Hock / Cannon Area Injury
This is a Thoroughbred gelding with an injury to the hock, extending down the cannon. This wound
involved 4 inches of exposed bone, severed tendons and severed saphenous vein. This case was complicated
by the horse constantly chewing on the wound. Bibs, cradles and grazing muzzles were used in an effort to
stop the chewing. This horse was thin and had a bad case of rainrot extending from the withers to the tail
when he arrived at Step Ahead Farm.
Treatment 7-19-2010 through 9-17-2010
This horse was sensitive at the wound site and lame, and did not handle well on
the ground. Tranquilizers were implemented to ensure safety while treating the
Click on the photos to enlarge the view.
The wound bled profusely during cleansing, due to
the severed saphenous vein. Placental tissue was
implemented to speed granulation development.
Horse is still sore, handling has improved, and tranquilizers
are no longer needed.
Horse has chewed on the wound, damaging the granulation bed.
There is a knot of granulation tissue forming over the end of a
tendon, but due to the proximity of the severed saphenous vein,
it was decided to not remove the end of the tendon at this time.
Horse has chewed on the wound again. Small area
of bone is still exposed.
The horse is now walking normally, with little sign of
lameness. He is now getting daily turnout in a small
The knot of tissue containing the end
of a severed tendon was removed.
The granulation bed has started to
smooth down, but caution is used
when de-briding the wound as the end
of the saphenous vein is still exposed.
The end of the saphenous vein was removed. There are two areas of concern,
one in the lower front quadrant, and one on the central inside quadrant.
These pictures were taken prior to cleaning the wound site. The horse once
again chewed on the wound, damaging the granulation bed, that had
These pictures were taken prior to cleaning the wound site. We
are now dealing with both an immature section and a mature
section of the granulation tissue due to the horse chewing on
We have an epithelial border started, and the
granulation bed is again starting to smooth.
The granulation bed continues to try to form nodular bumps, although the surface looks healthy. There is a
split in the granulation bed on the distal side, approximately 1/2 inch deep. Due to the damage done from
chewing, the horse is moving slightly lame on this leg. He is given two bute tablets a day, which enables the
horse to move sound.
There is some overgrowth of granulation tissue, the bed has matured, but
there is a "soft" spot on the central inside area that is being monitored closely.
The bandage slipped down overnight, and there is still a small
discharge at the saphenous vein site. Antibiotic therapy
continues. Due to owner financial concerns, x-rays have not
been taken, although a concern regarding avascular necrotic
bone has been expressed.
Two areas of discharge were discovered. In photo one, the discharge is in the area
where the severed saphenous vein was located, and associates with the crack in
the granulation bed immediately to the right of the discharge. It is believed that
this is associated with the severed vein.
In photo two, a seperate area formed, in the "soft" spot discovered on day 29
which, when flushed clear with Wound Wash, collapsed, and the horse began to
move sound. Antibiotics were injected directly into both areas.
Demonstrating the split in the granulation bed, from flexing the hock joint.
There appears to be no more discharge, the granulation bed looks
healthy and continues to contract. The horse moves sound and
went home on this day for the owner to continue treatment.
There will be no follow up pictures on this case, because despite the fact that they agreed to our
estimated total cost of treatment & care, which was less than 1/3 the estimated cost of any other
equine hospital, and despite the fact that the horse healed with very little scarring, and was sound
and in better condition than when he arrived, the owners have refused to pay for services rendered,
and have moved without a forwarding address.
However, the educational value gained in treating this horse may bear enough rewards around the
world to offset our financial loss.
But, it is another example of the fact that the owner must be able to afford the veterinarian, and the
veterinarian must be able to afford the owner.