What are Splints (Interosseous Desmitis)?
Splints involve lesions in the connective tissue between splint and cannon bones manifesting themselves as swellings and bony enlargements on the splint bones of both fore and hind legs. In early stages enlargements may be invisible, but deep palpation often reveals painful swellings. Later, calcified boney enlargements appear and if lameness is present, it usually disappears except where enlargements impinge upon the suspensory ligaments. Splints are at best unsightly blemishes detracting from the horse’s appearance and most importantly, value. In cases, they may be the cause of clinical lameness.
Why do splints occur?
Splints are caused by trauma, concussion and strain particularly in immature horses. Incorrect balances of calcium and phosphate in feeds fed particularly to growing horses, faulty conformations and incorrect hoof length, balance and angle may also be causes of splints. It is important to remove the cause if possible.
How have splints been treated?
Some methods are difficult, painful, expensive and often unsuccessful. These methods include blistering, firing, laser, radiation, steroids, and surgical removal. Easy, topical treatment.
No hair loss. Beautiful legs.
(1) Avoid excessive concussion and strain especially with young horses.
(2) Maintain hooves properly.
(3) Feed, nutritionally balances grains and forages especially to young horses. Alfalfa is a good feed. However, it is best to feed alfalfa only in grass mixtures to rapidly growing horses.