses to Columbia Equine!”

“Columbia Equine has a wonderful staff of professionals & state of the art equipment.”

“They're focused on the well being of the animals more than anything else. They educate the customer and are helpful in many aspects, I recommend them all the time!”

– Marlene

“Blessed am I to have this great vet team behind me and my pony thank you Columbia Equine Hospital! You rock!”

– Lauren

“Thank you for the great addition to your already top notch staff at Columbia Equine. We love you guys!”

“Amazing vets and beautiful facility. I've had my horses under their care before and they do an awesome job! I would recommend any of my fellow horse friends to take their horses there.”

“I can not begin thank Dr. Hanson and staff for the amazing care they gave my horse...”

“My initial conversation was with Alexis, me asking a lot of questions, she providing a lot of professional answers and setting up an appointment for a farm visit later that day, to Dr. Rioux-Forker showing up on time, listening to the problems we are having with our OTTB, Leon, asking thoughtful questions, and suggesting helpful solutions, we were very happy with every interaction we had with the staff at Columbia Equine Hospital. Very helpful. Very professional. Very experienced. And reasonably priced. Thank you!”