This problem commonly begins as an inflammation of the interosseous ligament, the ligament that holds the splint bones onto the cannon bone. The ligament heals by calcification of the injured area. It is most common on the inside or medial foreleg. Causative factors include; conformation, shoeing, nutrition, & over-stress when under-conditioned. Also for medial or inside splints check for stifle disorders.
Ice Therapy and Compression: To reduce inter-tissue bleeding: Or cold water for at least 20 minutes to reduce swelling
Acupuncture: If a medial splint, check the stifle of the same side, Lung and Large Intestine meridians are associated with stifle. Treatment would be to clear the Lung ting point. (For more info. Dr. Marvin Cain's book, Acupuncture Diagnosis and Treatment of the Equine, page 46 1-800-388-2712)
Chiropractic: Where did the condition originate? Biomachanics should be the foremost consideration, Stifle & Pelvis (especially in the youngsters). Don't get caught up in just the splint fix check for a biomechanical problem. Also, there are several types of joint subluxations that could be culprit.
Corrective Shoeing: Dr. Cain suggests that some forms of corrective shoeing can predispose the leg to this problem. He also feels that if a horse is not trimmed or shod the way the animal wants to stand the animal is predisposed to this condition.
Homeopathic: At onset; Arnica 200c, every hour, four times. Thereafter, Ruta Grav. 1M, three times daily, up to 1 week §
Calc.Fluor; 30c where the splint persists § Exostosis in region of small carpal bones, once daily for ten days Horses and Homeopathy, A guide for Yard & Stable, Mark Elliott BVSc., MRCVS & Tony Pinkus Bpharm., MrpharmS Arnica 30c; two doses, twelve hours apart© Ruta Grav.; 6c helps control periostistis* and prevents exostosis* three times daily three days Silicea 200c.; Where exostosis develop in neglected case. Once daily, ten days. External: Ruta and or Arnica Liniments©The Treatment of Horses by Homeopathy, George Macleod MRCVS, DVSM
Nutrition: Possibly deficient in calcium, phosphorus or vitamins A or D
Massage: Myo Facial therapy, a very specific therapy on the surrounding ligaments and tendons working distal to proximal (towards the heart) moves toxins out of the area and increases blood supply to the area.
Magnetic Therapy: Above and below the injured sight to stimulate blood flow especially if old or chronic.
Laser: Treat locally with a "stimulative frequency". To increase circulation to the area and rid it of waste products. If a joint is suspected treat the points associated to that joint. If the Pelvis region treat the hip points.
Bio Scan: Use the tendon saver wrap to stimulate blood flow.
Ultrasound: (Therapeutic) In old or chronic splint. (This therapy should be done with supervision)
Poultice: When the splint is hot, use a poultice that will draw the heat out.
Compress: For deep pain in the pelvis or stifle region, try a warm Castor Oil compress. Place a dry towel over the warm oil soaked muslem and remove it, once it cools.
Rest: As per consulting veterinarian. Typical suggested time off, thirty days.
Caution: Fractured splint bones can closely resemble the disease called splints. Persistent swelling, heat and pain upon pressure should be suspect. Lower end fractures often are more troublesome then higher ones, causing chronic suspensory irritation and more frequently requiring surgery.
*periostitis - Inflammation of the periostium, (the thin coating of the bone) ostitis means between the bones.
*exostosis- Benign outgrowth from a bone, usually covered with cartilage a comfrey compress.