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Wound types

The six types of wounds in horses are as follows:

  1. An incision: This is a cut that has clean, straight edges. These wounds commonly bleed quite a lot, but the tidy edge of the wound allows it to, at least generally speaking, heal relatively quickly.
  2. A laceration or tear: This is a wound where the edges are irregular as the skin has been torn. Often the skin flaps around the wound have a poor blood supply and sometimes will need to be removed by a vet. Often these wounds are slow to heal, and can more easily become infected.
  3. An abrasion: This is a graze of the skin. These wounds are commonly quite minor and generally tend to heal well with little issue.
  4. A puncture wound: These wounds can be much more serious than they initially appear. This is because an object has penetrated the skin so whilst the wound on the surface may be small, it is likely to be a deep cut underneath. If the foreign material which has caused the problem remains stuck in the wound it is a source for infection, and an infection may not drain easily because of the small entry point to the wound. The foreign material will ultimately need to be removed, and this can be quite an involved procedure. NB: If you find an object in a wound, contact your vet rather than trying to remove it yourself. If an object breaks in a wound you are going to have bigger problems later down the line, so get expert advice and help.
  5.  A penetrating wound: This is similar to a puncture wound but in it the object has penetrated a body cavity or organ. These wounds are very serious and need immediate veterinary attention. NB: Do not remove any objects you may find in the wound, rather wait for your vet to arrive.
  6. A de-gloving injury: This is where the skin has been pulled off from the limb or torso. It is called a de-gloving injury as it is similar to the effect of removing a glove from the arm. These injuries are very serious and veterinary attention is needed immediately.