Prognosis for pastern lacerations? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Prognosis for pastern lacerations?

This question may be a bit difficult to answer, so bear with me. Me and my mare were involved in a bad riding accident today. I was out hacking with a friend down our quiet road, a guy flew by in his truck honking the horn at us(no idea why he did this). My mare spooked and bolted down the ditch on the other side of the road and got caught in a barbed wire fence. Luckily she threw me over it and not into it, but her front pastern got tangled up and she cut it quite badly. I hand walked her back to the barn and doctored her up as best I could. She has subcutaneous emphazema up the length of that cannon which makes me think the laceration is much deeper than it looks. I'm going to ring the vet in the morning and get her to come examine it to make sure no tendons or joints are involved. Being 15 I've only dealt with a handful of injuries and none of them have been to the pasterns or heel bulbs, so I'm not familiar with the nature of these wounds. Basically I'm wondering if the superficial flexor tendon was involved and proper management was taken, what is the prognosis for injuries like this? I guess it really depends on the extent that the tendon was affected. Thanks for any advice given. Hopefully my vet will have good news for me. 😞
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 09:46 PM
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Time is of the most important aspect right now.
Your horse needs a vet now, tonight.

You should of called as soon as you returned to the barn this afternoon...
Stitches must be done within so many hours or will not be done as bacteria can already infect a wound.
If she has indeed deep cut connecting tissue, tendon, ligament, muscle, just flesh along with the obvious skin torn it needs attention now, immediate.
It may already be to late for stitches but a serious thorough cleaning of debris, filth, embedded grit needs done along with a really good bandage and that injury site needs a serious clean-up and clipping done so healing is without hair caught in healing skin...
You need some medicated ointments and shown how to wrap and care for a injury in that location...
Call the vet...please.
...
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Last edited by horselovinguy; 01-21-2020 at 12:07 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 09:57 PM
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The rule of thumb on stitching is 5-6 hours as far as the window goes before the flesh starts to die off. Waiting until the morning is going to make the healing process become a more intensive care cycle for you.

If there is any "inside" damage to joints, muscles, tendons etc then you are going to allow too much time for infection. My suggestion is also to call the vet immediately. Worse case send them a picture of the injury so they can decide if they need to come out asap. I think in this case - I would air on the side of caution, especially since the mechanism of injury was barbed wire. Those cuts aren't clean, they are kind of a puncture and then a snag. You also have to consider the need for a tetanus shot.

Please keep us informed.

Also - if the tendon WAS involved you are looking at a very long healing time (maybe even 6 weeks stall rest) not to mention the potential for permanent injury.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
The rule of thumb on stitching is 5-6 hours as far as the window goes before the flesh starts to die off. Waiting until the morning is going to make the healing process become a more intensive care cycle for you.

If there is any "inside" damage to joints, muscles, tendons etc then you are going to allow too much time for infection. My suggestion is also to call the vet immediately. Worse case send them a picture of the injury so they can decide if they need to come out asap. I think in this case - I would air on the side of caution, especially since the mechanism of injury was barbed wire. Those cuts aren't clean, they are kind of a puncture and then a snag. You also have to consider the need for a tetanus shot.

Please keep us informed.

Also - if the tendon WAS involved you are looking at a very long healing time (maybe even 6 weeks stall rest) not to mention the potential for permanent injury.
Will do, the barn owner will haul her into the clinic for me and I can meet her there.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 10:20 PM
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As an aside, I think you meant edema, not emphysema. Emphysema is a lung condition, edema is swelling.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
As an aside, I think you meant edema, not emphysema. Emphysema is a lung condition, edema is swelling.
sorry, I was referring to the condition where air bubbles form under the skin. When you run your hand over the swelling it crackles from the air bubbles.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-20-2020, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Idyllic_equine View Post
sorry, I was referring to the condition where air bubbles form under the skin. When you run your hand over the swelling it crackles from the air bubbles.

Ah, I haven't heard it referred to as that. I always have known it as crepitus.


If you're feeling air under the skin, that's even more reason to get the vet involved sooner. Glad you're on top of it.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-21-2020, 12:49 AM
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If you can hear crackling under the skin, that can be extremely serious. Your horse needs a vet immediately.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-21-2020, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SilverMaple View Post
If you can hear crackling under the skin, that can be extremely serious. Your horse needs a vet immediately.
The barn owner was kind enough to haul her into the local equine clinic for us. I'm not able to be there atm but at least she's in now. Last I hard the vet sedated her, clipped the wound up and examined it. Seems that the digital tendon sheath is involved for sure, maybe even the pastern joint but I haven't heard just how bad. I'm not an adult so they aren't particularly concerned with giving me info. I will admit I feel very guilty for not having her looked at as soon as it happened, but now I know it's never an option to wait on things like this. Hoping they'll keep me updated through the night. 😢
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-21-2020, 01:33 AM
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Good luck and please keep us updated too.
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