Risk factors associated with cast complications in horses: 398 cases (1997-2006). | Academic Article individual record

OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of and risk factors for complications associated with casts in horses. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective case series. ANIMALS: 398 horses with a half-limb or full-limb cast treated at 1 of 4 hospitals. PROCEDURES: Data collected from medical records included age, breed, sex, injury, limb affected, time from injury to hospital admission, surgical procedure performed, type of cast (bandage cast [BC; fiberglass tape applied over a bandage] or traditional cast [TC; fiberglass tape applied over polyurethane resin-impregnated foam]), limb position in cast (flexed, neutral, or extended), and complications. Risk factors for cast complications were identified via multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Cast complications were detected in 197 of 398 (49%) horses (18/53 [34%] horses with a BC and 179/345 [52%] horses with a TC). Of the 197 horses with complications, 152 (77%) had clinical signs of complications prior to cast removal; the most common clinical signs were increased lameness severity and visibly detectable soft tissue damage Cast sores were the most common complication (179/398 [45%] horses). Casts broke for 20 (5%) horses. Three (0.8%) horses developed a bone fracture attributable to casting Median time to detection of complications was 12 days and 8 days for horses with TCs and BCs, respectively. Complications developed in 71%, 48%, and 47% of horses with the casted limb in a flexed, neutral, and extended position, respectively. For horses with TCs, hospital, limb position in the cast, and sex were significant risk factors for development of cast complications. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated that 49% of horses with a cast developed cast complications.

author list (cited authors)
Janicek, J. C., McClure, S. R., Lescun, T. B., Witte, S., Schultz, L., Whittal, C. R., & Whitfield-Cargile, C.
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  • Animals
  • Pressure Ulcer
  • Casts, Surgical
  • Horse Diseases
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Horses
  • Fractures, Bone
  • Risk Factors
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
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