How do you treat a puncture wound?
 
 

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How do you treat a puncture wound?

This is a discussion on How do you treat a puncture wound? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse has small puncture on leg
  • Puncture wound on my horses leg

 
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    03-07-2009, 08:13 AM
  #1
Green Broke
How do you treat a puncture wound?

Sandie was turned out yesterday with a bunch of other horses and no one's sure what happened, but she came in yesterday evening with a wound on her left stifle...at first it just looked like 1, but after I started cleaning it I saw another small wound about 1/2 inch away from it, and it appears to be a puncture wound, as if something went in one hole and out the other. There is heat coming from it, which worries me, although she is not limping or favoring her other leg at all - doesn't seem to be bothering her unless you start touching it/cleaning it, then she lifts it up trying to get it away from you but she's not getting agressive, pinning ears or anything.

My barn manager has no idea what it could be from, and I'm new to horse ownership and unsure of how to treat it (and getting advice from a million different directions!!)...I cleaned it with soap and water and then put antibiotic ointment on it last night, along with giving her some bute, per my trainer (thank goodness he was there!)

I'm going to the tack shop today to buy the things I need to clean it and take care of it from here, but what would everyone recommend for cleaning and maintaining a puncture wound? What sort of items should I buy today, and also how often should I be giving her bute? I've heard that stuff can be bad for them, causing ulcers and such if you use it too much. I'll try to get pics on here later of the wound as well...
     
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    03-07-2009, 08:41 AM
  #2
Showing
The only time I had a wound like you describe, it turned out to be a snake bite. With you in OH and it being this time of the year I doubt it. Since it happened yesterday, I would head down to the barn and check to see if there is any swelling or lameness. If not, and your horse is going OK, I would put some more antibiotic (I like Furasol) and work her as usual. Is she UTD on her shots - tetanus and rabies especially?

I would look in the pasture for something that may have caused it (or in her stall), but if she is fine today, I would chalk it up to something that happens to horses from time to time. Punctures concern me more then cuts or scrapes because you don't know how deep they went but if it was a problem I'm sure it would show by now.
     
    03-07-2009, 08:49 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Thanks!! I call it a puncture wound only because it's deeper than a scrape, but it is wide enough to see inside of it...and it's strange the way there are 2 holes next to each other, as if an object like a stick or something went in one hole and out the other, very close to the outer layer of skin though. Definitely larger than a snake bite would cause, and yes you are right, it being this time of year in Ohio there are no snakes to be found.

She did just have a surgery done about a month ago to remove a lump on her side and she was given a tetanus then just as a precautionary measure because they were making an incision, so lucky for me she's up to date on everything and had that extra tetatnus shot just about a month ago.

I'm going to call the vet this morning to ask their opinion on treating it, but I'm just looking for ideas now on what to use to wash it each day and then what to apply afterwards, whether I should wrap it or leave it be? There are 2 little scrapes further down on her leg that I treated as well, but I'm not as concerned about them since they're smaller and look like surface scrapes...although they did have heat coming from them yesterday as well.
     
    03-07-2009, 09:05 AM
  #4
Foal
Just got on and saw your situation, iridehorses has given you some sound advice and I have to admit that the way you described it my first thought allthough it sounds a little scary was some neighbor kids with a pellet gun and terrible aim, its happened before......
     
    03-07-2009, 09:10 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattanittaallen    
just got on and saw your situation, iridehorses has given you some sound advice and I have to admit that the way you described it my first thought allthough it sounds a little scary was some neighbor kids with a pellet gun and terrible aim, its happened before......
oh God I HOPE not!! If some kid was shooting at my horse I think I'd turn the gun on HIM! Ok, maybe not, but I'd be really REALLY upset! There really aren't any neighbors around the barn though, it's a boarding barn with about 40 horses and the barn manager lives on the property...there are just woods around the pastures, and some businesses but they aren't very close, you can't see them from the pastures. Our best guess is that part of the fence did this to her, or another horse somehow...but I can't figure out how a kick would have made this wound, it's very strange...by the way, the opening to each wound is about the size around of my thumb, so a pellet gun or snake bite hole would be too small I would think. Maybe a stick got stabbed through there somehow, but it would have to be a seriously sharp stick! No clue, but they're going to walk the pasture today to see if they can figure it out...none of the other horses she was out with were injured, just her, but they did say she was fighting with one of the other mares - and Sandie doesn't have shoes, but this other mare does. It may be from a kick, it just seems odd the way it looks as if something went in one part of her and out the other 1/2 inch next to the initial wound.
     
    03-07-2009, 09:32 AM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
Thanks!! I call it a puncture wound only because it's deeper than a scrape, but it is wide enough to see inside of it...and it's strange the way there are 2 holes next to each other, as if an object like a stick or something went in one hole and out the other.
So it is more of a deep cut then a puncture. A puncture would be if a nail or stick, as an example, went in. In this case, washing it and treating it with an antibiotic is really all that should be necessary - unless she is lame or it is swollen this morning. A little heat is something to watch but not get crazy over. If she is not right this morning then a vet call is proper otherwise I would not be concerned.

Goodness, if I called a vet every time one of my guys got a cut or scrape, I would go broke!! That is not to mean that you shouldn't call if it is serious but as you get more and more comfortable with your horse, you will take these kinds of things in stride and learn to handle them yourself. It just takes time and experience - it's good you have someone there to give you some advise.
     
    03-07-2009, 09:33 AM
  #7
Foal
Good, Im sure its nothin like that. Walking the pasture is a good idea, and she's not wincing at it like its painful so id not worry. I have dealt with a lot of horse injuries in my 12 years of horse ownership and try to avoid vet bills when I can. By the way, I don't know how to edit the fact that my post profile says I have no horses, how do you do that?
     
    03-07-2009, 09:42 AM
  #8
Showing
Mattanittaallen, welcome to the forum. If you look under the banner, there is a green strip that has "User CP..... Horses..... Horse Chat ....." on it. Click on "Horses" and it will take you to a screen that allows you to setup a "barn" for your horses.

Hoofprints - concerning the bute, if your horse is fine today then I would might be tempted to give the bute just for today and then stop. Bute can be overdone and not a good idea. Use it sparingly but if it's necessary, then give it but only if necessary.
     
    03-07-2009, 09:43 AM
  #9
Yearling
Yep, cleaning with either betadine or chlorhexiderm and a simple triple antibiotic ointment (same thing you keep in your first aid kit for you) are the staples to keep on hand for basic wounds.

Punctures, as mentioned are a very small entry hole with a deeper wound. These can be troublesome because they trap dirt, bacteria or even possibly a part of the object that caused the wound inside and close over quickly, setting up a situation for continued inflammation and and infection.

Here is a nice link for you to start with but beware it's a fairly good sized file:http://cvm.msu.edu/hospital/addition...your_horse.pdf

I would recommend purchasing a horse first aid book to keep handy since you are new to horse ownership. This will help you get through the common booboos and determine when it's time for the vet.
     
    03-07-2009, 09:46 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
So it is more of a deep cut then a puncture. A puncture would be if a nail or stick, as an example, went in. In this case, washing it and treating it with an antibiotic is really all that should be necessary - unless she is lame or it is swollen this morning. A little heat is something to watch but not get crazy over. If she is not right this morning then a vet call is proper otherwise I would not be concerned.

Goodness, if I called a vet every time one of my guys got a cut or scrape, I would go broke!! That is not to mean that you shouldn't call if it is serious but as you get more and more comfortable with your horse, you will take these kinds of things in stride and learn to handle them yourself. It just takes time and experience - it's good you have someone there to give you some advise.
yeah, it's an odd wound...looks almost as if someone shot a tiny arrow through her upper stifle, because you could probably insert a Q-tip in the one hole and poke it out the other...but it's wide enough to see inside the whole thing, not like a tiny puncture hole where you can't tell how deep it is. I know what you mean, everyone at the barn last night who saw it said to just keep it clean and keep putting antibiotic ointment on it and just watch it. My trainer actually rode her yesterday and was even jumping with her (just little cross rails!) with the wound there and she wasn't limping or favoring it or anything. But it's definitely tender to the touch and hot...which of course worries me! I'm going to wait until the tack shop's open this morning, then go get some supplies and go to the barn to check her out again. If she's limping or favoring it or if it's red or swollen, I'll call the vet...otherwise, I think you're right, it's not a huge concern and as long as I keep it clean it will heal fine and I need to stop worrying so much!
     

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