Items

Forums
New Ways to Heal Broken Horse Legs
 By Winniefield Park   •   11th Jul 2018   •   739 views   •   0 comments


It wasnít that long ago that a leg fracture meant a sure end for a horse. But, thanks to advances in veterinary science, that is no longer true. Yes, there are some fractures that are too complicated, or because of where they are located, that can not be fixed. The good news is, many fractures can be.

Part of the reason horseís legs are hard to fix is that from the knee down, there is no muscle to help hold the leg together as it heals. If you break your lower leg, there are large muscles, that along with a cast to help, keep your leg more or less stable as long as you donít put weight on it. Not so with a horse. A horse is much heavier, and a horse doesnít know not to put weight on a broken leg. You might follow doctorís orders to take it easy, but thatís harder for a horse. Being prone for any length of time is very hard on a horse, and comes with its own risks, as does coming out of anesthetic.

Some bones, because of the intense stress placed on them as a horse gallops will break into many fragments making it almost impossible to put back together. And because many fractures of the lower leg break the skin, there is more chance of infection. Fractures in joints can be difficult to mend. Surgery of any kind is very stressful for a horse and has risks of its own. And, as a fracture mends, there is a chance for laminitis to develop, complicating the healing process.

Often horses are put down because even though a fracture is treatable, itís just far too expensive in both time and money, and there is no guarantee that a horse will return to its previous level of performance.

So thatís the bad news. The good news is that although it's expensive and time consuming, it is possible to fix many fractures. The best-case scenario is a stress fracture that leaves the bones somewhat intact. These fractures will not require surgery, and some horses will be able to heal well enough to return to work.

Fractured navicular and coffin bones sound grim, but corrective shoeing, trimming and rest will take care of these problems. A common fracture in racehorses is the lateral condylar fracture, which is the lower part of the front cannon bone. These fractures are repaired by using screws to hold the bones in place until the heal. And a new method of using absorbable screws shows promise in holding splint bones, so that they heal less with fewer complications, and donít require a second surgery to remove the screws.

Sometimes joints can be fused, or held together with screws and plates. Glues and casts too, help stabilize fractures so that healing can take place. Unlike the plaster casts of old, new casts are made of lightweight fiberglass. The downside is there is no place for autographs and witty sayings to be written. Research is ongoing for the best way to provide support without requiring a horse to be completely immobilized. Slings, programmable lifts, pools and conveyors can help horses move, while keeping weight off of the healing bones.

Of course prevention is the best medicine and imaging can tell trainers if a horse needs rest, a change of pace or support to let bones in danger of breaking mend and strengthen. Gene therapy and protein supplementation are being researched in an effort to shorten the six to eight weeks it takes for a fracture with no complications to heal. Which means it wonít be long before even more horses will recover from fractures that would have been a death sentence a few years ago.

Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 More News by Winniefield Park
RavenSide Stud TBS Home of Multiple Top Ranked Horses
5th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
RSS Break Even and RSS Identity Thief are both top ranked horses belonging to the same stables. RavenSide Stud TBS was established in 2017 and is ranked at 113 with 49,459,023 PB in earnings. Currently, there are three stallions s ...
Horse Dismounts Police in Protest Turned Ugly
4th Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
During a peaceful protest that turned ugly in London, UK a police horse bolted after being pelted with debris by violent demonstrators. Flares, bottles and sticks flew as the crowd was pushed back by mounted police officers. One o ...
Horse That Survived Kentucky Horse Shooting Foals Healthy Pinto
3rd Jul 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
You might remember a story from early last winter about twenty horses in Eastern Kentucky that were shot and killed. The few survivors were taken to Kentucky Humane Societyís Willow Hope Farm to regain their health and eventually ...
Stop Petting Wild Horses
29th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Beach-goers to the Outer Banks are being asked to stay clear of the wild horses that live there after a photo of a woman appearing to pat a wild horse has surfaced. This is not an isolated incident as tourists visit the well known ...
Funny Horse Fruit Taste Test
28th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Some horses eat anything and will eat everything from anchovies to zucchini. And some are extremely picky and act like youíve poisoned them if you put anything but hay and grain in front of their noses. Have you ever tried a taste ...
Jim Gaffigan Horse Comedy
27th Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at the Triple Crown, from the costumes and pageantry, to owners, jockeys and trainers. He then takes a humorous trek through the horse world, exploring horse breeds, horse people, horseshoes, riding and the ...
Top Five PonyBox Horses for First Half of 2020
22nd Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
We are halfway through 2020 and so far itís been quite a year. IRL, there has been a lot going on. But on Ponybox, records continue to be broken and new horses are vying for the top rank and highest jumps. Horses tend to go throug ...
Horse Rescue Races to Save Ponies For Auction Due to COVID-19
21st Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Covid-19 is taking its toll on so many businesses and individuals. One rescue stable in British Columbia, Canada, fears that they are running out of time to save 30 horses and ponies, many of which could be sent to slaughter. The ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
163 Members Online 267,387 Registered Members 2,735 News Articles 11,620,856 Unique News Article Views 276,498,944 Website Views