Properly wrap your horse’s injured hock with these tips from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
How do you keep a bandage on a hock-area laceration?
A figure 8-type bandage is recommended for the hock area (it is similar to an ankle wrap on a person).
Proper care of the laceration is a must. Use either a nonstick pad or a pad with antibiotic over the wound area. Next, wrap the area with a 4-inch gauze roll to hold the pad in place. Again, the 4-inch roll gauze will need to be applied in a figure 8 fashion to hold the gauze over the wound.
Next, use a padded material – either roll cotton or a quilt – on top of the gauze pad, and roll this padded material around the hock. The padded material will allow you to make a snug fit when you next wrap the area with Vetrap.
Allow a small portion of the quilt or cotton roll to be showing under the Vetrap at the top of your wrap and at the bottom. Holes will need to be cut out over the point of the hock in the cotton roll or quilt so hock sores are avoided. Your Vetrap’s final wrap should either be the circumference above or below the hock joint itself. This allows the Vetrap to stick to itself more securely when the horse moves.
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Finally, less movement of the horse will keep the bandage on better, so you should consider stall confinement. The more a horse moves around, the looser the bandage becomes. A stacking bandage can be placed under the hock bandage to hold it in place, depending on the site and size of the laceration, but a hock bandage, if done properly, will stay in place over the hock; again, a snug fit is recommended.
Practice does make perfect when it comes to hock bandaging.
For further direction, watch the “How to Wrap a Horse’s Legs” video, available courtesy of AAEP media partner The Horse, which will illustrate the types of bandages explained above.
— Dr. Erin Denney-Jones
American Association of Equine Practitioners