Gunshot injuries in horses: 22 cases (1971-1993)

Nicholas James Vatistas From the Department of Veterinary Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Dennis Michael Meagher From the Department of Veterinary Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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 DVM, PhD
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Carol Louise Gillis From the Department of Veterinary Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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John Walter Neves From the Department of Veterinary Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Summary

Twenty-two horses were examined because of firearm injuries. Nine had been shot with .22- caliber bullets, 2 with BB pellets, 6 with buckshot, 1 with a, 35-caliber bullet, and 1 with an airgun pellet. Injury was confined to the skin or skeletal muscles in 8 horses. Of these, 7 returned to their previous use. In 14 horses, injuries to additional structures were incurred, including the sinus and pharynx (n = 2), mandible (n = 1), tooth (n = 1), aorta (n = 1), eye (n = 3), tibia (n = 1), gastrointestinal tract (n = 3), joint (n = 1), and trachea (n = 1). The 3 horses that had only eye injuries were discharged to their owners. Of the other 11 horses with injuries to deep/vital structures, 3 died, 5 were euthanatized, and 3 survived.

Summary

Twenty-two horses were examined because of firearm injuries. Nine had been shot with .22- caliber bullets, 2 with BB pellets, 6 with buckshot, 1 with a, 35-caliber bullet, and 1 with an airgun pellet. Injury was confined to the skin or skeletal muscles in 8 horses. Of these, 7 returned to their previous use. In 14 horses, injuries to additional structures were incurred, including the sinus and pharynx (n = 2), mandible (n = 1), tooth (n = 1), aorta (n = 1), eye (n = 3), tibia (n = 1), gastrointestinal tract (n = 3), joint (n = 1), and trachea (n = 1). The 3 horses that had only eye injuries were discharged to their owners. Of the other 11 horses with injuries to deep/vital structures, 3 died, 5 were euthanatized, and 3 survived.

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