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Equine Practice
Emergency management of fractures in horses
  1. John Walmsley

    John Walmsley graduated from Cambridge in 1968 and is currently a senior partner in an equine hospital in Hampshire. He has a certificate in equine orthopaedics and a European College of Veterinary Surgeons diploma in large animal surgery. He is an RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery.


THE development of internal fixation techniques and better hospital facilities have significantly improved the success of fracture repair in horses. A practitioner, therefore, has an obligation to be prepared to administer adequate splinting in fracture cases unless he or she is absolutely certain that the injury is irreparable and warrants euthanasia. Properly applied initial first aid for the fracture case can be critical to the success of any subsequent repair, while poorly applied first aid can wreck the chance of treatment. Effective splinting does not require specialist equipment, but knowledge of the basic principles is important.

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