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Bone Splints: Butterfly Boy, Ch5

“Okay, let’s start with the bones,” Gay said. “Rory, point out the cannon bone.” He did.

“It’s also called the third metacarpus,” Katie added.

“Yes,” Gay continued. “So, what bones are involved in splints?”

“The 2nd and 4th metacarpals, on either side of the cannon bone, here and here,” Katie pointed to the thin bones attached to each side of the cannon bone.

"What causes a splint to form?" Gay asked.

"A trauma to a splint bone, either from a crossover injury where the opposite hoof hits an inside splint bone or from hitting a leg against an object. The trauma of the impact inflames the ligament between the splint and cannon bone. The resulting swelling and inflammation can be quite painful." Katie replied.

“It says to wiggle the 2nd a“I can’t,” Katie said. “It’s too attached. Here Rory, can you move the splints?”


“That’s because strong ligaments are holding each splint to the cannon bone,” Gay continued. “The lameness called a splint bone injury is due to inflammation of this ligament and is sometimes accompanied by an actual fracture of the bone. Usually it’s just a bump.

That’s why we use splint boots," Gay said. "They protect a horse’s legs during exercise from an injury that might occur if one leg or hoof strikes the opposite leg.”

“It’s also a good idea to use the boots when trailering horses,” Katie added. “They are always adjusting their legs back and forth during transport.”





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