Wound Healing, Risks And Benefits Of An Equine Foot Cast

In certain cases a cast can be extremely beneficial in wound healing. This case is an example of a wound that benefitted from a cast. This horse got her foot stuck in some fencing and avulsed (tore off) part of her hoof wall along with doing a lot of tissue damage to the pastern area. When the wound was initially treated it was bandaged and started on antibiotics. One week later when we were past the infectioncast foot first picture stage, we put a foot cast on her. The cast acted as a bandage and kept the wound clean and protected. It also stabilized the foot and coronary band which hopefully allows for healing that most closely resembles normal tissue. This was extremely beneficial because there is a lot of movement in the foot area this can prolong wound healing. We left this cast on for 3-4 weeks. During this time the horse was kept in a stall with handwalking or in a very small dry paddock. The owner closely monitored for any cast sores or increase in lameness. We removed the cast at 3 weeks to see what healing we had. At this point we had lots of healthy granulation tissue filling into the wound site. We were so happy with how things were healing that we applied another cast after cleaning the wound and repeated the same process for another 3-4 weeks. At this point we felt we had enough healing that another cast was not needed and we proceeded with some special shoeing along with a light bandage. At no point did we have to worry about extra granulation tissue or proud flesh. Casting can be very helpful in cases where there is a lot of movement in the area that is slowing the healing process, along with saving the owner money on bandage supplies. The main risks associated with casting are cast sores or casting with an infected wound underneath that deteriorates underneath the cast.