From the days of the Wild West to modern times, one thing seems not to have changed: A horse with a broken leg is usually euthanized. To see why, despite all the advances in modern veterinarian medicine, horses rarely recover from a broken leg, take this quiz.
Why are horses with broken legs euthanized rather than being allowed to live with a limp?
A horse with a broken leg becomes apathetic and depressed.
A horse with a broken leg is a danger to other horses and humans.
The complex bone structure of a horse's leg and other factors prevent full recovery from a break.
Why are many horses prone to broken legs?
strenuous physical activities
weak bone structure
carrying too much weight
How many bones are there in a horse's legs?
Where do most of a horses injuries occur?
Why do these injuries happen?
The front legs are more delicate.
Most of the weight is on the front legs.
Cramps in front legs sometimes cause the horse to stumble and fall.
Although horses with broken legs are still euthanized, does the procedure today differ?
lethal high-power rifle
What other factors can contribute to injuries?
loose horse shoes
What medical issues could also contribute to injuries?
temporary impaired vision
strained tendons, and hairline fractures
What is being done to prevent racehorse injuries?
use of synthetic absorbent materials
use of hard even surfaces
grass is cut shorter
How else can racehorse injuries be prevented?
proper warm up before a race
correct grooming prior to a race
sufficient recuperation time after minor injuries
Can diet be a factor in recuperation?
Protein-rich food is needed to increase muscle-mass.
Nutritional supplements contribute to healthy joints and bones.
Dairy products promote healthy hooves.
Is an incomplete fracture an automatic death sentence?
Many horses can recover.
For horses under four years of age, it is.
An incomplete fracture is as bad as a complete break.
What factor can be critical in the possible recovery from a fracture or simple break?
An older horse acts in a more responsible manner when injured.
Female horses have better natural recovery systems.
A younger horse has a better chance of recovery.
Under what circumstances is euthanasia almost certain?
upper leg break
limited stable room
Why not treat the leg and let nature decide the fate of the horse?
Horses can suffer a great deal during the recuperation process.
An injured horse will be a financial burden.
The performance of other horses is adversely affected by the presence of an injured horse.
Can a prosthesis be fitted to a horse?
No point a handicapped horse cannot race.
A horse with a prosthesis is ostracized by other horses, leading to depression and health problems.
Few horses adapt well to a prosthesis.
What is laminitis?
It is an infectious blood disorder leading to gangrene.
It is a painful inflammatory disease that can cause hoof to separate from the leg
A condition where the bone does not heal but begins painful disintegration.
What happened to the runner up in the 2008 Kentucky Derby?
She recovered from a broken leg but did not race again.
After a full recovery she broke the same leg again and subsequently had to be euthanized.
After breaking both front ankle, she was euthanized on the spot.
Is there a positive aspect to pain?
Reasonable pain that causes caution has positive elements.
Pain is pain and the only solution is euthanasia.
If the pain is medicated the horse will become addicted.
What hinders the rehabilitation of a horse?
Horses do not cooperate with medical professionals
Other horses react negatively to an injured horse and could harm it.
There is no guarantee of success and is complicated and expensive.