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Equine Emergency! Obvious or Suspected Fracture

What to do till the vet comes if your horse has an obvious or suspected fracture.

Equine Emergency! What to do till the Vet Comes
When most people think about broken bones and horses, they tend to think about broken legs and the horse having to be put down. However, with surgical techniques advancing every day, many types of fractures are treatable, with the horse making a full return to health.

And, of course, it's not just leg bones that can fracture. A friend's horse managed to smash into a tree a few years ago and fracture his pelvis. We found clumps of his hide and hair in the bark of the tree. Obviously, he was in a great deal of pain and it was alarming to see the way he walked with his hind end twisted severely to the left, but it wasn't a death sentence, and with pain medication and six months stall rest he was fully healed.

What to do

  • The first thing to do is NOT to panic. The calmer you are, the calmer your horse will be.
  • Gather your horse's vital signs and other information to give to the vet.
  • Call the vet, using your cell phone, or have someone stay with the horse to prevent him moving while you go and call the vet.
  • Don't move the horse any more than is necessary.
  • If there is bleeding as well as a suspected fracture, follow the directions for Injury with Profuse bleeding.
  • Wait with the horse and reassure him till the vet arrives.
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