I dont have any experience with splints, and my OTTB popped a splint last week.
I'd like to hear about some peoples experiences with them... how long did you give them completely off, did you keep them wrapped, when did you let them get turned out again? All that stuff
One of my OTTBs popped a splint in the pasture. It never seemed to bother him even when he first did it. My vet did not believe that it was a new injury until she xrayed it. I gave him 2 weeks off per her recommendation. He still went out and no wrapping. i was freaked at first, but he never took an off step. He just has a lovely lump now. I know all horses/situations are different. Good luck.
I rode a horse who popped a splint, it was cold and hard when we noticed it, happened(I think) when he slipped when we were at a show.
He was never lame on it and I jumped a round after, but when we got home trainer insisted he be on stall rest for 6 weeks! He was wrapped all the time and trainer said not even hand walking, although I walked him when she wasn't around.
I think her treatment was ridiculous, horse was normally out 24/7, after the 6 weeks we had to tranq him to go out and he had lost all fitness.
A vet was never consulted.
popped splints are inflammation and ossification of an interosseous ligament between the weight-bearing cannon bone and the non-weight bearing splint bone. Often times it doesn't cause any lameness because the splint bone doesn't bear any weight, but the inflammation process may be painful (hence the reaction when you palpate it). A little bute to help calm the inflammation/pain and if he's not lame, I would think life can resume as normal.
Mine came to me with a splint on her RF, so I can't really say much about a *new* splint, but once it's hard and cold, keep an eye (and a hand, for temperature) on it. There have been a couple of times where the mare's splint has swelled up a little and become hot. Long trailer trips tend to cause this. Banamine helps. She's also whacked it twice in turnout; I used to put front splint boots on her for T/O but as she has become older and quieter, I've stopped, mostly because I don't want to heat up her legs. But I do put boots on her to ride now... She has had a couple of episodes of what is probably "bone bruising" when ridden bare-legged that have made her pretty lame on that leg.
Last edited by quietann; Apr. 5, 2013 at 03:58 PM.
My vet will x-ray/ultrasound right away to make sure there is no tendon involvement and no fracture of the splint bone. After that, poultice at night and cold hose or ice for a few days. If they are lame, they get bute. IIRC, she had them off a week or so after they came sound, then back to work.
My mare popped a couple when she was 5 - initial treatment was 3 weeks rest, apply DMSO, and see how things go. When there was no improvement after those 3 weeks (very very mild soreness present), we had x-rays taken, then splints injected with cortisone to settle them, then a further 4 or so weeks off, keeping going with the DMSO.
You need an x-ray, especially if the horse is lame. Splints that are simply trauma to the periosteum will heal fine with wrapping/icing/bute. Splint fractures very often require surgery to prevent future suspensory problems.
The horse was never lame, I thought it was just a little nick he got in the field (there was a cut, so I guess he got it from interfering with his front legs). He was sound at the walk and trot but not happy riding at the trot and canter, especially turning that direction.
He has had a full week off, Is much less sensitive to the touch and the swelling is completely gone. I want to start turning him out and riding a little, but I dont want to push my luck....