Horse Health Issues: Hematomas

Knowing the signs and being able to recognize when your horse has a hematoma is crucial. Journal photo Knowing the signs and being able to recognize when your horse has a hematoma is crucial. Journal photo

February 8, 2018

Horse Health Issues: Hematomas

Learn how to recognize and treat hematomas in your horse.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal
There are basically three types of swellings: noninfectious, infectious and the hematoma, which is caused by broken blood vessels. Although noninfectious and infectious swellings are forms of cellulitis (a cellular process that causes edema in the tissue), the hematoma is not. The hematoma is a localized collection of blood that is either clotted or unclotted in an area of tissue, an organ or some other body space. It is usually caused by trauma, such as a kick or bite.
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Dr. L.D. "Max" Walker Jr. says veterinarians should maintain sterile conditions when draining the area.
“Use a new needle and clean the skin,” he says. “If you take bacteria inside the hematoma, then you set up an infection. The hematoma will usually abscess, and that’s when you get into problems.”

The horse is also given antibiotics and a tetanus injection during treatment.
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“A good example of a noninfectious swelling is the swelling of a mare gets under her belly before she foals, and the horse’s legs stocking up,” Dr. Walker says.

To read more about hematomas, go to AQHA Daily.