Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Bleeding from Upper Limb or Leg

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If you wish to have the best functional and cosmetic outcome, no matter the cost.
  • If bleeding seems excessive to you.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If you are convinced that the injury is minor and you notice no lameness or other problem.

There are very large vessels on the inside of the upper front and hind limb that can bleed severely when cut. The most common reason for lacerations in this area (in my experience) are fence related injuries and kicks from other horses to the inside of the fore and hind limbs, which are more common than one might expect.

WHAT TO DO

As with any bleeding vessel, direct focal pressure on the vessel will stop or slow hemorrhage. Close to the hock or carpus, a pressure bandage similar to that illustrated for lower limb hemorrhage, wrapped tightly around the wound with a wad of gauze directly on the bleeding vessel will work. High in the armpit of the front limb or groin of the hind limb, packing of a towel into the wound, and manual pressure may be necessary until your vet arrives.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will likely seek to control bleeding through pressure or ligation (tying off of a vessel) and then determine whether other important structures are involved. Fracture of the radius (front) or tibia (hind) is usually accompanied by severe bleeding and inability to bear weight.

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

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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