Previous Page  12 / 24 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 12 / 24 Next Page
Page Background

1 1


A not so quiet Christmas Eve!

Gavinder Panesar BVSc MrCVS,

608 Farm and Equine

Christmas Eve arrived and, sure enough, the

opposite soon proved to be the case. Five

minutes into being on call and the phone rang:

’Hi Gav, I’ve got a yearling with a bit

of a wound. Can you come and stitch it


Reading between the lines, the undertone of the

conversation suggested this ‘bit of a wound’

might actually be a bit more of a gaping hole!

On my arrival I was presented with a yearling

in a barn that had never really been caught, or

even left the barn. After a little persuasion, the

youngster was caught and sedated to reveal a

sizeable wound on the outside of its right fore


(figure 1)

. Amazingly this yearling was

sound and fortunately had managed to miss

every vital structure in its leg!

My initial dilemma was that the leg was

currently so swollen that the wound may not be

viable to be sutured closed. Being a bit of a

perfectionist, I wanted to do everything I could

to reduce both the amount of scarring and the

healing time if at all possible. After some

deliberation I decided to stitch it, but needed

to reduce the tension in the skin surrounding

the wound so that it could heal.

My solution to this problem was tension-

relieving sutures

(figure 2)

. Two hours later it

was then bandaged securely. This was

particularly important since the yearling had

a bit of a reputation of being mischievous and

there was a concern that he might manage to

remove the bandage and expose the wound.

A few days later the swelling had subsided

and a ’normal’ looking leg was left.

Unfortunately since the swelling had reduced,

the stitches were no longer doing their job and

there was no tension on the wound

(figure 3)

. I

re-stitched the wound in the hope that it would

hold together

(figure 4)


Unfortunately, a few days later, the sutures had

not held together as I would have liked and

the wound had broken down

(figure 5)

. I had

no choice but to remove the stitches and to

reassess my plan to get this yearling back on


(figure 6)

. I decided to allow the wound

to heal by ‘secondary intention’ with the

assistance of Manuka honey treatment. Over

the years I have found Manuka honey is a

very good product for helping wounds to heal

when they cannot be stitched. The high sugar

content prevents bacteria growing and allows

time for the wound to heal while reducing the

chance of infection. This worked, and even

after the first Manuka honey bandage, things

were looking up

(figure 7)


After two or three further Manuka honey

bandage changes, things were going from

strength to strength and I finally decided to

leave the wound unbandaged

(figure 8)


Six weeks later the wound is nearly completely

healed and the yearling is none the wiser, now

running around in a field!

A nice (Christmas) Happy Ending!


A vet’s favourite time of year – sorting out the Christmas Rota! I

landed Christmas Eve, a Saturday, however with people doing last

minute Christmas shopping, surely this would be a quiet day


Figure 5.

Figure 6.

Figure 7.

Figure 8.

Veterinary Surgeon

Gavinder Panesar

XLVets Equine practice

608 Farm and Equine

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Figure 4.