Is this cut infected?

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Is this cut infected?

This is a discussion on Is this cut infected? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    04-21-2011, 09:56 PM
Is this cut infected?

I will check first thing in the morning again. If need be, I will call the vet for yet another after hours call <sigh> of course this would happen over Easter weekend...

Anyway, here are two pictures for you to have a look at. There is no heat, no swelling, no pooling. There is some extra "shinny-ness" here aside from the drainage because I put polysporin on the drain exit. That was when I noticed that my finger came away with a slightly orange colour on it.

History is below the pictures if you care to read it, but is not necessary, IMO.

Here is Lisa aka "Hose-head"


... and a close-up:


Tuesday evening, Lisa decided to back out of the trailer when she wasn't supposed to. I told her not to, pulled on the lead and she threw up her head and bonked it.

Damage is only to soft tissue. The vet did her thing: cleaned, sedated, local freezing, tetanus, bute, penicillin. She is on bute for one more day and penicillin for a total of 5 - 7 days (3 - 5 more). There was a large area of the skin that lifted and developed a pocket where fluids could build up, hence the drain tube. Polysporin is applied daily to the entrance and exit areas for the drain tube.

She is an outside horse. The vet was told this and understood. Lisa has a modified fly mask on to protect the area.

Vet's prognosis for adherence is pessimistic because the cut is downward. Of course, the main concern is infection.
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    04-21-2011, 10:07 PM
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It really does not look infected. Take her temperature if you are in doubt or give her a couple of Penicillin shots to be on the safe side. Personally, I do not give antibiotics unless the horse has an elevated temperature. That is what they have an immune system for.

Head wounds heal so good and swell very little, that I would expect it to stay and heal if it was sutured pretty quickly after it was done. Just don't put any salves or other junk on it and leave it alone. The temp should tell you if it is infected -- in which case it will not stick but will still heal nicely.
    04-21-2011, 10:24 PM
Another way to get an idea about infection is to smell the discharge. Sometimes a healing wound will have discharge that looks an awful lot like pus but really isn't. If I am wondering about whether or not it is getting infected, I will wipe some of the discharge off with a finger and then smell it. It is impossible to mistake that thick, rotten, sour smell of infection.
    04-21-2011, 10:53 PM
Thanks. That was my thinking as well. Just thought I'd double check.

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