Traumatic open scapular fracture in a three year old Thoroughbred filly

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Sylvia's Butterfly, a three year old Thoroughbred racehorse filly, presented to the Cornell University Equine Hospital Emergency Service on 7/13/2007 for evaluation of an open traumatic scapular fracture. On presentation, Sylvia?s Butterfly was alert and responsive, but non-weight bearing lame on her right forelimb. A large (20 cm) laceration was present over the right scapula and many boney fragments were palpable as well as visible. In addition, she had a severe amount of muscle trauma and hemorrhage from the site. Radiographs of the affected area were performed. The radiographs were difficult to evaluate due to the large degree of soft tissue trauma and gas from the open wound, but did reveal evidence of a highly comminuted mid-body scapular fracture. The scapulohumeral joint appeared within normal limits. Her owners were given a 20% prognosis for survival and ability to be a broodmare, following which they elected to continue treatment. Sylvia's Butterfly was bolused intravenous fluids and started on broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics and phenylbutazone. Surgical exploration and debridement of the wound under local sedation was performed and multiple large loose scapular fragments were removed. The wound was then thoroughly lavaged and a soaker catheter (for delivery of local anesthetic) and continuous suction drain were placed. Both muscle and skin were then closed to provide as much stability to the limb as possible. Sylvia's Butterfly was maintained on long term antibiotics and anti-inflammatories along with intensive nursing care and physical therapy. Unfortunately, after one month of treatment, Sylvia's Butterfly was euthanized due to severe support limb laminitis.

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Senior seminar paper
Seminar SF610.1 2008 K56

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Horses -- Fractures -- Treatment -- Case studies


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