A Complete Vertical Hoof Crack in a Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and its Treatment
2018 Joint EAZWV/AAZV/Leibniz-IZW Conference
Martine van Zijll Langhout1*, DVM, MSc, DECZM; Albert Hooijer2; Marno Wolters1, DVM; Frank Verstappen1, DVM, DECZM; Menno Holzhauer3, DVM, PhD, DECBHM
1Veterinary Department, ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2Hoefsmederij A. Hooijer V.O.F., Kwadijk, The Netherlands; 3GD Animal Health, Deventer, The Netherlands


Sandcracks are scarce in cattle, horses, and other species and demand specialized treatment.1,3 Various techniques to fixate these cracks are described in equine and bovine literature.1,4 Reports on the clinical efficacy of these different techniques are scarce.3 A 1-year-old, female reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo was severely lame in the right front leg. A complete vertical crack into the coronet band was visible in the medial claw. The animal was anesthetized two times with 15 mg detomidine (Detosedan 10 mg/ml, AST Farma BV, 3421 TV, Oudewater, Netherlands) and 375 mg ketamine (Ketamine 100 mg/ml, AST Farma BV, 3421 TV, Oudewater, Netherlands). The crack was inspected and refreshed. Three stainless steel screws were placed on each side of the crack. Stainless steel wire was applied upwards in oblique direction to the opposite side. This pattern was continued downwards in a lacing pattern. Then Vettec Superfast adhesive (Vettec Hoofcare, Utrecht, the Netherlands) was applied to the construction and into the crack. The first fixation was removed after 29 days. A new fixation was applied in the same way and the inside claw was shortened by trimming. This second fixation remained during 140 days. The described fixation method is suitable in young giraffes. Foot imbalance might be a potential cause of this sandcrack, as described in horses.1 Training giraffes is essential for hoof care.2 As far as we know, this is the first report of a complete vertical hoof crack, including a successful fixation, in a giraffe.


The authors would like to thank the management and personnel of the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo for their great assistance with this case report.

Literature Cited

1.  Booth T. Clinical aspects of the equine foot, Part 3: Hoof cracks and wall injury. UK Vet. 2009;14:1–5.

2.  Dadone L, Schilz A, Friedman S, Bredahl J, Foxworth S, Chastain B. Training giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) for front foot radiographs and hoof care. Zoo Biology. 2016;35:228–236.

3.  Pardoe CH, Wilson AM. In vitro mechanical properties of different equine hoof wall crack fixation techniques. Equine Vet J. 1999;31(6):506–509.


Speaker Information
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Martine van Zijll Langhout, DVM, MSc, DECZM
Veterinary Department
ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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