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Broken Bones in Horses

Treatment

 

Once the symptoms of a bone fracture are noticed, it is important to keep your horse as still as possible in order to prevent further injury. If the fracture is treatable, the horse will likely be carefully moved to a clinic where an operation to repair the fracture can be performed. In the case of a lower limb fracture, the limb should be immobilized to prevent further injury until medical support can be administered. This can be accomplished by applying a splint – a bandage used to temporarily support the fracture – or a removable cast, although the former is more likely and more useful.

 

Living and Management

 

After treating the fracture, the horse should be kept still and isolated for as long as the veterinarian has instructed, allowing the fractured limb time to heal. Sometimes, this period of immobility can last months. A healthy and well-balanced diet is also critical for a speedy recovery, as it allows the body to recuperate after a stressful procedure.  Horse owners must also be aware of the health of the other limbs during this recovery process. Cases of laminitis (founder) have occurred in the opposite, weight-bearing foot due to the added stress of carrying extra weight. Be sure to heavily bed the stall with plenty of straw or shavings. Also, monitor the cast or wrap for signs of swelling or the development of cast sores.

 

Prevention

 

There really is no way to prevent bone fractures in horses, since they are usually caused by undue stress on a certain area, or an accidental injury. However, paying close attention to your horse (and any symptoms listed above) can help in identifying the fracture and treating it before it becomes too severe.

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