Encounter with a gate post

20 Sep 2023

14 year old Sports horse mare, Cassie had a run-in with a gate post on the morning of July 2nd.

The post is part of a gateway she had been through several times a day for the past 10 years, and the mornings turn out was no different to any other. She showed no distress as she wandered off down the field and her fly rug hid the evidence of any trauma. So it was another hour or so until the owner realised anything had happened at all. A 3ft long tear ran from just behind Cassies right shoulder upwards across her right flank to her hip. The muscle layers were opened at the front of the wound, exposing 2 ribs. Yet she was standing as if nothing had happened!

Unfortunately Cassie hates vets and hates needles even more. Eventually she was sedated enough to start deadening the edges of the wound with local aesthetic. Another hour and it was ready for suturing. A drain was placed to allow discharge to gravitate away from the pocket that would inevitably form under the sutured flap.

It quickly became apparent that the stocks of suture material in the vets van would not be enough for a wound of this size. Emergency supplies were brought out from the practice: old fashioned thick nylon, strong enough to hold together the wound edges which where under a considerable amount of tension.

Wounds to this part of the body usually heal well. The concern was that the lower skin flap had lost its blood supply, and that such a large area might die and slough off. Cassies owners have been very careful with keeping flies away from the wound and have diligently cleaned it twice per day. She was stable rested until the sutures could come out as the thought of her enjoying a good roll in the field was our big dread!

Cassie has endured two more vets visits and is hoping not to see us for a long time now. She has healed remarkably quickly, and should be able to return to work as soon as the scar is no longer painful.