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Question regarding Barbaro to a veterinary "knowledgeable" person

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  • Question regarding Barbaro to a veterinary "knowledgeable" person

    I was curious as to why many horses with broken legs are slung, but barbaro is not. Is this becuase it is a hind leg not a front leg and horses typically put less weight on the hind end (when at rest that is) as well as have the ability to shift weight and "rest" hind limbs? Just curious about this.
    www.shawneeacres.net

  • #2
    I am not a "veterinary person", but I do know that there are a lot of downside risks to using a sling. Both the internal organs and the circulation to ALL the limbs suffer if the horse is in a sling. It is only used if there really is no other alterantive.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a question too...maybe someone in the vet field will be able to answer the many questions that will arise, or maybe the COTH could eventually invite some of the NBC vets into the Tackroom Chat...

      I'd like to know how (considering the thin skin and general lack of tissue surrounding the area of Barbaro's injuries) was all that hardware (screws/plate) made to fit within the leg?

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually, I don't think it's correct to say that "many horses with a broken leg are slung".

        For the reasons noted above, the sling is the last resort not the first line of treatment. If you don't think the horse can come out of surgery with the ability to be mostly weight bearing, you know the odds of survival decrease immediately.
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DMK
          Actually, I don't think it's correct to say that "many horses with a broken leg are slung".

          .
          I don't think so, either.
          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

          Comment


          • #6
            The only horse I am aware of that spent a lot of time in a sling and survived was Nureyev, who broke his leg almost completely off just below the hock and spent almost 2 years recovering at the Hagyard-Davidson-McGee clinic in Lexington. This happened about 15 years ago so forgive me if I am fuzzy on the details. He was not weight-bearing for many months and then was in and out of the sling for a long time.

            Nureyev apparently kicked the paddock fence, and was found with his hind leg broken and dangling. Somehow, they got him to the clinic and managed to put it all back together. He lived (and covered mares) for about 10 years after the accident, thanks to a lot of good luck and a tremendous effort by the HDM vets and barn personnel and the Walmac Farm management. If I recall correctly, either his groom, the farm manager, or the farm vet was with the horse just about 24 hours a day while he was at the clinic, along with the regular clinic staff. They even built him his own barn at the clinic when he started recovering and was getting a bit too interested in the mares in the main barn.

            I saw him at the farm a year or so before he died. He had his own barn, with a sling in the stall that apparently was used as needed. A groom stayed with him all the time, and at that point he was hand-grazed several times daily.

            Comment


            • #7
              It may actually not all be under the skin, JJ.
              Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

              http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                why is it I post a QUESTION and get criticized?! You guys are just WEIRD! yes, a LOT of horse ARE slung, look on the breeding forum right now there is a warmblood stallion with a broken front leg who is SLUNG. I simply would like a VETERINARY reason, I totally realize that slinign should not be done unless necessary, but what constitued "necessary" when should a leg bear some weight, and when should it bear little to no weight? Is it an effect of front vs. hind? These are jsut questions I'd like to have an answer from, not a bunch of peopel trying to second guess what I said! And I am saying "slung" for recovery, not for a more exteneded period of time
                www.shawneeacres.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, based on the xrays, I would say all the hardware is under the skin. None of that looks like external hardware. It is similar to a human ankle where there is not a lot of soft tissue to cover everything. Frequently you can feel the plates and screws through the skin, which stretch to accommodate all that. Also, looks like his bone were fractured so severely as to not necessarily be taking up quite as much room as before, so probably more room for hardware there.

                  Also, Shawnee Acres, I don't think anyone was jumping on you, just stating their experience and opinion, just as you did. Relax.
                  Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                  http://www.halcyon-hill.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shawneeAcres
                    why is it I post a QUESTION and get criticized?! You guys are just WEIRD!


                    Who criticized you?
                    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                    My CANTER blog.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shawneeAcres
                      why is it I post a QUESTION and get criticized?! You guys are just WEIRD! yes, a LOT of horse ARE slung, look on the breeding forum right now there is a warmblood stallion with a broken front leg who is SLUNG. I simply would like a VETERINARY reason, I totally realize that slinign should not be done unless necessary, but what constitued "necessary" when should a leg bear some weight, and when should it bear little to no weight? Is it an effect of front vs. hind? These are jsut questions I'd like to have an answer from, not a bunch of peopel trying to second guess what I said! And I am saying "slung" for recovery, not for a more exteneded period of time
                      Telling you that your assumption is incorrect, is, IMHO, an answer.
                      Maybe you like the answer, maybe you don't.
                      You get to decide that.
                      You don't get to decide what answers you get, though.
                      Since it seems to upset you, though, I'll refrain from answereing your questions in the future.
                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think people may look at the x-ray and go " wow those screws are huge!" But the x-ray may be in blown up proportion and the screws are fit to the size of bone. I have a screw in my hip and a screw in my knee but if I looked at my x-rays blown out of proportion they might look big too. I bet if you held one of those screws in your hand it may be smaller than you think.

                        Shawnee Acres I believe I heard on the news when they were interviewing the surgeon, they opted to not put him in the sling because his best chance of recovery was to see if he could bear full weight on the leg.
                        Member of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

                        “This is not a game for little boys in short pants.” LeRoy Jolley

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If I'm not mistaken, the warmblood horse broke the bone above the knee. It seems it would be difficult to fashion a weight-supporting cast for that part of the leg, as it does have muscle around it, and is just so much higher off the ground, and above a bunch of functioning joints. That, and the fact that horses do bear more weight in front, would seem to be reasons why the WB horse is in a sling and B is not.

                          I think they've said that the cast on Barbaro is fiberglass and includes the fetlock joint and the entire foot, so that cast is probably more weight-supporting than what's on the WB horse.

                          But I'm not a vet, these are just some observations and suppositions.
                          "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                          Spay and neuter. Please.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JustJump
                            I have a question too...maybe someone in the vet field will be able to answer the many questions that will arise, or maybe the COTH could eventually invite some of the NBC vets into the Tackroom Chat...

                            I'd like to know how (considering the thin skin and general lack of tissue surrounding the area of Barbaro's injuries) was all that hardware (screws/plate) made to fit within the leg?

                            While not a vet, I am an orthopedic/bone reconstruction researcher. Skin is very elastic. No, they did not have to make the hardware fit in the leg. The plates come form the manufacturer (Synthes in this case) in a preset size. They are then cut and shaped in the OR to fit the given need. The pate (the bar looking thing) is thin enough (4mm or A316L stainless steel) that the skin can be sutured over it.

                            Reed

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              sorry,, i seemd like people were critiziing the question I asked in stead of an answer, I guess I misread the tone. I jsut seriously was wodnering that was all, and I realise not ALL hroses are slung, many do get slung for various reasons and wondered how the decision was made about that, thats all, again sorry
                              www.shawneeacres.net

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mega Rock
                                I think people may look at the x-ray and go " wow those screws are huge!" But the x-ray may be in blown up proportion and the screws are fit to the size of bone. I have a screw in my hip and a screw in my knee but if I looked at my x-rays blown out of proportion they might look big too. I bet if you held one of those screws in your hand it may be smaller than you think.

                                Shawnee Acres I believe I heard on the news when they were interviewing the surgeon, they opted to not put him in the sling because his best chance of recovery was to see if he could bear full weight on the leg.
                                Actually, thos screws ARE pretty big. I have a set on my desk as I write this from a couple of tibial reconstructions in people. The magnified image on your computer screen is just bout real size. The screws HAVE to be big in order to withstand the bending and tensile loads due to the horse's weight.

                                As for slings, I too have almost never seen a horse in a sling (worked for a large animal hospital and collaborate with veterinary orthopedics at CSU). There are too many risks and very few horses will tolerate it. On top of that given the time of recovery from a fracture (say 12 weeks), I suspect there would be significant bone loss in the rest of the skeleton due to the unloading (similar to what happens with astronauts, bed ridden people, people in wheelchairs). Thus, you would have a horse with weaker bones coming out of recovery.

                                Reed

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wouldn't having a horse in a sling increase the possibility of hoof problems?

                                  I know laminitis is a possible danger as it is, but since circulation in the hoof is related to bearing weight, could taking weight off the hooves completely increase chances of those types of problems?

                                  If I'm totally mistaken on all counts, feel free to punish me as you see fit

                                  "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                  My CANTER blog.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    both of those replies make sense. I'm just trying to figure out when they woudl and when they wouldn't sling a horse, I guess I jsut assumed he'd be slung and was surprised to see the photos of him standing on it. Does the plate give it enough strength then that the weight is able to be borne?
                                    www.shawneeacres.net

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by shawneeAcres
                                      both of those replies make sense. I'm just trying to figure out when they woudl and when they wouldn't sling a horse, I guess I jsut assumed he'd be slung and was surprised to see the photos of him standing on it. Does the plate give it enough strength then that the weight is able to be borne?
                                      In a word, yes. The caveat, the plate will have to removed after time due to a condition called stress shielding. Bone must have a load to grow and maintain itself. The plate changes the load path in the bone thus causing a shift in how the bones will "remodel." This is similar to why some hip implants fail in humans. Right now the plate is taking the entire load and it will fail around 2-3 million flexions (it is what is called A316L stainless steel as that is what Synthes makes). This comes out to about 1 year of walking around if the fractures fail to heal (non-union fracture). If the plate is left in, the surrounding bone will become weaker over time.

                                      Also, the plate will fail on its own due to fatigue in its current position and its current configuration. The curve is a "stress concentrator" that will cause fatigue and micro fracturing in the plate over time. Hopefully the bones will be healed sufficiently to take the load when the plate goes.

                                      The screws and plate will all go. Since the plate is held in place by the screws. In humans we do the same thing with intremedually nails when a person shatters their femur or tibia.

                                      Reed

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have to hand it to the Baltimore Sun for providing this graphic to its readers to better educate them on what the impact of a gallop represents on any horse:

                                        Baltimore Sun 5/22 GRAPHIC: 'Powerful animal, long and light legs'

                                        (source:Knight-Ridder Tribune, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Equusite.com, Baltimore Sun)

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