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Equine practice
Treatment of angular limb deformities in foals
  1. Lewis Smith

    Lewis Smith graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2006, after which he completed an internship at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala in Florida, USA. He is currently in the third year of a European College of Veterinary Surgeons residency in surgery at Rossdale and Partners in Newmarket. He holds the RCVS certificate in equine surgery (orthopaedics).


The sooner a foal's angular conformation is evaluated, the more easily any deformities can be treated. While severely affected foals are likely to require more complex treatment, it may be possible to avoid more radical interventions by tackling problems early on. Practitioners play a vital role in the careful assessment of such deformities to ensure that appropriate management is undertaken before the window of opportunity to make simple manipulations to a foal's angular conformation is lost. The ability to correctly distinguish angular deformities from rotational and flexural deformities is vital. This article describes an approach to the investigation and management of angular limb deformities in foals, and discusses various treatment options, ranging from conservative management to aggressive surgical intervention.

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