Symptomatology.—Depending upon the manner in which the injury has been produced, the appearance of the wound varies and likewise lameness is more or less pronounced. If the tissues are not divided and the wound is chiefly of the subsurface structures, there will not immediately occur pronounced local evidence of the existence of injury; but as soon as the lame animal is made to move, the peculiar character of the impediment (supporting-leg lameness with the affected foot kept well in advance of its normal position) directs attention to the extremity and all of the symptoms of acute inflammation are discovered.
Where a wound is inflicted which divides, in some manner, the surface structures (skin, coronary band, or the hoof wall) one’s attention is at once called to the existence of the wound.
Because of the fact that there is every facility for the production of a sub-coronary and podophylous infection, these wounds should receive prompt attention. In some instances, the pastern joint is opened by calk wounds and then, of course, an infectious arthritis succeeds the injury.
Treatment.—In all contused wounds of the coronary region the parts need thorough cleansing; the hair, if long is clipped and a cataplasm is applied. Or preferably, an iodin-glycerin combination of one part of iodin to four parts of glycerin is poured on a layer of cotton, and this is confined in contact with the inflamed parts by means of a bandage.
Where normal resistance to infection obtains, the subject usually suffers no suppurative disturbance when the surface structures are not broken; and daily applications of the antiseptic lotion above referred to stimulates complete resolution. This may be expected in from four to ten days depending upon the extent of the injury.
If a calk wound has been inflicted, the adjoining surface structures are freed of hair and the parts cleansed in the usual manner, (which in wounds recently inflicted, should be done without employing quantities of water) and after painting the wound surface with tincture of iodin and saturating its depths with the same agent, the wound is cleansed, if it contains filth, by means of a small curette. By using a small and sharp curette, one is enabled to cleanse the average wound quickly and almost painlessly.
In such cases, equal parts of tincture of iodin and glycerin are employed. The wound is filled with this preparation and a quantity of it is poured upon a suitable piece of aseptic gauze or cotton and this is contacted with the wound. The extremity is carefully bandaged and this dressing is left in position for forty-eight hours unless there occurs, in the meanwhile, evidence of profuse suppuration—which is unusual.
One is to be guided as to the progress made by the degree of lameness present. If little or no lameness develops, it is reasonable to expect that infection has been checked; that the wound is dry and redressing every second day is sufficiently frequent.