In August 2016, Lucas was found in the field with multiple deep wounds to the front of his left hind leg, He was also struggling to move and put weight on the leg. Our vet Abi attended and on closer examination, found that the deepest wound was down to the bone and the extensor tendon (helps to pull the leg forward) was completely severed. His leg was also very swollen and sore.
Abi cleaned the wound and placed a support bandage for travel then Lucas was transported to our Plum Park clinic for further treatment.
At the hospital the wound was carefully flushed, cleaned and debrided, and the surrounding tendon sheath was tapped to ensure this was not contaminated. Lucas was started on broad-spectrum antibiotics and pain relief. Ultrasound was used to scan the region to determine the extent of the injury. X-rays were taken to make sure the underlying bone was not damaged. A support/compression bandage was placed and Lucas was admitted as an in-patient for ongoing supportive care, daily antibiotic treatment and dressing changes.
Every day our hospital team flushed and cleaned and redressed the wound. Regular debridement to remove any dead tissue was performed and the tendon sheath was medicated twice with antibiotics to guard against infection.
Lucas gradually became more sound and the wound started to granulate and close. After 10 days he went home to continue his recuperation. He remained on oral antibiotics and equipalazone (Bute) and our ambulatory vets visited him twice weekly to change the dressing and clean and check the wound. By the beginning of September 2016 the new granulation tissue had covered over the previously exposed bone and the size of the wound was markedly reduced.
Granulation tissue can often become ‘proud’ which is actually detrimental to healing, therefore we had to carefully trim this back a few times with Lucas to ensure the wound healed well. At this point a two-layer compression bandage with a dressing of manuka honey was being used.
He gave us a small scare in October when he came down with a bout of colic which resulted in another(!) trip to Plum Park. Thankfully after some anti-inflammatories and intravenous fluids for a few days he was able to return home.
After this, the wound started to close very quickly and his owners were able to do his bandage changes themselves. At this point he was able to start to go out for hand walking and grazing. At last in December 2016 the great day arrived when the wound was finally healed well enough to leave open and he went out in the field!
Thank you to Lucas’ owners for their regular updates and keeping us informed on how the wound was healing.
Have a look at the video below to see Lucas’ wound healing over time! Make sure you watch to the end to see how he looks now…