Equine First Aid Part 4 – Wound Bandages

Wound Bandages

Wound bandages facilitate healing by keeping wounds clean to minimize the risk of infection, protecting the area from further injury, and reducing inflammation and swelling. When bandaging a wounded or injured leg, be conscious of the amount of tension you are applying. Wound bandages should be snug enough to remain securely in place but not so tight that they will exert too much pressure on the injured limb in the event that there is natural inflammation and swelling from the injury.

Bandaging

Photo: Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne

Most wound bandages tend to consist of roll, sheet, or combine cotton for padding and a flexible cohesive bandage, or vet wrap, for the outer bandage, although in some cases pillow or quilted wraps and stretchy knit bandages may be suitable alternatives.

Before bandaging a wounded leg, make sure the leg is clean and dry, and the wound has been cleaned, rinsed, and treated as recommended by your veterinarian. The specific bandaging technique may vary depending on the location of the leg wound (e.g. cannon bone, knee or hock, or forearm or gaskin), but the general procedure for applying a wound bandage is as follows:

1. Cover the wound with a sterile, non-adherent gauze pad or other dressing, and secure it by loosely wrapping roll gauze around the leg two or three times.

2. Wrap roll, sheet, or combine cotton around the leg, making sure to cover the wound and dressing completely, until the layer of padding is at least one inch in thickness.

3. Apply the bandage, starting an inch below the top of the padding and wrapping down the leg in a spiral pattern with each wrap of the bandage overlapping the preceding layer by about 50 percent. Wrap down to within an inch of the bottom of the padding, then spiral up again to finish near the top.

4. Use an adhesive bandaging tape, such as Elastikon®, or masking tape to secure the end of the bandage, and wrap the tape loosely around the top and bottom of the bandage to seal out dirt and debris.

Check the bandage several times throughout the day to make sure it hasn’t slipped or become tighter or looser. The bandage should be changed at least every other day, unless your veterinarian indicates otherwise or the bandage becomes wet or soiled, in which case it should be changed immediately.

 

 

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Source Article:  http://www.horsejournals.com/horse-care/illness-injury/prevention/equine-first-aid-bandaging-horse, by Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne, March 16, 2015.