Your Horse - Feb. 2015


Protect your horse

Since horses are great at getting into scrapes, knowing how to deal with wounds is really important. Here are three pieces of advice from Gil to help you deal with injuries:

1. If a wound is anywhere near a joint you must consider this an emergency and call your vet immediately. An infected joint will require flushing with large quantities of sterile fluid, usually performed under general anaesthesia, and the sooner this is done, the better the odds of the horse surviving and making a full recovery.

2. Hair provides a good barrier to trauma and infection. However, if infection does manage to penetrate the underlying skin, then the hair should be clipped off. This means discharge from the affected skin can't matt the hair together, resulting in a messy, dirty and infected area. Removing the hair also means you have much better access to the wound to clean and dress it.

3. Speaking generally, wounds below the knee or the hock — are better dressed. However, wounds above the knee and hock should not be dressed as a dressing here will restrict drainage from the lower limb and thus cause swelling and pain.