What is pin firing? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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What is pin firing?

I came across an ad today that said a horse had pin firing in his hock. What is that?

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post #2 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 08:04 PM
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I couldnt figure out how to explain it properly, so here is how wiki explains it:

Pin firing is the treatment of an injury to a horse's leg, by burning, freezing, or dousing it with acid or caustic chemicals. This is supposed to induce a counter-irritation and speed and/or improve healing. This treatment is used more often on racehorses than on other performance horses. It is sometimes used in the treatment of bucked shins or splint, curb, or chronic bowed tendons.[1] There was also the theory that it would "toughen" the leg of the horse. This treatment is prevalent in equine veterinary books published in the early 20th century; however many present-day veterinarians and horse owners consider it barbaric and a cruel form of treatment.[2] It is not generally taught in veterinary schools today
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 08:24 AM
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My TB mare, Daisy, was pin fired back when she was on the track - still has little white dot scars all up the inside of her front cannon.

I've asked a few vets about it and from what they said, only people thought pin firing worked... they often used it on horses who would recover from their injury with just stall rest, so they pin fired and then gave the horse time off to recover from that, not the injury itself. While the horse was off for the pin fire wounds to heal, the splint/bucked shin/etc would heal also. Hence, people thought pin firing was the answer.

Hope my explanation makes sense.

-Melanie
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 09:23 AM
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My Little Buddies TB Gelding, he has a tattoo so he was raced, and is 17 now, has these interesting marks on his front legs. It looks like someone took a pair of splint boots, that has nails in them and wrapped them around his cannon bone's.

I asked what that was, and they said it was something that happened to him on the track - what in the world is that? Pin Firing?

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post #5 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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^^Sounds like it

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post #6 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 01:50 PM
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That's exactly what it is, MIE. I'll try to take a picture of Daisy's (she's 17 also) scars this afternoon when I feed them.

-Melanie
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 03:33 PM
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And yes, it is barbaric. I owned an OTTB who had pretty little dotted grid patterns across his front cannon bones from being pin fired for bucked shins.

I did also see it done at racing barns. I asked a vet why he agreed to do such a discredited procedure and he told me that if he didn't do it, race horse trainers would find an unlicensed or back yard person to do it; at least if he did the procedure it would be performed with aseptic technicque.

Blech!
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 04:01 PM
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2901452407_48d026ab10.jpg

firedlegsbdmain.jpg
The first is the procedure

The second is what it looks like when healed

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post #9 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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^Awww, that looks so painful =[

RIP Minnie, 1981-January 15, 2010
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 08:32 PM
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Ick! I saw a TB with healed pin firing marks once. They were white dots on his chestnut legs, similar to a freeze brand. But I have never seen it "fresh." Poor horse! Looks painful.
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