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Case Study - A Late Night Call Out

One evening in Spring, our vet on call, Dr Claire Moore received a call from a distressed client who's horse "Iggy" had escaped from his paddock and wandered down the railway track. He was found by the rangers with multiple superficial lacerations over his entire body. 

Physical exam

On arrival, Claire conducted an all over physical examination and discovered many small cuts and one deep laceration to his pectoral muscle with a 10cm deep pocket.  ​




  • Claire cleaned the wound with iodine and flushed it with sterile saline to remove any foreign matter. 

  • She then sutured a 'penrose drain' in place to allow fluid to drain and let the wound heal as an open wound.  

  • Working in the dark, as it was now very late at night, Claire made use of the ranger's headlamps and car headlights while she worked to suture the laceration and clean all the other wounds. 

  • The horse was able walk but was hesitant to bear weight on the injured leg so Claire examined his leg and shoulder in detail and was satisfied that he would be able to walk back to his paddock. 

  • He was given pain relief and antibiotics as well as a Tetanus vaccination as a precaution as his owner was not sure if he was fully covered at the time.

  • Claire stayed with the owner and patient until well after midnight to ensure he was settled back into his paddock safely had the best possible chance of recovery. 



Ongoing Management


  • On revisiting the patient, the following day the drain was in place and doing its job. 

  • After a few days the drain was removed and the chest was cleaned with iodine and the numerous superficial wounds were cleaned and treated again with iodine.

  • Over the ensuing weeks the horse was reexamined several times and the wound was found to be healing well with granulated tissue filling the pocket.  A local anesthetic was injected into the surrounding area and the skin flap was excised.  



  • With ongoing management of the wound as it heals Iggy's prognosis is good but some scarring will be likely. 

Late night call out.jpg
Iggy at the crossing.jpg
Working in dark.jpg
Late night stitch up.jpg
Iggy - chest wound healed.jpg
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