Jump to section
The treatment of lacerations in horses will vary depending on many factors, such as depth and infection. In some cases, your horse may require suturing in order to heal. It is essential that if your horse suffers a laceration, treatment is sought promptly to stop bleeding, reduce the risk of infection, and provide supportive treatment.
Lacerations in horses can occur due to numerous situations. A laceration is a slice through the skin or membrane. These may be superficial or may involve the fat, muscle, cartilage, tendons or bone. The most commonly affected areas are of the face, mainly the mouth, lips, tongue and nostrils. During foaling the vagina and cervix may also suffer from lacerations.
The most common symptom of lacerations will be visible tears or cuts through membrane or skin. Involvement of other tissue such as fat, cartilage, muscle or bone may also be seen. Other symptoms may include localized swelling around the wound, or bleeding. In cases of infection localized heat and purulent discharge may be seen.
The causes of lacerations vary and in some cases it may not be possible to pinpoint the origin. Causes may include:
Your veterinarian will carefully examine the injury to assess:
Your veterinarian may choose to perform radiographs to assess your horse for bone involvement.
The treatment your horse requires will vary depending on the type of trauma. The main aims of treatment are:
Your horse may require nerve blocks to allow your veterinarian to examine the injury. In severe cases intravenous sedation or general anesthetic may be necessary for treatment. If the laceration is bleeding profusely the main concern of your veterinarian will be preventing hemorrhage. In order to reduce bleeding your veterinarian may use pressure bandaging or ligate the affected blood vessels.
As infection control is essential your veterinarian will clean the wound with a lavage. Following lavage your veterinarian will likely suture the skin to assist healing. Small lacerations will not require suturing; however, your veterinarian will assist in cleaning the wound and discuss wound care to reduce the risk of infection.
If your horse has not up to date with immunizations, tetanus prophylaxis may be required. In some cases, the antibiotic prophylaxis may also be indicated.
If tendon or ligament damage has occurred, surgical repair may be required with intensive, restrictive recovery. For trauma and lacerations during foaling your veterinarian may monitor and treat supportively with packing, and assess for need of suturing once bleeding has been controlled. To provide pain relief your horse may be given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
In order to reduce the risk of your horse suffering from lacerations the following steps should be taken:
If your horse has suffered lacerations that reduce the ability to eat, such as mouth or tongue injuries, you may need to feed your horse a soft diet during recovery. In some cases, nasogastric nutrition may be indicated.
If tendon or ligament damage occurred and your horse required surgical repair, it may be up to a year until surgical success can be assessed. During this time careful immobilization and care will be required. Factors that may complicate or prevent full recovery are:
*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.
Lacerations Average Cost
From 473 quotes ranging from $500 - $2,000
© 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download the Wag! app
Download the Wag! app