When buying a horse or keeping a horse you have to have good horse training and good horse care. This includes proper stable management and horse care.
What Is A Splint?
A splint is a boney growth on the inside of the horse’s leg. A splint is usually located on the inside of the horses leg where the cannon bone,main leg bone (metacarpal) and the splint bone (2ndary metacarpal) join together.
As a young horse grows the bone covering (periostium) can get inflammed due to injury (direct hit) or friction caused by over work. When this happens the bone covering fuses the main cannon bone and splint bones together.
How to Recognize A Splint
To begin the horse will appear slightly off and may be more ‘off’ when the affected leg is on the inside during turns. When checking the horse’s leg you will notice a small inflamation about the size of a pea. This may be soft and when touched will cause the horse to lift it’s leg. It will be sore and hot and swollen.
How To Treat A Splint
If you suspect a splint treat the area with cold water hosing. The cool water will help reduce the heat and inflamation in the area. Standing the horse in a cool stream or applying cool bandages or ice packs is another alternative. I have successfully wrapped a horses leg with ice cold bandages and cottons that were soaked in a bucket of ice water. I would submerge cotton and bandage in the water, then wrap the leg. As this was cooling the leg I would submerge
another cotton and bandage. After 5 minutes I would remove the bandage and replace it with a cold one from the bucket. As that leg was cooling I would re-roll the bandage and place it in the bucket again and keep exchanging every 5 minutes.
Keep the horses leg cool for approximately 25 minutes to remove the heat and inflamation from the leg. Other treatments could include:
- Clay poultice
- DMSO sweats
- NSAID – ie bute
Have you ever had to treat a splint? Where was it and how did you treat it?