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Lacerations

2016-03-25

A laceration is a wound involving the skin and potentially the structures underneath it. Some lacerations can be very serious and should be addressed by a veterinarian right away. Some lacerations require stitches while others are treated as an open wound and allowed to drain. Please seek advice from a veterinarian to help direct you on the best way to have your horse’s wound treated. Some of examples of wounds that need to be seen on emergency include the following:

•Any wound that is over or near a joint, tendon, and/or ligament

•Wounds on the face and especially on or near the eyes

•Wounds that are large (over 1 inch long) and/or deep (deeper than 1 inch deep)

• A wound that has excessive swelling, bleeding, and/or discharge in the injured area

•Severe lameness associated with the wound and/or injury

A few notes about wounds and bleeding:

•Wounds that need stitches should be repaired within 6-8 hours of the injury. If not, they will likely need to be managed as an open wound.

•Bleeding wounds usually look worse than they are. Average clotting time in the horse is approximately 15 minutes. Keep in mind that his is much longer than in the human.

•Profuse bleeding or bleeding that has a rhythmic “pulse” should be bandaged immediately to apply direct pressure. If blood soaks through the bandage, apply another bandage over your initial bandage until the veterinarian arrives. Don’t remove your first bandage.