Compression Wraps for Horses: Are Modified Techniques More Effective?

Most modifications made to the traditional distal limb compression bandage did not appear to improve their efficacy, researchers found.
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Compression Wraps for Horses
Most modifications made to the traditional distal limb compression bandage (seen here) did not appear to improve their efficacy, researchers found. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Warren Beard

Over the years, veterinarians have developed a variety of modifications for equine lower-limb compression bandages, aiming to maintain better, even pressure under the wraps. But are some techniques more effective than others? Not necessarily, recent study results suggest.

“A compression bandage is used any time there is the need to keep pressure on a site to minimize edema (fluid swelling) formation, such as following surgery or a wound,” said Warren Beard, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, a professor and equine surgeon at Kansas State University’s (K-State) College of Veterinary Medicine, in Manhattan.

He and colleagues from K-State recently examined how bandaging technique influences sub-bandage pressure over three commonly wrapped sites: the cannon bone area, the carpus (knee), and the tarsus (hock). They also evaluated whether walking impacted pressure under the carpal and tarsal bandages

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Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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