Wound on lower pastern un-knit itself after two weeks

…it’s been two weeks since the injury and I noticed it last night. I’m kicking myself because I thought it was healed, turned him out, and he came back in with a line of ripped stitches and an open wound which is a little ??? because it should be healed by now but it’s not.

I put in a non-emergency call to my vet after rinsing it out and putting a stable bandage on it. It doesn’t look infected, it’s not hot, and the horse is sound so I’m just a little puzzled. The wound itself is not all that large (maybe the size of a quarter) but is deep, and when it was initially stitched I was told the flap may die.

I was thinking of putting honey on it with vet approval but we’ll see what she says.

Is it normal for pastern wounds to take this long to heal? The horse is 21 so I’m not sure if increasing age is a factor here. My main big concern is proud flesh given the location.

Your vet is the best source. However, in my experience your horse is healing about as quickly as any of mine did. The difference is the stitches --my vet (still my vet) always told me that “stitching below the knee” was not generally successful. His recommendation was and still seems to be twice daily hosing, cold water, gentle pressure for 10-15 min and protect from flies or reinjury —in the winter, that just meant regular turn out. In the summer, it might mean a bandage, fly boots, or keeping in.

I would set out a chair and hold the hose for the recommended amount of time. That was after I asked one of the new barn boys to hose a pretty gruesome wound and he threw up in the wash stall. After that, I always did it myself.

Again, your vet is the best source. These days I take a picture of the wound and send it to my vet every couple of days so he can see how it’s healing.

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Lower limb wounds do take longer due to movement - especially if close/near the joints. I wouldn’t be concerned at the 2 week mark for a wound that required stitches on the leg - as long as surrounding tissue looks healthy and free of inflammation or redness.

My horse had a recluse bite last summer square on his fetlock that resulted in a pitted/big open wound area. It took over six weeks for the fleshy area to knit together.

If you haven’t already, keep it in fly boots and possibly wrapped if necessary. I found the wrapping irritated this horse’s healing process, but the fly boots were a godsend in keeping it clean and free from getting knocked around too often.


Update: it’s proud flesh. She recommended stuff for us to use on it so we have been. It seems to be re-knitting fairly well.