Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Wound or Laceration to Mouth, Lips & Muzzle

Wounds to the equine mouth and muzzle are relatively common. Fortunately, the blood supply to this area is excellent and these wounds usually heal well, unless they are complicated by a foreign body or involvement of bone or tooth.

In most cases, it is best to seek veterinary repair of the larger wounds in order to preserve function and appearance. This is especially true for wounds that cause disruption to the normal contours of the lips or nostrils. In all cases, you should have the discussion with your vet.

Wounds with no loose flaps of skin, and those that do not involve the lip or nostril margin, usually heal very well with no treatment.

QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET

  • Will this wound leave significant scarring or functional defect?
  • Do you suggest that we repair this particular wound or not?
  • PREVENTION

    Bucket hooks in stalls are notorious for catching lips, eyelids and nostrils. When horses feel pressure, their natural response is to pull back against that, tearing the tissue away. Inspect your horse's environment and remove these obvious dangers.

    Wounds or sores resulting from bits are an indicator of inappropriate tack design, poor fit or inappropriate use. Be sure that your bridle and bit fits and is adjusted correctly.

    Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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