OBJECTIVE: Describe the use of a phalangeal cast as treatment for wounds in the pastern and foot region of horses. Secondly, to evaluate the healing and soundness of horses treated with phalangeal casts. DESIGN: Retrospective study of 49 horses. Procedures Medical records of 49 horses that were treated with a phalangeal cast for 50 cases of wounds in the pastern and foot region at equine referral hospitals from 1995 to 2006 were reviewed and follow-up information was obtained. RESULTS: Treatment consisted of wound debridement, lavage, wound closure (28 wounds), cast application and antibiotics (84%). At follow-up, the majority of horses were sound (42 of 47 wounds, 89.4%), three horses were still lame and one horse was euthanased because of persistent lameness. Three horses were lost to follow-up. There was no statistical difference between the outcomes of horses treated acutely (<24 h) or after a 24-h delay. Similarly, the involvement of synovial structures in the wound did not significantly influence outcome. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, wounds involving the pastern and foot that were treated with a phalangeal cast carried a good prognosis for soundness (89.4%) and cosmetic healing (89.5%). The phalangeal casts were well-tolerated and effective.
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