Megan Gaffney


Horses are powerful animals: a galloping horse’s forefoot hits the ground with an average of about 2,000 pounds of force. This can result in many kinds of injuries. To work with and love a horse properly, the owner needs to understand more than just grooming and feeding. Owners must understand how the horse operates, particularly the structure and workings of the horse’s legs, to comprehend how a broken leg impairs a horse. This understanding enables the owner to work well with a veterinarian in determining the best course of treatment for an injury.

A review of the current veterinary literature and public resources showed that illustrated information regarding types of limb fractures in horses, options for repair and post-operative outcomes, that can be easily understood by the lay person, do not exist. The lack of sufficiently illustrated resources covering this topic indicates a great need for this valuable information.

The objective of this thesis is to illustrate common types of fractures, to assist owners in understanding different types of fractures, repair options, and possible outcomes of any intervention. Three cases, each with a specific type of fracture, were analyzed to develop understanding of the damage, the impact on the horse and surgical options versus the need for euthanasia. The finished product of this research was two posters, one for repair and the other for euthanasia, designed to enhance the owner’s comprehension of the injuries.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Horses--Fractures--Pictorial works; Horses--Fractures--Treatment--Pictorial works; Horses--Surgery--Pictorial works

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Medical Illustration(MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

Medical Illustration (CHST)


Jim Perkins

Advisor/Committee Member

Glen Hintz

Advisor/Committee Member

Celeste Grace


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes