Traditionally, bandaging a wound is the well-known standard method for treating soft tissue injuries. Alternately, with certain types of wounds, casting the injury is an extremely beneficial option.
Pictured here is an injury where casting the wound was a better option for healing than traditional bandaging:
As you can see, the injury shows a deep laceration to the bulbar cushion of the foot, a high-motion area. Dr. Rich Hartman explained that injuries over high motion areas ‚Äúpromote infection and inhibit healing‚Äù, making this injury a good candidate for casting.
Advantages of Casting a Wound
There are many advantages to casting a wound over simply bandaging it, ranging from hygiene to cost:
Reduces Motion to Promote Healing
A cast immobilizes the injury area‚Äôs joints. Because there is no movement, the damaged tissue is kept from expanding and contracting which improves healing and reduces possible infection.
More Sanitary than Bandaging
The outer layer of the cast is constructed of fiberglass. On the bottom of the cast, a layer of Technovit (a fast curing, cold polymerizing, three-component resin) is molded. Each of these materials wicks away moisture, keeping the wound from being introduced to:
- Other contaminates
Keeping the wound free from these contaminates, all which promote infection, is more difficult with traditional bandaging, where they can seep into the material.
No Need to Change Bandages
Wounds with traditional bandaging need to be changed every few days. With casting, there is no need for bandage changes. Casted wounds may remain casted for 3-4 weeks.
Comparable Cost to Traditional Bandaging
When considering the material cost of changing bandages every 2-3 days for three or four weeks the cost of casing can be similar. If your horse is a not-so-cooperative patient and requires professional assistance in order to change bandages, the cost of traditional bandaging may be higher.