Wounds to the lower limb are among the most common equine veterinary emergencies. In the equine limb, there is no muscle covering from the carpus and hock to the ground. There are multiple joints, tendon sheaths, tendons, ligaments, the coronet band and the hoof wall, and the myriad of delicate structures that comprise those.
So it is a nice surprise when a lower limb wound actually does not involve one or more of these important structures.
However, even without the involvement of these important structures, uncomplicated lower limb injuries generally do not heal as well as wounds to other parts of the body. There is comparatively limited blood supply to this area, and there is little extra tissue that can move to cover a defect created by a wound (wound contraction).
For all of these reasons, lower limb wounds in the horse require special consideration, monitoring and care. An important point to remember is that horses with uncomplicated limb wounds should not be visibly lame at the walk for more than a day or two.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Treatments May Include
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
The prognosis should ultimately be good for uncomplicated lower limb wounds.
The prognosis for wounds involving critical structures must be assessed on a case-by-case basis by your vet and will depend on prompt and appropriate treatment.
I Might ObserveRelated Observations
Skills I might need
QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET
Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health