Equine Limb Perfusion

Step 2 – Treatment Set-up

Step 2 of three in equine limb perfusion procedure.


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Equine limb perfusion is a procedure used to treat infections deep within the hoof or other structures of the distal limb. Infections of the distal limb in a horse can pose career ending, if not life threatening, complications if not treated in a timely manner. Systemic administration of antibiotic agents are often not successful because the level of agent in the tissues of the limb cannot reach therapeutic levels. Regional perfusion delivers a high local concentration of antibiotic right where it is needed, and confines it to the affected limb where it can permeate all the surrounding tissues with a therapeutic dose, providing a rapid eradication of the infection before it does permanent damage to delicate structures within the limb. The procedure is broken down into three steps and illustrated with associated key anatomical structures to explain how the procedure works.

View Step 1 –  which illustrates the problems puncture wounds can cause when they occur through the hoof capsule.

You are viewing Step 2 – This illustration shows how the limb is prepped for the perfusion procedure. The puncture wound is cleared of debris, the site where the catheter is to be placed is clipped and an esmarch tournequet is placed on the limb. The catheter is placed into one of the major veins, in this case, the palmar digital vein.

View Step 3 – which illustrates how the therapeutic dose permeates from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues.

Key Elements of image:

  • Esmarch tournequet and catheter
  • Palmar digital artery
  • Palmar digital vein
  • Palmar rami of proximal phalanx
  • Dorsal rami of proximal phalanx
  • Palmar rami of the middle phalanx
  • Dorsal rami of the middle phalanx
  • Lateromedial palmar anastamosis
  • Parietal plexus
  • Coronal artery
  • Coronal vein