What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Wound, Open Sore Caused by Pressure from Bandage or Cast


Limb bandages can cause sores from constant pressure. These sores commonly develop around the back of the carpus (knee) of the front limb or over the inside and back of the hock. These sores are a common complication of long-term bandaging or casting.

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your role


What To Do

Use good bandaging technique to avoid development of these wounds and, if they do develop, identify and treat them early by lessening pressure over the area. Talk to your vet about how to bandage high motion areas to prevent this problem. If the initial wound that necessitated the use of the bandage is healing well, you may be able to leave it uncovered.

If these wounds worsen, are non-healing, are causing your horse pain or discomfort, or if your horse is also lame, you should call your vet immediately to discuss your findings and concerns. These wounds can be difficult to treat without veterinary involvement. Without proper and meticulous care, they will simply not heal, and can cause severe scarring that could impede movement.

What Not To Do

Do not apply topical antibiotic products to the wound, unless advised to do so by your vet. Many impede healing.

your vet's role

Your vet will assess the cause and characteristics of the wound in question. They may recommend an alternative way to bandage a wound to lessen the pressure to the area. They may discuss options that involve leaving the limb unbandaged.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Where is the wound?
  • Can you send a photo?
  • What treatments have you tried?
  • How have you been bandaging?
  • Is it possible to stop bandaging the original injury at this time?
  • Is the horse limping or lame?
  • If the horse is lame, how lame?

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP