The British Horse Society has teamed up with researchers at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, to launch the Equine Wound Project, which is designed to give essential information on the best way to heal equine wounds. Wounds are a common emergency problem in the horse, but at present there is a lack of research into which factors may delay or help common equine wounds to heal. Subsequently, there is no clear guidance available for owners about which type of wounds need to be treated by a vet, how long different wounds take to heal, or if the horse will return to his normal work.
Emmeline Hannelly, BHS Welfare Education Manager said, “The BHS is very pleased to support the University of Nottingham with this new research project. It can be very difficult for owners to make an informed decision about what to do, particularly at a time when they may be feeling anxious and distressed about their horse’s wellbeing.
"Owners sometimes have to deal with extremely variable wounds, and we want to hear from them no matter how small the wound may be. Decisions about how to treat the wound can be confusing, as some treatments may be detrimental to healing."
Professor Gary England, Dean of School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, and one of the research project supervisors, said 'The University of Nottingham and The British Horse Society have had a very successful collaboration through the REACT colic campaign. We are delighted to be working together again on this new initiative, working closely with horse owners to gather new evidence on wounds and wound healing in the horse, which we plan to use to develop similar high-quality educational resources'.
Horse owners are being asked to contribute to the research project by sharing details and photos of their horse’s initial wound, as well as the subsequent assessment, treatment process and healing outcome. Information is submitted via Googleforms to the University of Nottingham, who want to learn about any type of equine wound regardless of size and whether it has been treated by a vet, so they can capture information on a wide range of injuries.
What would you do?
As a horse owner or carer there may come a time where you will have to deal with a wound injury - imagine bringing your horse in from the field to be faced with the cannon bone injury pictured below. This new research is designed to provide evidence-based answers to questions such as:
- Should you call a vet?
- What are the risks of complications with wound healing?
- How long will it take to heal?
- How long will the horse be off work?
- What will the scar look like once it has healed?
The BHS and University of Nottingham envisage that the analysis from this research will result in new, freely-accessible educational resources to support decision-making, helping to improve owners’ recognition and care of wounds.