Large animal wounds

Common complications

Wounds on the head, neck, upper limbs and torso usually heal rapidly and well. Occasionally the wounds need to be kept open to ensure they heal from the inside out; if drainage is prevented by early closure, abscesses may occur. Ventral drainage is key. Packing with gauze, honey or sugar can also help encourage appropriate wound healing.

Lower limb wounds frequently have issues even if the damage is not life or performance threatening. Applicable complications should be discussed with the client as these will add costs and time:

  • Proud flesh management
  • Skin grafting
  • Sequestration management
  • Splinting for extensor tendon damage
  • Bandaging
  • Rehabilitation needs for muscle damage
  • Stall rest


Wound Management: Wounds with Special Challenges, VCNA Vol.34(3), pp.511-538, 2018



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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.