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  • left hind cannon wound

    Posted on by Abii Dowdy

    In April Burt came in from the paddock very lame, with a wound to the outside aspect of the top of his left hind cannon. Burt was attended by one of our vets and he was sedated to allow exploration and treatment of the wound.

    The area around the wound was clipped and scrubbed and the wound flushed with saline.

    It is always important to assess the location of a wound in relation to the surrounding anatomical structures.

    This wound did not involve any of the hock joints but was located directly over the long digital extensor tendon.


    Digital exploration of the wound ruled out any direct bony and tendon involvement. After further flushing the wound edges were stapled together. A large, padded bandage was applied to the leg above the level of the hock to restrict movement of the limb, apply pressure to prevent movement of the wound edges and to prevent swelling.

    Burt was treated with antibiotics and analgesics (pain killers) and strict box rest was recommended.

    Due to the degree of lameness X-rays were taken to rule out any fractures to the cannon, splint and hock bones. None were seen.

    It is important to understand that fracture lines can take 10-14 days to become evident on X-ray. For this reason follow up radiographs are often taken around 2 weeks after the initial injury.

    Within a few days Burt was only 1/10 lame at walk and at 6 days post injury Burt was sound without pain relief. The wound was bandaged until the staples were removed 2 weeks later.

    Ultrasound of the wound confirmed suspicions that part of the long digital extensor tendon was damaged and therefore Burt was rested for slightly longer than usual before he started his gradual return to work.

    Damage to the extensor tendons at the front of the leg rarely cause lameness issues, unlike damage to the flexor tendons at the back of the leg.

    They can however cause a soft tissue swelling or a bony reaction on the cannon bone at the site of damage; this is more of aesthetic significance rather than of clinical significance.

    Around 6 weeks following his injury Burt started his gradual return to work and has since made a full recovery. We are happy to announce that he is now out competing in Towcester Equine Vets colours! We wish Burt the best of luck in his future events.