Casting and Bandaging

One of our most recent afternoon labs was an abbreviated session of casting and bandaging the equine limb. Due to limited time, we did not get around to practicing many of the different casts/splints that are out there. Due to these limited resources our clinician had us each apply two of the casts/splints that we will most likely use in practice. We paired up on one horse an my classmate and I took turns applying each bandage. We decided to do a distal limb cast (for lacerations of the flexor tendons) but most students did a foot cast. These two casts are prepared and applied identically except the distal limb cast comes more proximal (just below the carpus).

Distal Limb Bandage Cast

Construction of a bandage cast
Image is from: Equine Distal Limb Wounds: New and Emerging Treatments by Christopher G. Alford, DVM, MS, DACVS, Fred J. Caldwell, DVM, MS, DACVS, R. Reid Hanson, DVM, DACVS, DACVECC

The bandage cast consists of soft casting materials of a typical leg bandage with the placement of a splint on the palmar or plantar aspect of the distal limb. Casting tape was then wrapped around the underlying bandage, alternating between 3 inch and 4 inch casting tape. We ended up used 5 rolls total. Our splint was made of riding casting material. The hoof was wrapped with casting tape last, doing several accordian passes under the hoof before wrapped around the rest of the bandage. It took us about 45 minutes from when we first sedated the horse (Detomidine 3 mg IV) to when we took the photo below. Yes, we are aware that our cast bandage is not the most break-even friendly bandage. Just another technical skill to improve with time.

Kimzey Splint

The Kimzey splint is used in cases of Distal limb frsctures, such as the Cannon Bone, long pastern, short pastern and sesamoids. By stabilizing the leg as a column, the joints become aligned with reduction of compression on the affected site .Fotor_142139948211771

A standard bandage was first applied to the leg from the coronary band to just above the middle of the Cannon box e. We used a Kimzey leg saver splint in lab, and practiced applying it so that the splint covered the distance from the caudal aspect of the foot to just shy of the carpus. Our clinician said the commercial Kimzey splints run around $350. I haven’t investigated the prices myself, but I do know there are alternatives if a Kimzey splint isn’t on hand.

Using a board, or other rigid material, position it across the front of the limb from the foot to the Cannon bone. Non-electric tape or casting material can be used to secure the splint to the bandage. The foot must be positioned in the splint and will allow for the horse to put weight on the toe. You can also put a wedge on the back of the foot portion of the Kimzey to stabilize that limb when weight is placed on it.