How long do foal carpal fractures take to heal?
   

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How long do foal carpal fractures take to heal?

This is a discussion on How long do foal carpal fractures take to heal? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        10-01-2013, 01:30 AM
      #1
    Foal
    How long do foal carpal fractures take to heal?

    I have a Thoroughbred foal with a fractured knee, possibly from being stepped on by his mother in the pasture. He was 10 days old when the injury happened, on August 16th. At our local vet, x-rays showed the lowest medial bone fractured and displaced somewhat downward, and the highest lateral bone, just by the radius, fractured as well. The vet conferred with WSU radiologist and also equine surgeon, and was advised that this fracture would not be a likely candidate for surgery; rather it would be stabilized by casting alone.

    Our vet applied a cast, which ended up not being perfectly straight. The foal moved okay with the cast for several days, then started dragging the leg. We returned with him to the vet, I believe on Aug 23rd. When the cast came off, large pressure sores were revealed. There was a large amount of pus and blood which was under the skin, but not into the joint. No fever. Also a lot of skin sloughing behind and above the knee. We were advised to euthanize since it could not be re-cast.

    Instead we took him home and fitted a bi-valve type of PVC full-leg splint, which allowed a dressing to be changed daily. His other front leg has been supported with bandaging and more recently splinting as he is getting a bit heavier.

    The pressure sores are healing, there is no evidence of infection, and the knee feels more stable, though it feels like there is more "play" laterally than normal.

    Could you give a guess as to how long the PVC cast/splint might need to be worn? It has been 6 weeks and 3 days since the original injury.
         

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