When treating equine wounds, the primary goal is to obtain rapid wound closure with a functional and aesthetically satisfactory outcome. Wounds in horses may be associated with full thickness deficits, often with epithelial and varying amounts of dermal tissue loss, or damage to deeper structures, including the synovial architecture, ligaments, tendons or bone. Occasionally, equine wounds, especially those in areas of frequent movement, do not heal properly and can sometimes result in poor functional outcomes with significant scarring and poor cosmetic appearance. Wounds are usually due to significant external trauma and can be subject to heavy contamination. The rate and type of healing is affected by interspecies variation, the position of the wound, contamination, the presence of foreign material or non-viable tissues, as well as other intrinsic and extrinsic factors. This article describes the science behind wound healing and discusses the management of acute and chronic wounds in horses.
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