What are they
Splints are swellings usually found on the inside of the forelimbs. They are more common in young horses and begin as soft swellings before they develop into bony swellings. They are a result of damage to the soft tissue (usually the periosteum of the bones or the ligaments).
- Mild or intermittent lameness
- Initially swelling, heat, pain in the affected area
- Later the swelling usually becomes smaller but will be firmer, pain and heat subside
- Concussion from working on hard surfaces
- Conformational faults causing abnormal stress
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency
X-rays will confirm that the swelling is not a result of fracturing of the splint bone.
This will vary depending on size and position of the splint. Rest. Although, quiet turnout can help. Cold therapy for example cold hosing, ice packs etcetera can help reduce the size of the splint.
Avoid overworking young horses. Take care when working on hard surfaces eg: tarmac, icy or baked ground and where appropriate stick to walking. Ensure a balanced diet is fed and hoof trimming and shoeing is undertaken by a trained and experienced farrier.
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