How best to treat cut on hock

hopscotch bandit

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My horse had a nasty fall last Sunday when she slipped on concrete on our yard and went down catching her hock with what I assume was her opposite hind shoe, there were sparks flying around as she scrabbled to her feet. She caught me on the back of my leg, I was very lucky as if it had been my shin I would have had a very nasty fracture and I have extensive brusing to my leg.

Fortunately she got away with a bit of a cut to her hock, no penetrating wound just a little graze. Initially I treated the slight cut with cold hosing and ice cups but then when it dried applied silver spray and gave a sachet of bute in case of inflammation. However every time she rolls either in the field or lies down in her bed the cut opens up again. There is a very slight warmth to the hock but this can be hardly felt, there is no swelling over the area. Finally some five days following the accident the scab had healed over and I thought we were winning: the skin was a lovely pink colour but now she's opened it up again yesterday and it was a little bloody so I cold hosed it and then treated with a very dilute application of hibiscrub, gave it a good cleanse and rinsed off allowed to dry and sprayed a skin barrier on.

Not sure how its reacting today as I won't go up until after work but its a nightmare to keep mud/shavings/hay out of the area. Am I right to keep applying a skin barrier such as a spray or silver spray or would you leave alone to dry up and heal on its own accord? Still no heat, so definitely not infected. The physio was due to see her two days after her fall but we decided to wait and see if she is sore anywhere and treat accordingly, as these things can take a while to manifest. I hacked her lightly over the weekend and she is sound. Any ideas how to keep the area clean and allow to heal? Worst place on the body for this type of cut as it keeps opening up.
 
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You could ask your vet if they hire out Pressage zip-on dressings as there is a great hock one which I've found really helps with this kind of wound.
 

ihatework

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I’d keep the silver spray, but as long as there are no signs of infection I’d try and limit fiddling any further.

Obviously on the proviso this is only a small scrape. One persons small is another persons amputation 😂
 

asmp

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I know you won't want to hear this but I would get the vet to look at it. Some years ago my horse was kicked in the field resulting in a small cut to his hock. He went lame after a couple of days and I got the vet out. She made me take him immediately to the equine hospital and he stayed there for four days. wounds to the hock joint should be taken seriously - there was another thread on here recently where another owner was suprised that the vet was very concerned over a small cut resulting in a vets stay.
 
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I too would ask the vet to have a look. There could be some floating bone fragments in there.
As regards wound dressing....I would carry on with the silver spray, wounds should be kept moist.
 

HeyMich

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I know you won't want to hear this but I would get the vet to look at it. Some years ago my horse was kicked in the field resulting in a small cut to his hock. He went lame after a couple of days and I got the vet out. She made me take him immediately to the equine hospital and he stayed there for four days. wounds to the hock joint should be taken seriously - there was another thread on here recently where another owner was suprised that the vet was very concerned over a small cut resulting in a vets stay.
Yes, that was my post in the summer, and I remember you saying you were dumb-struck over your horse's previous hock injury too! I agree, it was quite a shock that the tiny field injury developed into sepsis so quickly. The main thing is she's back on her feet again now, and I think your horse bounced back again, didn't he? Thank goodness for vigilant vets.

So yes OP, please keep an eye on it, and call the vets asap if there is any sign of infection. Good luck, and I hope it heals quickly.
 

EKW

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I too would ask the vet to have a look. There could be some floating bone fragments in there.
As regards wound dressing....I would carry on with the silver spray, wounds should be kept moist.
I disagree with wounds being kept moist. For a couple of days maybe but beyond that no. The more you keep them wet the longer they take to heal and the greater chance of proud flesh forming.

OP if your horse isnt lame, there is no major heat or swelling I would just try to reduce movement for a few days. If the horse is quiet in the field and stable keep up with routine but I wouldnt ride and if I did it wouldnt be beyond a walk until the wound had healed enough to cope. Cuts on joints take forever to heal because they are always moving. I wouldnt give the horse any more bute. If there is something brewing the bute will disguise the lameness.

Otherwise its just a waiting game really! It will heal in its own time. Some horses heal faster than others, some areas of the body heal faster. And as another poster said what is "tis but a scratch!" To some people its a limb hanging off to others.
 

Fiona

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Where exactly is it on the hock OP??

Have you a pic even??

Some areas would be easier to protect then others, and I must admit that I'd be tempted to use a soft neoprene hock boot for a few days if I felt that the horse was knocking the scab off lying down in the stable.

Fiona
 

OrangeAndLemon

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When mine got a cut to the hock I asked the vet to take a look. It wasn't a deep cut but on a joint.

Vet gave antibiotic jab then dressed it and recommended a week of box rest with one in hand walk per day (to allow the wound to heal). The dressing was removed, leg cold hosed then redressed, twice a day for 4 days or so until the wound was closed. It was cold hosed for another few days after and once it was nicely closed with no heat, no swelling and no lameness he was back out in the field.
 

hopscotch bandit

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I disagree with wounds being kept moist. For a couple of days maybe but beyond that no. The more you keep them wet the longer they take to heal and the greater chance of proud flesh forming.

OP if your horse isnt lame, there is no major heat or swelling I would just try to reduce movement for a few days. If the horse is quiet in the field and stable keep up with routine but I wouldnt ride and if I did it wouldnt be beyond a walk until the wound had healed enough to cope. Cuts on joints take forever to heal because they are always moving. I wouldnt give the horse any more bute. If there is something brewing the bute will disguise the lameness.

Otherwise its just a waiting game really! It will heal in its own time. Some horses heal faster than others, some areas of the body heal faster. And as another poster said what is "tis but a scratch!" To some people its a limb hanging off to others.
Thanks but I rather think I am misleading people with the extent (or lack of extent) of the injury. The wound is barely 1.5 x 2cm - there is no deep cut as such, just a very small cut/graze which hasn't gone beyond the epidermis, and it ocassionaly goes bloody/sticky sebum like (deffo NOT sticky as in joint fluid sticky lol) every now and then when the scab keeps opening up if that makes sense over the graze, I've had my headtorch on it and given it a good luck under a magnifying glass. To be honest if you didn't point it out most people wouldn't see it, its just that because I know its over a joint I am being extra vigilant. There was still no heat or swelling last night, I've decided to leave it alone. Every time she rolls in the field both hocks get covered in mud and every time she lies down in the stable bits of dust accumulate in the area which is why I have been putting a barrier spray on it. As for riding, it is a nothing injury and I doubt she can even feel it (again its the fact its over a joint) which is why I'm being sensible.

As for bute, she is on one a morning because of her arthritis anyway, I only gave her an extra one for two days to minimise any inflammation, when it became obvious that there was no heat or swelling as a result I reduced to her normal daily one a day.

I get what you are saying about calling the vet but there are times in the past when I've not hesitated to call a vet to injuries near a joint but in this case there really is little reason to suspect that there is anything malicious going on, in fact the vet would think I was bonkers for even asking them to take a look at it tbh.
 

hopscotch bandit

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The wound that put my horse into hospital last summer with severe sepsis was less than 1.5 x 0.5cm. This was after I washed it on the day it happened.... Just make sure you keep an eye on it, that's all, and call the vet if you are concerned. View attachment 29428
Thanks HM. Sepsis is nasty my partner had it and nearly died. I will keep a really close eye on it don't you worry. I hope your horse is recovered okay now.
 

hopscotch bandit

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Well I visited last night as I hadn't been up the night previous and the wound is covered with dried mud where he has rolled (from Wednesday and yesterday) but cool to the touch, no pain on palpating around the wound itself and the horse remains sound. I've decided after asking a number of livery friends (there are lots as its a big yard) and the overwhelming majority say to leave it alone and to avoid messing with it any further. Wetting it and cleaning it will just prevent any scab from healing. Its 11 days old now, if something was going to manifest it would have before now.
 
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American anatomy student here. My advice:
  • Clean the wound with soap and water (or rubbing alcohol, or normal saline, or hydrogen peroxide, or whatever you prefer).
  • You can use something like Neosporin if the cut is wide, but I'd avoid that if it's deep.
  • Dress it with a clean bandage, and leave it alone. Take the bandage off after a day or two.
  • Don't pick the scab or you'll have to start over, plus it might scar.
 
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American anatomy student here. My advice:
  • Clean the wound with soap and water (or rubbing alcohol, or normal saline, or hydrogen peroxide, or whatever you prefer).
  • You can use something like Neosporin if the cut is wide, but I'd avoid that if it's deep.
  • Dress it with a clean bandage, and leave it alone. Take the bandage off after a day or two.
  • Don't pick the scab or you'll have to start over, plus it might scar.
Thanks but its quite hard to bandage a hock unless the horse is staying in 24/7 and even then it had the potential to slip due to the joint always moving. Its only a little graze and has healed up lovely now.
 
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