Originally published on TheHorse.com
As majestic, beautiful, and graceful as they can be, horses are also flighty and frequently find themselves in hazardous situations. In light of horses’ propensity for lower limb injury, the environment in which they live, and the difficulty and expense associated with treating severe lower limb injuries, many equine practitioners have turned to a treatment technique called “regional limb perfusion” (RLP) in cases that might benefit from concentrated, targeted antibiotic treatment to an infected area.
This process involves the intravenous (IV) delivery of antibiotics to the lower limb via a vein close to the site of trauma. “RLP is popular because it can provide higher concentrations of antibiotics to the site of injury, including joints, with lower doses of antibiotics than need to be administered via the jugular vein or intramuscularly,” said Ashlee Watts, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, of the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18–22 in San Antonio, Texas.
Watts described additional benefits of RLP, including ease and speed of the technique, the use of standard equipment, the procedure’s minimal invasiveness and lack of major resulting complications, and minimal patient resistance.
Watts provided these tips to ensure successful RLP in the field:
“In cases of severe trauma, daily RLP has the potential to improve prognoses, reduce costs, shorten recovery times, and turn previously hopeless cases into cases with positive outcomes. It is a highly useful technique to the equine practitioner,” concluded Watts.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.