Q1) What are some common horse injuries?
As all owners know horses seem to be prone to injury. Some
people say you can a put a horse in a pasture all by himself with no trees and
perfect fencing, no holes in the earth and nothing in sight except grass and he
would still injure himself. Here is a listing of just a few of the many injuries
a horse can incur, both in the stable and turned out.
Horses seem to be especially talented at acquiring lacerations
of all sizes, shapes and deepness on every imaginable area of their body.
Lacerations on the head and lower legs will produce a lot of blood due to the
close proximity of blood vessels to the surface of the skin and can therefore
sometimes be deceiving. If you rinse the laceration with clean water you will be
able to view the injury more clearly and determine whether it is deep enough to
Puncture wounds can be particularly dangerous because of the
risk of deep tissue infection. They are also dangerous because they are not as noticeable
as a bleeding laceration and may go untreated until it is too late and a severe
infection has set in. A deep puncture wound needs to be irrigated by the vet in
order to remove any residual bacteria.
Scrapes and Abrasions
Although not usually life threatening scrapes and abrasions can
interfere with daily grooming, riding and other activities and they just plain
look nasty. If the abrasions are over a large area the horse can also become
susceptible to infection and dehydration. The other issue to consider with
scrapes and abrasions is the possibility of imbedded foreign material. Scrapes
and abrasions are usually treated with a thorough cleaning with an
anti-bacterial soap (irrigation for more severe injuries) and depending on the
environment of the horse a water-soluble wound medication can be applied.
Contusions are caused by blunt trauma and although they do not
appear as traumatic as lacerations they can be just as dangerous. Contusions are
most often the result of a kicking injury from another horse. The damage can
occur to a heavily muscled area such as the upper leg, shoulder or hind quarters
or to more delicate areas such as the lower legs or the head/face area. In
either case immobilization (to reduce circulation and blood flow), cold
compresses and a call to the vet are the best treatment.
Lameness can be elusive and confusing. The best way to recognize
lameness is to be very familiar with your horse's gaits and self-carriage so
that you are able to immediately recognize any lameness discomfort. Indications
of lameness can be the result of something as simple as a stone wedged in the
bottom of the foot to
something as complicated and irreversible as torn ligaments or even a bone
fracture. If lameness and/or swelling does not resolve itself within a matter of
hours, consider contacting a veterinarian.
For more detailed First-Aid information go to: