How an Emergency Vet Visit Got Shiloh Back on the Trails: A CEH Success Story

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Meet Shiloh! Shiloh is a beautiful bay rocky mountain horse with a kind eye and a fun personality.

Shiloh’s owners had been keeping their horses in the barn a lot more than usual because the weather was so bad this fall, and they all had a bit of cabin fever. When they let the horses out one Sunday morning, their two mares got into a kicking match.  Both owners were out at the barn at the time and were able to act quickly to break up the horses and assess them for injuries.

Shiloh had a large wound on her left hind leg. Knowing this was an equine emergency, they called the CEH emergency line and got the on-call vet, Dr. Jess Benson, to come out, right away.

The Results Are In

When Dr. Benson arrived, Shiloh had a few superficial wounds, but her lower leg on the left hind was very swollen and she had a large wound on the outside of her cannon region. Upon cleaning and examining this area, the wound was very deep and clearly associated with the underlying bone, so Dr. Benson and Shiloh’s owners decided to take a few x-rays.

The radiographs revealed that Shiloh had shattered one of her two splint bones. These bones don’t help the horse bear weight (they’re actually the bony remnants of two extra toes that prehistoric horses had), so small cracks can often heal on their own with a little extra support. In Shiloh’s case, however, the damage to the splint bone was so extensive that Dr. Benson decided she would need surgery to remove the pieces and give her the best chance to heal.

Spending The Night

A week later, Shiloh came to stay at the hospital for her procedure. The CEH staff performed the surgery under heavy standing sedation with lidocaine injected over specific major nerves to numb the leg from the hock down.  The doctors took X-rays periodically throughout the surgery to make sure all the bone pieces had been located. In the end, they removed 20 fragments from the leg! Shiloh spent the night in the CEH in-patient barn and went home the next morning to rest and recover.

Shiloh’s Treatment Plan

After a short period of complete stall rest, Shiloh’s owner was able to start hand walking and slowly acclimating her to short periods in a small paddock outside. The CEH vets, especially Dr. Jess Benson, stayed in close communication with the owners and came out to the farm for regular progress checks.

Shiloh Today

Shiloh has remained completely sound since her surgery and was recently cleared for riding! The Carolina Equine Hospital team is happy to see her get back to the trails just in time for spring!

Carolina Equine Hospital

If your horse is ever injured, do not hesitate to give your veterinarian a call. The majority of equine accidents occur in the pasture. So, it is always a good idea to give your horse a quick check when bringing them out of the field. If you ever have an equine emergency, give our office a call at 336-349-4080! We have an emergency vet on call 24/7.