Risks to a Cast Horse


by Dr. Orsi Kutasi, DVM, PhD, Dipl.ECEIM
    Chief Veterinary Officer

Another major problem with horses, is casting. A cast horse is a horse that is trapped in a prone position. Most horses panic when they find themselves cast in their stall. This can happen when a horse rolls in the stall with its legs so close to the stall wall that it can neither get up nor reposition itself to roll the other way, or get trapped under an object such as a fence or building, or when a pregnant mare rolls and positions her legs uphill. Serious contusions can occur when a cast horse thrashes and entangles itself. Also, being cast for a long period of time is dangerous as it can cause suffocation due to the excessive burden of the horse’s weight on its organs, so it’s essential for the care-giver to get the horse on its feet as soon as possible. Just as in the case of colic, early detection of activity changes and changes in the horse’s movement and position is important to reduce the risk of serious injury or death.