Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Wound to Cheek with Drainage or Swelling & Odor

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

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

    A wound to the cheek that is swollen or draining excessively and has a noticeable odor may not be a simple wound at all. It may be a draining tract from an abscessed lower jaw cheek tooth. Less commonly, it could result from a foreign body or infected bone. Strong odor from a wound often indicates bone involvement.

    WHAT TO DO

    Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to attitude, appetite and rectal temperature. Take a photo of the wound to share with your vet.

    WHAT YOUR VET DOES

    Your vet explores and probes the wound to determine its depth and orientation. They perform a thorough oral and dental exam. They may use other diagnostics, including x-ray, to determine whether there is involvement of a tooth or bone.

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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