Ugly Cut... what to put on it...?
My horse managed to cut himself pretty bad on Saturday morning. Three different vets recommended not stitching it due to the location and keeping him stalled for a few days. How long should I keep him stalled firstly? He's a stallion and less than happy about being inside though outside he was always with "his mare" and she was put to sleep Saturday when he was injured. (Basically we found her on the ground that morning caught in the fence and him doing his ****dest to protect her from the other horses on the other side of the fence, we moved him to the arena to pull her out and he caught himself on the tractor.. ugh. She had become severely dehydrated, had hypothermia, and had crushed the nerves in her hip. So it was decided that since she was 23 and navicular to put her to sleep.) He has buddied up with a VERY laid back gelding that will be pastured with him. I'm keeping the cut cleaned twice daily per vet, he's on a broad spectrum antibiotic, and bute for another day or two tho it doesn't seem to be causing him pain.
What should I be putting on it? The vet mentioned NFZ but Ive heard a variety of opinions on it. The cut DOES however seem to be itchy to him as he keeps acting like he has a fly on him on that leg and itching it with his nose.
My TB gelding got into a fight with another horse of ours and cut his face REALLY bad! We actually put paw paw cream on it sounds weird but trust me it helps. We got this special stuff made up from the vet. What the vet has recommended sounds good, I heard that works good too! Good luck
I've heard of something similiar to paw paw before too. Heard it was really good.
Is he on complete stall rest or can he be hand walked? I had a great Vet that made up a concoction that worked wonders on this type of injury.
Is he on any meds, Bute antibiotics etc?
Its possible that the "itch" maybe some residual pain along with some itching which I would assume to be natural considering where the injury is.
I'm very sorry to hear about his mare, that will be very hard for him & must have been heartbreaking for you on top of everything else.
Keep it clean and use a plain triple antibiotic ointment on it. This type of ointment helps to prevent infection and provides a good healing environment where many of the over-the-counter products that horsemen use actually slow healing. Your horse is going to need complete stall rest for quite some time with this wound because it is in a high motion area. If he's moving around alot he is going to increase the risk of proud flesh development and slow the healing by constantly pulling on the wound edges as he moves the leg.
Be sure to decrease grains while stalled and provide mental stimulation. Grooming, playing music, jolly balls or hanging stall toy that he can bounce around with his nose without having to chase them around the stalls. You can work with him on carrot stretches while he is stalled too--getting him to bend his nose down between his front legs and around to his sides, etc.
I would definitely be watching for signs of infection and put him on an oral antibiotic if needed.
As Ryle said, a lot of the ointments people recommend actually slow healing. Your best bet with something like this is rinsing with plain water to flush out dirt and bacteria once or twice a day, keeping it bandaged and him stalled. As far as for what to put on it? A bacteria-static hydra-gel would be your best bet. It would prevent bacteria growth under the wrap and keep the gauze from sticking. If there are signs of infection, then I would begin treating with an antibiotic. Right now it is so fresh I would be wary about putting anything paste like on it.
When it starts to granulate, keep wrapping and rinsing. When skin starts to grow over, keep wrapping and rinsing. When there is skin entirely covering it I would begin applying a thick, lanolin based ointment to keep the skin moist and start weaning him off the wrap and start hand walking to prep him for "outside".
If he is really going to be an idiot for the first weeks of stalling and Ryle's suggestions are not working, don't be afraid to use a mild sedative to calm him down.
I would turn him out like normal and not keep him in a stall. It MAY take longer to heal but the horse will be much healthier overall. You are not just trying to heal the leg like if you were trying to grow a cabbage. You are trying to keep the entire horse as healthy as possible. Sacrificing his health in one area to promote it in another is a no-win situation. Use the triple antibiotic and keep it uncovered but let the poor guy be a horse. Even if it takes longer to heal, what's time to a horse? I would lay off the bute as well since the less pain he feels the more he will want to move it.
I generally recommend following what the vet says and Ryle offers excellent advice but in this case the wound is superficial. By superficial I mean it is not in a place where it has damaged anything and though it looks ugly will not impede the horses way of going in all likelyhood. If this happened to one of my broodmares I would probably not do anything unless the flies started getting bad on it and in 6 months you wouldn't be able to see it anymore.
be careful when you cold-hose though, when it starts scabbing, let it scab. Alot of people want to pick the crud out of it. Let it scab.
Okay lets see if I can get all these questions answered...
*He IS on a broad spectrum oral antibiotic (SMZ I believe) I know it's 10 tablets twice daily dissolved in minimal water and mixed with a little grain.
*I am weaning him off of bute and he will be completely off of it by tomorrow.
*I am hosing the wound twice daily, originally scrubbing it along with hosing (per the vet) now just hosing though.
*I am bringing him into the arena when I work the other horses where he has a few toys to play with, I'm hand walking him, and the gelding he's stalled beside plays with him over the stalls.
*We originally tried to wrap it to no avail. We could not get a bandage of any type to stay up on it.
*He seems okay in the stall and willingly goes into it but doesn't seem happy about it. However the pastures are currently a muddy mess and he DOES sleep laying down so even keeping the wound clean in his stall is a pain let alone outside.
Keep following your vet's advice.
What is with people's adversity to bute? Yes long term it is going to create ulcer issues but if you give the horse a gram of bute twice a day it's not like morphine - it just reduces swelling and any analgesic effects are due to that.
If you had a huge sore swollen gash you would take some ibuprofen to reduce the swelling and make you more comfortable, no? You wouldn't be playing tennis though, you'd still be on the couch.
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