An equine knee wound must be cleaned and covered before bandaging his leg. The knee bandage must be applied in the correct direction with the right tension so it doesn't constrict his ligaments, tendons or vessels and lead to more damage before your veterinarian arrives.
Things You'll Need
- Saline solution (optional)
- Antimicrobial wash (optional)
- Sterile nonstick gauze pads (optional)
- Leg quilts or cotton sheets
- Veterinary wrap (2 to 3 inches wide)
- Stretch adhesive tape
Clean a wound on your horse's knee with saline solution to remove all dirt, debris and hair from the wound area. If there is a wound that is extremely dirty with ground-in debris, spray an antimicrobial wash to kill surface bacteria and clean the wound.
If you don't have saline solution on hand, add 2 tablespoons of table salt to a gallon of distilled water, replace the cap and shake it well until the salt is thoroughly dissolved.
Cover the wound with sterile nonstick gauze pads. Hold the pads in place with one hand and place leg quilts or cotton sheeting on top of the gauze pads. The length of the cotton padding should extend 4 to 6 inches above and below the knee.
Hold the cotton layer of leg quilts or sheeting with one hand on your horse's leg. Start wrapping the leg with veterinarian wrap about 1/2 inch above the bottom of the cotton layer. Wrap the leg from front to back and from the outside to the inside of the leg, spiraling the veterinarian wrap upward and overlapping each spiral by 50 percent. This is counterclockwise on left legs or clockwise on right legs. Keep the bandages smooth with no bumps or lumps and use light tension to about half the maximum of stretch. Extend the veterinarian wrap to a half-inch from the top of the cotton layer.
Place two revolutions of elastic adhesive tape on the top of the bandages and the bottom to seal out debris and moisture from the injured leg and knee.
Insert a pinky finger in the top and bottom of the bandage to check the tightness. If you can't insert it, snip the bandage at the top or bottom and give it the pinky test again.
If blood from the injury soaks through the bandage before your veterinarian arrives, do not remove the first bandage. Doing so can disturb blood clots and lead to excessive bleeding. Instead, apply a second bandage in the same manner of the first.
Check the bandage frequently to monitor swelling in your horse's leg. If swelling increases, snip the top and bottom of the bandage to loosen it and fit one pinky in it.
If your horse suffers an injury that doesn't stop bleeding in 20 minutes, he is unable to stand or walk, or has deep lacerations, get immediate veterinarian assistance.