What are the treatments for equine hip dislocation?

Written by rena sherwood
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What are the treatments for equine hip dislocation?
Hip dislocation in horses is an emergency. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Just chaos)

There are very few treatment options for a horse suffering from equine hip dislocation also known as coxofemoral luxation. According to the "Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook", Thomas A. Gore, DVM, 2008, hip locations are rare in horses or ponies.

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Significance

The goal of any treatment for horse coxofemoral luxation is to place the hip joint back into the hip joint socket. This usually happens because of severe injury, according to the "Practical Guide to Lameness in Horses", Ted S. Stashank and Cherry Hill, 1996.

Diagnosis

A horse with suspected hip dislocation needs to be x-rayed in order to determine the damage to surrounding ligaments, tendons and bones. The vet will then choose what type of treatment is best.

Types

If there aren't any complicating factors, the hip joint can be manually placed into the hip under general anaesthesia. Otherwise, the horse needs immediate surgery to try and reconstruct any damage and place the hip joint in place.

Complications

Because horse hip dislocations usually happen after an accident, the horse may have additional physical damage. If the hip joint or the head of the femur bone has been shattered, euthanasia is the only humane treatment.

Considerations

Even with emergency surgery, the prognosis for any equine with a hip dislocation is grim. The "Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook" notes that horses can sometimes survive; however, they can never work under a saddle or in a harness again.

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