Your horse has sustained trauma resulting in a generalized injury. Rupture of small vessels in tissues causes bruising, which is blood from tiny vessels that leaked into the space under the skin. Traumatic injury, inflammation of blood vessel walls, and clotting problems can all cause bruising.
Once the vessels have stopped bleeding, inflammatory cells begin to clean up the red blood cells and digest their contents. The color changes (greenish and yellowish) seen over time represent the breakdown of the blood pigment hemoglobin. Since most horses have dark skin, we are not always able to see this process taking place. We usually notice a contusion as swelling in an area.
When the cause of an injury is not known, trauma is a common fallback diagnosis for pain, swelling, and lameness. In horses, trauma often results from impacts from other horses or collisions with stationary objects. This impact causes swelling and inflammation, it breaks blood vessels and allows leaking of serum and blood into an area. In addition, it may directly damages specific anatomic structures within the affected area. Trauma is considered as a cause for disease whenever appropriate.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Treatments May Include
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
The determining factors with any injury is the presence or absence of injury to critical structures.
Prognosis depends on the severity of trauma, the tissues traumatized and their ability to heal, and how soon appropriate treatment is provided.
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