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Pin Firing In Horses Essay

1276 words - 6 pages

Pin Firing: Necessary or Unnecessary Pain
Pin firing is when a hot iron is used to effectively burn, sear or destroys tissue. It is generally used on a horse’s leg when it is injured such as a splint, curb or chronic bow tendon. Pin firing is often done with a pointed iron but can also be done with a horizontal bar to affect on the skin instead of extending to the tendon. The main thing that is supposed to happen after the skin is burnt is the chronic inflammations are made acute which allows them to heal. While some think pin firing is a therapeutic healing process, others think it is an unnecessary pain that is outdated and invalid.

Pin firing dates back to approximately ...view middle of the document...

Along with speeding up the injury, some people believe that pin firing is therapeutic for the horse. The American Veterinary Association has “upheld its acceptance of veterinarians using firing in horses and presently described the use of thermocautery or pin firing as having therapeutic value for horses under certain condition.” (Nielson, and Fattal) George B. McKillip who is in the American Veterinary Medical Association stated in the Proceedings from 1913 that he believes that “firing has for its chief aim in the treatment of these cases the removal of solid exudates. It does this by bringing into the inflamed zone a great volume of normal body fluid which contains the necessary materials for the removal of the deposits. The free mobility of the exudate from the firing and its freedom from solids permits it to execute these functions and transport the products away without permanently embarrassing the tissue with is own presence.”(Johnson) The American Veterinary Association is one of very few associations that still believe pin firing is a good practice. J. Clyde Johnson, VMD, the past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners says that “In my years of practice, I never saw any long-term damage as a result of pin-firing. What I did see was long-term help for the performing horse, which includes anything from the racehorse to the hunter-jumper.” The major argument for why pin firing is not harmful to the horse is because they are under anesthesia and in comparison it is like a human getting there wisdom teeth pulled. It is going to hurt after but even without the pin firing, the horse is still going to hurt. With pin firing the horse at least has a chance of getting better, if pin firing really does work.

Even though this practice has been used for over a thousand years, there are not many studies that prove it is a good thing. Most studies, which are not many, prove that pin firing does not work or causes an unnecessary amount of pain for nothing. A five-year study was done at the University of Bristol in England that compared tendinitis being treated with pin firing and being treated with just rest alone. The results were that the pin firing had no effect on the healing process of the tendon. The study also proved that pin firing that extends to the tendon itself causes structural damage to the tendon when it healed. This study concluded that no matter the healing process, tendinitis takes at least 14 months to heal. A lot of veterinary associations have also decided against the use of...

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