The power of mother nature - chest wound

This is a great example of one of the few wounds that horses get which heal amazingly well due to the underlying soft tissue and blood supply.
This horse had an argument with a fence. We stopped the bleeding with some packing and treated it conservatively... No surgery, just pain killers and box rest... Mother Nature did the rest...
Took just 2 months to heal like this!!

Sometimes it's not as bad as it looks... Sometimes!

Of course, the great team that nursed this horse back to Health deserve all the credit!!
(I don't want to breach confidentiality so I can't name the horse or people involved but you know who you are...)
Great job guys well done
(Kaz and team)

*Warning, viewer discretion advised, graphic images.

dr john russell specialist equine surgeon the horse vet

Chest wound 10 minutes post injury

dr john russell specialist equine surgeon the horse vet

Chest wound 1 day post injury

dr john russell specialist equine surgeon the horse vet

Chest wound 1 month post injury

dr john russell specialist equine surgeon the horse vet

Chest wound 2 months post injury

Distal Limb Wound

Not so much soft tissue or blood flow down here so these wounds are harder to manage as there is less nutrition available for healing... This horse tried to jump over a steel gate and didn't quite jump high enough.
The bone is exposed and the tendon can be seen in the wound but the tendon is intact... So as they say in the movies "it's just a flesh wound".
The problem is that every time the horse takes a step, the tendon moves through the wound, breaking it down and preventing it from healing.
We had to suture the wound and place the horse in a bandage cast to minimise movement.
A cast will also increase wound temperature and keep the wound moist... This all helps with healing!

Think about this - "cells can swim but they can't fly"... Keep the wound warm and moist and the cells can migrate into the wound and it will heal faster!!

Just remember that saying the next time you hear someone say "let the air at it"...

I have Dr Patrick Pollock of Glasgow university to thank for that wisdom.

In this case I think the result was pleasing.

*Warning, viewer discretion advised, graphic images.


The bone is the white structure on the right. The tendon is the white structure on the left.
The horse was placed under a general anaesthetic and the wound was sutured. (As best we could)
Couldn't get the wound closed but made it smaller.


This is clearly not the same horse as it is the wrong leg in the cast but a very similar case... Just wanted to show what a bandage cast looks like on a hind limb... And I don't have a photo of the horse we are discussing... They tolerate a cast very well!!


This is 3 weeks later once we removed the cast.
The wound is filled with granulation tissue... confident it will contract further.


3 months post injury... Looks pretty good. Bit disappointed it looks a bit thickened down the bottom but not bad really... Considering!

Clostridium Abscess - mother nature at its worst and its best!

This horse obtained a surface scratch approximately 20cm's along the crest of its neck. A large swelling developed that contained a large pocket of fluid. Days later an abscess burst out. A large area of flesh and muscle died away which had to be removed and flushed, it was a large cavity in which your fist could fit inside the hole and either side. Daily irrigation topical antibiotics were applied initially followed by solosite gel to encourage a moist wound environment for optimal healing as cells can only swim, not fly! It took 3 months for the cavity to completely close over, with a large divit in the crest from lost muscle and tissue, and a further 12 months rehabilitation for muscle development to support the horse enough to return to competition.

*Warning, viewer discretion advised, graphic images.


Day 1


Day's 5 and 6


Week 1


Week 2


Week 3


2 Months


2.5 months


3 months


12 months post injury