How do you decide whether you should summon assistance the same evening – or leave the vet’s call-out until the morning? Ask yourself these questions:
Where is the wound located? If it is near any vital structures or joints it is best to call the vet regardless
Is there discharge? If there is a puncture wound near a joint and clear fluid is leaking, this may be synovial fluid and veterinary assistance should be sought straight away
Is the horse severely lame? Be guided by the degree of lameness rather than swelling. A really lame horse that hardly puts weight on the leg should be seen by the vet urgently, while a filled leg with no lameness is less likely to require urgent veterinary attention. But if this is accompanied by marked heat, tenderness or pain, call your vet
Is there any bone involvement? If there is, the horse is likely to be obviously lame and unable to use the limb properly. Urgent veterinary assistance is required
To read all the latest advice on hunting aftercare see the current issue of H&H (18 October 2012)
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