Horsing Around: Treating Equine Injuries with Healit Wrap
Just like any other animal, Horses can get sick, hurt themselves, contract disease and even suffer from stress. It is important that we recognize early symptoms, slight changes in behavior or new habits.
The No. 1 rule we must adhere to is always consulting a veterinarian in any cases where there is injury or illness involved.
Common illnesses that require treatment by a vet include:
- Colic, problems in the gastrointestinal tract causing abdominal pain which can range from mild to life-threatening.
- Laminitis, a painful condition causing lameness. Symptoms include a hot painful hoof and pounding pulses that can be felt in the pastern and fetlock area.
- Skin conditions. Inflammation of areas on the skin requires isolation and treatment to prevent spreading. Mud fever is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to wet and boggy conditions. Washing off muddy legs, using a barrier cream and regular brushing all help to keep symptoms at bay.
- Coughs and colds. Horses can contract painful and exhausting coughs and colds but in horses, unlike humans, coughs can be fatal.
- Direct injuries. Cuts, grazes, stings, bites, and lacerations are all serious and need initial evaluation by a vet.
After direction from a vet, there are things we can do at home to help our four-legged friends.
One easy home remedy for an injured hoof requires the use of poultices, gauze, and Healit™ ‘Perform’ Pet wrap.
- Pick up the hoof
- Clean the whole area
- Apply a good poultice
- Apply gauze and padding (even baby diapers work in this case!)
- Wrap the hoof, going underneath and above the hoof around the pastern. Remember not too tight, you should be able to fit a finger in-between the wrap and the leg.
- For the wrap, take several strips of Healit™ ‘Perform’ Pet wrap (use a wall to help) and overlap them vertically to form a square.
- Repeat horizontally, at several points around the square cut a short way from the outside in.
- Place the square over the hoof and bring the edges up to form a secure cup
- Finish with some tape to secure it.
Did you know that horses have an extra muscle layer called the panniculus that allows them to feel even the slightest of touches, such as flies and move the skin to shake them off? Therefore it is important when dressing wounds you apply light pressure and not overstretch bandages which can cause circulation problems.
For leg injuries such as cuts apply medication, a non-adhesive dressing, gauze, and plenty of padding evenly all around the leg up and below the injured area. Apply a bandage and remember the one finger test! Finally, add the wrap to hold it all in place. Allow a little of the padding at the top and bottom so the wrap doesn’t cut in and apply some tape to stop ingress of any debris.
Always monitor any dressing regularly and make sure that it hasn’t slipped, that there are no signs of swelling and that shavings, grass or other debris have not got under the bandages.
We all hope that our horses stay fit and well, but its always worth being prepared ‘just in case’. There is plenty of advice and help out there but remember your veterinarian is the best call you can make.