Horse Head Laceration

Today my favorite horse camp called me about an injury.

I routinely care for their horses, which are all donations to the program. The herd usually runs around 25 or so depending on what they have.

This is the picture they sent me today:

I was working at another vet clinic for a friend today, so I couldn’t make it out until the afternoon. Katherine put a damp bandage on it to prevent it from drying out and to keep the flies off of it.

I sedated the horse and began to clean and assess the wound.

When scrubbing for a surgery, I normally use either iodine or chlorhexidine scrub, alternating with alcohol. We can’t use alcohol on an open wound, so I cleaned the iodine scrub off with sterile saline.

See that nasty horse fly? They are terrible right now!

That’s exposed skull that you see in the center. Luckily there were no skull fractures.

There were two separate pockets that each needed a drain. Anytime a farm animal has a large wound, it’s dirty and can benefit from a drain.

Here you can see the sutures and drains. The drains allow the body to clean out the things we couldn’t completely remove while prepping for sutures.

The drains will remain in place for about 5-7 days, depending on the amount of drainage. Once it stops draining, we will remove the drains.

The sutures will remain for 10-14 days. We will need to keep it bandaged to keep the horse from rubbing the sutures out, as well as keeping the flies out.

You can see the padding to prevent airway occlusion. If there is any swelling around the bandage, we will remove it and keep a fly mask on the horse instead.

The horse will need to be on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and have a good bit of fly spray.

We will see how it heals!

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