How Can I Tell if My Horse Needs Stitches?

If my horse gets a cut, how can I tell if it’s severe enough to require a veterinarian to suture it?
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How Can I Tell If My Horse Needs Stitches?
Full thickness lacerations heal faster and with less scarring when they're sutured. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse

Q: If my horse gets a cut, how can I tell if it’s severe enough to require a veterinarian’s attention and stitches? Also if a laceration does need stitches, how soon after the injury happens does a vet need to see (and suture) it? —Randy, Washington

A: There are a few good ways to decide whether a horse’s wound needs veterinary attention:

1.  As in real estate, think location, location, location! If there is a wound over a joint, tendon, or eye, it very well may need to be seen even if it doesn’t look “bad

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Written by:

Liz Arbittier, VMD, is a clinical assistant professor of Equine Field Service at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square.

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