The Ultimate When a Horse Breaks a Leg Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

From the days of the Wild West to modern times, one thing seems not to have changed: A horse with a broken leg is usually euthanized. To see why, despite all the advances in modern veterinarian medicine, horses rarely recover from a broken leg, take this quiz.

Why are horses with broken legs euthanized rather than being allowed to live with a limp?

Because of the complexity of the bone structure of their legs and the fact that horses spend most of the time standing, including when sleeping, a broken bone rarely heals completely. Walking on three good legs causes complications and suffering.


Why are many horses prone to broken legs?

Racing and riding horses engage in strenuous physical activities and are more prone to injury.


How many bones are there in a horse's legs?

Of its 206 bones, 80 are in the legs.


Where do most of a horses injuries occur?

Most injuries are to the front legs.


Why do these injuries happen?

From 60 to 65 percent of the horse's weight rests on its front legs.


Although horses with broken legs are still euthanized, does the procedure today differ?

Today the horse is usually given a lethal injection by a veterinarian.


What other factors can contribute to injuries?

Other factors could be fatigue and the musculoskeletal structure of the horse itself.


What medical issues could also contribute to injuries?

Undiagnosed strained tendons, and hairline fractures can also be major factors.


What is being done to prevent racehorse injuries?

Synthetic materials are being used to create an absorbent inner surface on the track to reduce the impact of horses' hooves and reduce the likelihood of missteps and twisted legs.


How else can racehorse injuries be prevented?

Owners need to give the horse sufficient time to recuperate after minor injuries.


Can diet be a factor in recuperation?

Nutritional supplements contribute to strong, healthy hooves, joints and bones.


Is an incomplete fracture an automatic death sentence?

Many horses can recover from an incomplete fracture, since the bone cracks but does not break.


What factor can be critical in the possible recovery from a fracture or simple break?

A young horse's bones are still growing and their lesser weight puts less pressure on the injured leg.


Under what circumstances is euthanasia almost certain?

Extensive damage and multiple breaks usually lead to the final curtain.


Why not treat the leg and let nature decide the fate of the horse?

Several painful conditions can develop during recuperation, making euthanasia a more humane solution.


Can a prosthesis be fitted to a horse?

Few horses can adapt to a prosthesis because of their weight and active nature.


What is laminitis?

It is a painful inflammatory disease of the material connecting the hoof to the leg bone and can cause separation.


What happened to the runner up in the 2008 Kentucky Derby?

Eight Belles had to be euthanized immediately after breaking both front ankles just after the race.


Is there a positive aspect to pain?

An acceptable degree of pain can cause the caution required to help recovery. Overwhelming pain is a major reason to euthanized.


What hinders the rehabilitation of a horse?

It is a long, complicated, expensive process requiring space and expertise that are not always readily available, apart from which recovery is not certain.


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