Is your horse’s wound possibly infected?
- Horses are masters at getting cuts, scrapes, wounds, and injuries that require sutures. Even if they live in bubble wrap.
- Some cuts and scraps heal easily, others are more challenging. Puncture wounds can be tricky, sometimes they heal over superficially, trapping the rest of the wound inside with loads of bacteria.
- Whatever type of wound your horse shows up with, it’s always a good idea to have your veterinarian inspect, clean, and treat it.
- This is especially true for a suspected puncture wound, as these can go into a joint or other soft tissues and create serious problems.
A horse with an infected wound can get a fever if the infection is large enough, or is spreading through his entire body.
How to spot an infected wound
- Is the area around the injury warm? This is often difficult to discern from the rest of your horse, but do your best to compare the wound area to the rest of your horse. Don’t rely on this indicator alone.
- Is the wound area swollen? A fresh injury will often swell because of the trauma, and it goes away over time. If the swelling gets worse, or goes away and then comes back, you could be dealing with an infection.
- Is the wound area tender? Gently squashing the wound area may make your horse flinch, and you may feel that the tissue just isn’t right. I know, not exactly exact science, but watch your horse’s reactions.
- Does everything smell OK? Once you have gotten a sniff of infected tissue, you will never forget that smell. If you have never known it, you will instantly know the first time it hits your nose.
- Is there any “goo” or “icky stuff” leaking from the wound? It may just be normal wound discharge, which is clear or creamy. If you see any super cloudy greenish or yellowish discharge, you likely have an infected wound.
Bandage choices are now available in “silly” varieties. And they are totes adorbs.
It’s rare for a tiny wound to cause a systemic infection, where your entire horse is infected. But it can happen.
- That being said, it’s just another reason to take your horse’s temperature at least daily, twice daily if need be.
- You should make sure that your horse is vaccinated on a regular basis for tetanus. Your veterinarian can help you determine a schedule for that!
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ADC Veterinary Thermometer, Dual Scale, Adtemp 422 – For easy temperature taking
3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope, Black Edition Chestpiece, Black Tube, 27 inch, 5803 – For finding heart rate and gut sounds