General wound surgery

The Bourton Vale Equine Clinic team offer methodical evaluation of wounds to enable effective management and treatment and ensure the best outcome for the patient.

Our veterinary surgeons are able to effectively manage and treat many types and sizes of wounds in the clinic or in an ambulatory setting. In some cases, patients may be referred into the clinic if the wound requires further surgical treatment and monitoring to ensure the tissues are healing well.

Many wounds are from the occurrence of the horses “fight or flight” instinct, and they often react quickly with complete disregard for their limbs and other body parts. Some wounds are as a result from companions or owners or during exercise whether at home or away at competition.

Wounds can range from shallow superficial cuts and abrasions to large lacerations involving deep tissues, which can include muscle, tendon, ligament and bone. The wound location and the type of tissues involved are more critical than the overall appearance of the wound. Even some tiny wounds that are close to the joint can be serious, and can involve deeper structures which require further diagnostics and surgical treatment.

Depending on the area of the wound, and the length of time since it occurred, the majority of wounds will require a thorough physical exam which will be most practical for the patient, cleansing and if only a minor wound may require stitching which requires the horse to be heavily sedated.

In some cases it is advisable to x-ray and ultrasound the areas depending on which structures may have been damaged. If there is the possibility that the wound has opened a joint capsule or muscle sheath, synovial fluid will be taken from the area for laboratory processing to ascertain if infection is present. 

Once the wound has been thoroughly assessed, a treatment plan will be put into place, which can include surgical flushing and debriding under general anaesthetic.

Following the stabilisation of the wound, a post treatment care plan will put into action which will be most appropriate and practical. This may include a course of antibiotics, dressing changes, box rest and re-examinations to ensure the wound heals as quickly as possible.

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