New techniques to help treat equine fractures have improved the prospects of horses with fractures significantly, says Dr. Benjamin Ahern, an equine surgeon.
Locking compression plates are a “game changer,” said Abern. As horses are large animals, they can make the healing of fracture repairs on their limbs very difficult. In the last 20 to 30 years, he says, the treatment of fractures has improved, giving the horse a greater chance of surviving the injury, reports Horse Talk.
Abern noted that several developments have been key to increasing the odds of a horse's survival after a fracture. These include:
- The development of techniques that allow fracture repair standing up
- Improvement in hardware availability, including locking compression plates, which change how the repair occurs and are about four times stronger than dynamic compression plates
- The prevalence of minimally invasive repair techniques, which help prevent infections
Abern notes that the implants used in equine surgeries now have coatings and structural changes to prevent bacterial infections. If a horse does develop an infection, veterinarians now have the ability to deliver antibiotics directly to the fracture site instead of to the entire body.
Abern also said that the ability to communicate instantly with other specialists allows for multiple opinions on each fracture case, instead of one vet making the call to euthanize a horse with a fracture.
Read more at Horse Talk.
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