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AskHQ: Splints

Q: What is a splint?

A: A splint is a bony enlargement of the inside or outside of the splint bone. It can be caused by direct trauma to the bone or can result from abnormal strains on the legs due to poor conformation or shoeing. When the splint first develops there will usually be a warm, painful swelling and some degree of lameness. The lameness is worse on hard ground and deteriorates with work. The initial swelling is due to localized inflammation and new bone formation. Over time, and with rest, the inflammation will gradually subside, but some bony swelling normally remains.

If you suspect your horse may have a splint, call your vet as they will be best able to advise you on the best course of action. This is likely to involve rest and pain-relief, but in some cases surgery is recommended.