Advance in equine medicine offers alternative for horses sufferingserious leg injury
It's a practice so common in the horse world that it's become a given: ifa horse breaks or develops an infection in his leg, there's nothing to bedone other than put him down. That conventional wisdom, however, is beingchallenged by Riley, a female buckskin quarter horse living at Horse Haven atBest Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Riley came to Best Friends with an awful hind leg injury; to treat her,specialists had to re-align her ankle joint and fuse her bones together withmetal plates and screws. Eventually her body rejected the plates and shedeveloped a severe infection. She needed a new solution and Best Friends' waslucky enough to find a veterinarian with the answer: Dr. Ted Vlahos. In May,2008, Dr. Ted transported Riley to his clinic in Sheridan, Wyoming, where heamputated Riley's leg just below her knee and fitted her with a temporaryprosthesis. Now, Riley has returned home to Best Friends, once again able totrot and wander the pasture.
Each year, thousands of horses are euthanized for reasons very similar tothose that necessitated the amputation of Riley's leg. Nowhere has that factbeen more apparent than at the racetrack, where Eight Belles, Barbaro andcountless other thoroughbreds have been put down after breaking a leg. Rileynow shows that horses' lives don't have to end that way, thanks to thisadvance in equine medicine.
This procedure isn't for every horse with a broken or severely infectedleg, but many horses can be saved from a death sentence if people simply knewthat the prosthesis is an option. Dr. Vlahos and two other veterinarians, Dr.Barrie Grant of California and Dr. Rick Redden of Kentucky, pioneered theprocedure. For more information, please visit: www.bestfriends.org.
NEWS: HORSE'S LIFE SAVED BY PROSTHETIC LEG; MAJOR ADVANCE IN EQUINEMEDICINE
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SOURCE Best Friends Animal Society