Nonhealing Wounds in HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 28, 2011
Healthy horses are usually able to heal most cuts and lacerations without a problem. Some wounds, however, are very slow to heal. They may continue to drain for weeks, even after a course of antibiotics. Others seem to heal, only to break open again after a short period of time.
A possibility in any nonhealing wound is foreign matter of some type that has been pushed into the tissues and continues to cause inflammation. Encounters with splintering wooden fences often cause this type of injury; other wounds contain small pieces of wire, bone, hair, or plant material.
Ultrasound is a helpful diagnostic tool to identify the foreign body, and surgical removal of the material allowed 89% of horses to heal without complications in one study group. Owners are advised to contact a veterinarian if their horses have wounds that heal very slowly, continue to drain, or reopen after seeming to have healed.