Slow Healing Wounds
What Causes Slow Healing Horse Wounds, And How To Treat Non-healing Wounds
There are times when a cut or wound just isn’t making any progress. Most often the cause is an underlying infection. A wound cannot heal with an underlying infection present.
Recently, while treating a colt with a cut to the leg, the wound was not improving. The cut was much deeper than originally thought. Also, infection was present deep within the surface where PF Wonder Salve could not be applied. At that point, the wound was packed with ichthammol ointment, and the colt was given a daily dose of tucoprim, a broad spectrum antibiotic.
Ichthammol will get definitely get a jump start on wound healing. Often times, we pack a severe wound with ichthammol for a day or two, prior to using RPF Wonder Salve.
Ichthammol is unique in that it can draw severe infection from deep crevices that antibacterial saline solution, nor PF Wonder Salve can reach. I’m not convinced it’s not as powerful as broad spectrum antibiotics. Keep in mind, bone, or joint infection is very serious, and life-threatening, and ichthammol is not effective in drawing infection from the bone, or joints. Antibiotics are recommended for severe deep, infected wounds. Bone infections are extremely serious and difficult to treat. Better to get infection undercontrol before it gets into the joint, or bone.
Ichthammol encourages tissue granulation. Tissue granulation can get out of hand very quickly. It can change from good to bad in about a day, so ichthammol is not recommended for longer than a few days for the treatment of infection to the lower limbs. Resolve Wound is extremely effective in eliminating excessive tissue granulation, aka proud flesh, as a result of ichthammol or injury. Resolve Wound will also eliminate older proud flesh.
Five Signs You’re Dealing With Infection
• Heat: With clean hands, feel the wound and surrounding areas for excessive warmth. Compare area to the same area on the opposite side of your horse.
• Swelling: If the swelling worsens or returns after waning, it may indicate infection.
• Odor: Any “off” or pungent odor coming from a wound, especially the oddly sweet smell of dead tissue, can be a sign of infection.
• Color: Red skin adjacent to the wound can indicate infection, especially if red streaks radiate from the area outward. Observe the color of wound drainage. Healthy wound drainage has a clear or creamy tinge—the result of natural sloughing of dead white blood cells and wound debris. Bright green or yellow discharge indicates that bacteria and inflammatory cells are present and an infection is at work.
• Tenderness: Any new injury is likely to be sore. However, if your horse’s wound seems more sensitive to the touch than it was previously, or the pain has spread to the surrounding area, suspect infection.
If you are dealing with a nasty cut, pack on the ichthammol while waiting for Resolve Wound to arrive. It can prevent infection, and long-term use of antibiotics. Always consult your vet in such a situation, as you could be dealing with a serious wound, or infection that may needs prompt veterinary attention.
It’s a good idea to keep the following on your barn: PF Wonder Salve, ichthammol ointment, antibacterial saline solution, and bandaging materials.