Horses can quite often obtain an injury to an area on the back of their ankles above their hooves; specifically this area above each hoof is known as the heel bulb. The treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations is first aid and veterinary care. Heel bulb lacerations are often caused when horses get their feet caught in the fences in which they are corralled. Heel bulb lacerations can happen when a horse sticks its hoof inside barbed wire fencing, or between two pieces of a metal wall, or stepping on some other sharp object. The horse can even lacerate its heel bulb by scratching one foot with the other. The owner must keep a first aid kit handy for the treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations. Often the lacerations to the heel bulb can be more severe than it appears at first glance. For this reason, a veterinaian must always be consulted for treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations.
As soon as it is discovered, the owner needs to begin treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations, by cleaning and wrapping the wounded area until the wound can be evaluated by the veterinarian. The owner should disinfect the wound with the cleaning agent approved by the veterinarian. Some horse owners use a solution called chlorhexidine (available at the vet’s office) to initially begin treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations. The owner should always have a first aid box available to treat wounds; always have hand or bath towels available to apply pressure when indicated. Among other things, the first aid kit should include a spray bottle, sterile saline, and a large syringe for flushing wounds.
It is not recommended to begin treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations without veterinary intervention. No matter if the heel bulb laceration is large or small; treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations should always include a round of antibiotics, if directed by the vet. If the laceration is minor the veterinarian my direct the owner to keep it clean and wrapped with vet wrap. As part of the treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations, the owner may need to clip the hair around the wound to prevent bacterial contamination from the hair.
The examination prior to treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations may be accomplished by placing the horse under local or general anaesthesia, to prevent any extra pain. Veterinary protocol for treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations often include X-rays to determine if there is any joint damage and or fractures caused by the incident that caused the laceration to the heel bulb.
The veterinarian will evaluate the injury to decide on the type of treatment for horse heel bulb lacerations. The area should be flushed with a sterile wash to clean the wound from the inside out. After cleansing the area, and applying antibiotics, the veterinarian will most likely suture the laceration. Then a protective boot may be placed over the hoof and heel bulb area to promote wound healing. Bandaging is only temporary, it is not sturdy enough to support the injured area; a protective boot cast will have to be applied to the hoof. The boot cast is easy to apply, and allows the injury to heal without leaving a scar in most cases.