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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, so my friend has a rather clutsy thoroughbred (suffering from the aftermath of EPM) and did a number on her fetlock joint. There’s a thick flap of skin hanging off that will most likely die and fall off. But it’s taking forever to heal since it’s so difficult to take care of. She’s tried wrapping it, but the bandage sticks and rips off the scab and won’t let it heal and leaving it on makes it get infected. She currently has it open and unwrapped, and infection stays away but it does get dirty and it still won’t really heal. She’s also tried spraying a healing spray of sorts but then it holds the moister from that and gets infected.
Anyone have tips on dealing with those joint injuries that are so hard to heal or some hacks on how to wrap them without the bandage sliding and/or sticking?
 

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What I have done:

1. Cut the hair back pretty short from the knee down - the less and shorter the hair, the less pulling.

2. Dress wound as usual.

3. Vet wrap over top the bandage with the medication in it.

4. Buy some cheap pantyhose and cut them into pieces to pull over the vet wrap. Cut the pieces long enough to Where you can tape higher than where the hair is already missing.

You can always cut the next piece longer to avoid taping over the last spot the tape pulled the hair off:)
 

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My gelding cut his fetlock joint (on the side, down to the cartilage) very badly a couple of years ago. I used triple antibiotic ointment (generic neosporin) in the wound and used thin women's sanitary pads against the wound because they don't stick (vet's advice!) and vet-wrapped over the pad to keep it in place. After it started healing well and we were worried less about infection and more about proud flesh, the vet had me switch to hemorrhoid ointment over the wound to deter the proud flesh. The sanitary pads/vet wrap regime was the same throughout healing (I spent a lot on vet wrap!).

I think I used a Veterycin type product to clean the wound as I changed the bandage daily. But I'm not sure if that was a crucial part of the treatment. But it surely didn't hurt. But I think the wrapping was very important to keep him from getting manure and dirt in there. He had a really nasty wound.......but it healed up nicely with just a hairless scar.
 

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First off, has your friend had a vet out to see her? If she managed to puncture or open her joint capsule, things can go downhill really fast and I would want a vet out to tell me if it has been or not.
This this this this THIS! Any wound over the joint should be thoroughly treated by a vet. They could have sewed the skin, too, I'm sure... Not sure why your friend let it die and fall off if it was a flap.

There is NO substitute for proper veterinary care when it comes to joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Of course, vet care is irreplaceable. The way it is, it would have been impossible to put any kind of stitches in because she would just tear them right open, and the flap does not reach all the way across the cut. It’s a surface wound, so we aren’t too worried about an infected puncture. She’s not lame either, and is terribly unhappy in a stall so keeping her more still isn't really an option. I believe she contacted her vet but I’m not sure what the verdict was. Not a whole lot of room in the checkbook for extensive vet care, especially now with work being shut down though. I do like the sanitary pad idea, and we’ll definitely try that.
 

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The vet will definitely help figure out what is best for them.

I’ll share my story! My horse cut her fetlock a few months ago. It wasn’t deep, but the surrounding area was swollen for awhile (no lameness though) but I wrapped it with poultice. Really helped with the swelling.

Ended up taking her to the vet because there was no improvement, & I had to give her antibiotics, but also had to keep it wrapped/dry. I cleaned it with saline solution, then applied a poultice pad, wrapped that lightly with a cotton bandage (sorta like gauze wrap), then gamgee wrapping, & then vet wrap. Changed it every other day & it eventually was done draining!

I did end up stalling my mare for a week (it was raining for days straight at the time). I didn’t want to stall her, TRUST ME, as she’s not a fan since she’s always out 24/7 but it was either stall her, or not let the cut heal properly. So, I stalled her. Yes she was a bit antsy & not happy at first, but she eventually settled. She survived & the cut healed up nicely! Sometimes stalling them is for the best in these situations. I was fighting a battle with that cut for almost a month!

I hope it gets better! Just really have to keep it clean & dry, that’s most important. :)


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If the flap of skin hasn't been removed it needs to be by this point. The window of stitching up a wound is very small. Call the vet to get it checked out and have them cut the flap off then you should start seeing some healing taking place.
 

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Fetlocks are really hard to bandage. This last fall I went through a major bandaging adventure when my horse fell out of her trailer. A deep fetlock wound was one of the many injuries. First, if there is heat in the wound it is infected and a vet visit is imperative like yesterday. Joint infections often mean the death of the horse.

Second, the bandaging protocol needs to be upped.

Clip the hair around the wound. You will have to remove that skin flap, sounds like.
The wound should be thoroughly flushed with saline (big syringe and a bucket of warm water).

Layers (you will need to bandage from the knee or hock to the coronet):

antibiotic ointment
non-stick gauze pad
hold this on with white stretch roll gauze

roll cotton padding
hold this on with brown roll gauze

vet wrap holds all this together. Make sure you leave some cotton padding showing at the top and bottom.

now the last thing -- "Elastikon" sticky bandaging tape. This stuff is really helpful to keep leg bandages from slipping, as you wrap it from the top inches of the bandage right on to the horse's hide a few inches, and the same below, on to the hoof. If the vet doesn't carry it you can order it from a vet supply.

this whole sandwich will need to be changed every few days even if it stays on perfectly. Bandage scissors and a disposable scalpel are the best tools for removing bandaging that I found.
 
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