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The XLVets Equine bandaging angels:


Equine wound care can be challenging, time-consuming and

expensive! Equine wounds are an all too common occurrence in

veterinary practice due to injury resulting from the horse’s natural fight

or flight instinct. Therefore, we see many patients with wounds caused

by fencing, wire or trauma such as a kick from a companion. There

are many things to consider when treating equine patients to

encourage optimal healing and a swift return to athletic function.

A properly applied bandage is a powerful tool when assisting with

optimal wound healing in equine patients

(figure one)

. Unfortunately

a poorly applied bandage can actually cause further complications,

such as;


top tips

and the dos and

don’ts of wound care

Stacey Duncan,

Clyde Veterinar y Group, Lanarkshire

Kassie Hill, FdSc RVN REVN E-SQP

Cliffe Equine Vets, East Sussex

Louise Pailor, RVN REVN R-SQP

Wright and Mor ten, Cheshire

Marie Rippingale, BSc (Hons) REVN G-SQP DipHE CVN DipAVN (Equine)

Scarsdale Veterinar y Group, Derbyshire

Poor blood supply and poor oxygenation

to the wound and surrounding tissue can

be caused by a bandage that has been

applied too tightly. Bandage rubs and

sloughing of skin can occur in severe

cases, e.g. when elasticated bandages

are applied too tightly.

Movement, the nemesis of wound

healing, can be worsened by a bandage

that has been applied too loosely.

Continued trauma to the wound and

infection can be caused by a bandage

that has slipped down, allowing the

patient/bacteria access to the wound.

This is why it is so important to apply a

bandage correctly and to monitor it to

reduce the risks of any complications

occurring. Below are ten top tips for

applying the perfect bandage:

1. Size:

Applying the widest width of bandage

possible ensures even pressure which helps

to reduce bandage complications.

2. Overlap:

Ensure you overlap half the previous layer

so that your whole bandage is of an even


(figure two)


3. Comfort:

There should be a padding layer next to

the skin that can absorb some of the

pressure applied by the bandage. This

reduces the risk of rubbing and

subsequent skin soreness.

4. Padding:

There should be sufficient layers of

padding (i.e. layers of cotton wool or

gamgee) before you apply any kind of

elasticated bandage to the limb to even

out the pressure

(figure three)


Figure two. Overlapping bandage

Figure three. Padding: layers of

cotton wool or gamgee

Figure one. A nurse safely applying a

lower limb bandage