First experience with leg wounds... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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First experience with leg wounds...

I have no idea what to do. It must've happened last night or while I was at school, and when I came home Tango had a cut on his hind leg right around the fetlock. It looks fairly deep and it's fairly bloody, but the blood has dried and isn't flowing anymore, the part that's worrying is the fact that the cut and the area above the cut is swollen, like big swollen lumps on his leg. I haven't touched it or messed with it, I've moved him into the paddock and I plan on cold hosing him as soon as someone is home to help me (he and water don't get along too well) but other than that I have no clue what to do.My first reaction was to call a vet, but my parents refuse, my mom wants to see what happens to it by tomorrow.
He's standing fine, resting that leg a little bit, but when he lifts it his leg trembles and when he steps he wobbles and hobbles around, I don't know how to apply bandages properly- I've never had to deal with this, and I honestly just don't know what to do.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by alexischristina View Post
I have no idea what to do. It must've happened last night or while I was at school, and when I came home Tango had a cut on his hind leg right around the fetlock. It looks fairly deep and it's fairly bloody, but the blood has dried and isn't flowing anymore, the part that's worrying is the fact that the cut and the area above the cut is swollen, like big swollen lumps on his leg. I haven't touched it or messed with it, I've moved him into the paddock and I plan on cold hosing him as soon as someone is home to help me (he and water don't get along too well) but other than that I have no clue what to do.My first reaction was to call a vet, but my parents refuse, my mom wants to see what happens to it by tomorrow.
He's standing fine, resting that leg a little bit, but when he lifts it his leg trembles and when he steps he wobbles and hobbles around, I don't know how to apply bandages properly- I've never had to deal with this, and I honestly just don't know what to do.
I think a vet is in order. Infection could be settling in, a tendon could be cut. There is an art to wrapping properly so I wouldn't do it with out your vet showing you how. Maybe when your parents see it they will think differently about calling the vet.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 08:28 PM
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That wobbles-hobbles part sounds pretty scary. Hose it off and clean it as much as possible. If he walks very strange tomorrow I'd call the vet personally.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 08:34 PM
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Agreed, it is hard to make a determination on what to do based on information over the internet. I am one of those type people that can handle most things herself and I won't call the vet unless it really is a huge risk to the life or permanent soundness of the horse. I would personally clean it up with cool water and a very mild antibacterial soap (make sure you rinse it off completely). Then get a good look at the injury to see how deep it really is. I know lots of folks that will squirt a bit of liquid penicillin directly in the wound. I personally prefer to use something like granulex. However, if you aren't confident in your own ability to properly care for the injury then a vet is certainly in order.

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-24-2010, 08:55 PM
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the area you are talking about has a lot of tendons and ligaments and this would be my main concern. A mare at work cut the same area a few months ago and now will never race again.

Sooo, my advice is clean it up and leave him be overnight. Swelling around the area is normal even if the injury is no more serious than a plain cut. Even if tendons have been damaged it isnt the end of the world depending on what the horse was used for eg; showing, breeding etc

The horse at work with this injury was stabled for 3 months (let out into a small yard each day so she wasnt boxed up all the time), the wound was cleaned and treated daily and it has healed up. Healed up well enough for her to go on and be a pleasure/trail horse for someone but not enough to handle the strain of a performance based career.

I personally wouldnt wrap/bandage the area (if the horse is in a clean environment). I've had more success over the years just keeping wounds clean and sterile.

Without seeing the wound I can only go on what you are describing and what I would do in this situation. If the horse is visibly distressed and in pain then call a vet. If he still eats and drinks and walks around even if a little gingerly, I wouldnt panic or rush in to call the vet.

Infection can be a problem but usually only if the wound isnt cleaned and treated daily. Do this and keep an eye on it. Any signs of infection, even the tiniest sign, ring the vet.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-25-2010, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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We cleaned it up lastnight he was hurting but he let us mess with it, it's fairly deep
And it looks like there's a little flap of skin that has been peeled and is hanging loose, it looked worse than I think it is but you can never be sure. A friend of my moms just said leave it and see, that shed worry if he was a racehorse but she thinks he's useless so I don't know whether to beleive her or not. I'll check on him when I get off work, but leave it fr now and see if the swelling goes down. He seemed fairly conent this morning though.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-25-2010, 12:49 PM
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My horses injure themselves constantly my general care is boil water and add some salt to it so its touch hot then using cotton pads clean it untill there is nothing left inside all the cotton pads should be clean.
I then apply a drop of tea tree oil then I coat the cut in manuka honey.
DO this twice a day for a week or as long as it takes.
If your concerned about it but you don't know how to bandage it but you want to keep it very clean I put the manuka honey on the cut then place poultice on the open wound and put a standard nappy on it tape the nappy firmly into place then put a feed bag bit on it and tape it too. If you have somehere for him to have minium movement then the bandage will stay in place until you replace it in the evening.
I have only called the vet out once for a cut and that was a sliced artery if your cut instinct says it s not that bad then don't panic even just ring your vet for advice they don't mind telling you over the phone.
For the swelling cold hose the leg twice daily for 15mins

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-25-2010, 08:05 PM
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in relation to the salt in the water mentioned above, use epsom salts if you can. Much better than plain table salt. If you can't get epsom, sea salt is good too ;)

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-26-2010, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzyrider View Post
in relation to the salt in the water mentioned above, use epsom salts if you can. Much better than plain table salt. If you can't get epsom, sea salt is good too ;)
I'm not very positive about Canada (referring to OP), but around here it's sold in any pharmacy (Right Aid, CVS, etc.).
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-26-2010, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure we've got some kicking around the farm anyway... it's just a matter of finding them. Why on earth does everything disappear the moment you need it?
Anyway!
I was sitting in the house last night and I felt terrible, I checked on him at dinner time but it was already getting dim- he seemed fine, but I just felt... bad about it.
Went out today he's acting normally, if a little more "cuddly" than usual (he thinks he's a lap horse), eating and drinking normally, obviously not as energetic/willing to run, but that's understandable. The swelling hasn't gone down, but it hasn't gotten worse either? And he's not confined and the moisture from the grass is actually keeping it very clean, but I'm still worried. He's definitely not the type of horse that likes to be stalled, but I might through him in the barn/paddock later on today.
I'm kicking myself now for never learning how to wrap a leg or deal with these types of things. We've had horses for years and we've never had any major incidences.
Anyway...
We're cleaning it daily with warm water, heading out to the pharmacy (you gotta love the fact that there's an "animal pharmacy" practically around the corner). I want to get some sort of wrap or guaze or something to protect it... but I know that wrapping wrong can cause more damage than good, I wish there was a 'fool proof' bandage- any suggestions there?
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